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´╗┐Title: A Book about Doctors
Author: Jeaffreson, John Cordy, 1831-1901
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Book about Doctors" ***

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Transcriber's note:

Spelling and punctuation are sometimes erratic. A few obvious
misprints have been corrected, but in general the original spelling
and typesetting conventions have been retained. Accents are
inconsistent, and have not been standardised.

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Text enclosed by equal signs is in bold face (=bold=).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.



  _General Editor_





[Illustration: title page]

  A Book About


  John Cordy Jeaffreson

  Author of "The Real Lord Byron," "The Real
  Shelley," "A Book About Lawyers,"
  etc., etc.



  COPYRIGHT, 1904,




  Something about Sticks, and rather less about Wigs      5

  Early English Physicians                               18

  Sir Thomas Browne and Sir Kenelm Digby                 38

  Sir Hans Sloane                                        51

  The Apothecaries and Sir Samuel Garth                  63

  Quacks                                                 82

  John Radcliffe                                        111

  The Doctor as a _bon-vivant_                          144

  Fees                                                  163

  Pedagogues turned Doctors                             183

  The Generosity and Parsimony of Physicians            202

  Bleeding                                              225

  Richard Mead                                          239

  Imagination as a Remedial Power                       255

  Imagination and Nervous Excitement--Mesmer            280

  Make way for the Ladies!                              287

  Messenger Monsey                                      311

  Akenside                                              327

  Lettsom                                               335

  A few More Quacks                                     345

  St. John Long                                         356

  The Quarrels of Physicians                            374

  The Loves of Physicians                               393

  Literature and Art                                    421

  Number Eleven--a Hospital Story                       442

  Medical Buildings                                     462

  The Country Medical Man                               478



  PROF. BILLROTH'S SURGICAL CLYNIC[1].     _Frontispiece_
  _From the Original Painting by A. F. Seligmann._

  _From the Original Painting._

  AN ACCIDENT[1]                                        258
  _From the Original Painting by Dagnan-Vouveret._

  THE ANATOMIST                                         374
  _From the Original Painting by Max._

  [1] Original by courtesy of William Wood & Co., New York.


The writer of this volume has endeavoured to collect, in a readable
and attractive form, the best of those medical Ana that have been
preserved by tradition or literature. In doing so, he has not only
done his best to combine and classify old stories, but also cautiously
to select his materials, so that his work, while affording amusement
to the leisure hours of Doctors learned in their craft, might contain
no line that should render it unfit for the drawing-room table. To
effect this, it has been found necessary to reject many valuable and
characteristic anecdotes--some of them entering too minutely into the
mysteries and technicalities of medicine and surgery, and some being
spiced with a humour ill calculated to please the delicacy of the
nineteenth century.

Much of the contents of this volume has never before been published,
but, after being drawn from a variety of manuscript sources, is now
for the first time submitted to the world. It would be difficult to
enumerate all the persons to whom the writer is indebted for access to
documents, suggestions, critical notes, or memoranda. He cannot,
however, let the present occasion go by without expressing his
gratitude to the College of Physicians, for the prompt urbanity with
which they allowed him to inspect the treasures of their library. To
Dr. Munk, the learned librarian of the College--who for many years, in
the scant leisure allowed him by the urgent demands of an extensive
practice, has found a dignified pastime in antiquarian and biographic
research--the writer's best thanks are due. With a liberality by no
means always found in a student possessed of "special information,"
the Doctor surrendered his precious stores to the use of a comparative
stranger, apparently without even thinking of the value of his gift.
But even more than to the librarian of the College of Physicians the
writer is indebted for assistance to his very kind friend Dr. Diamond,
of Twickenham House--a gentleman who, to all the best qualities of a
complete physician, unites the graces of a scholarly mind, an
enthusiasm for art, and the fascinations of a generous nature.




Properly treated and fully expanded, this subject of "the stick" would
cover all the races of man in all regions and all ages; indeed, it
would hide every member of the human family. Attention could be called
to the respect accorded in every chapter of the world's history,
sacred and profane, to the _rabdos_--to the fasces of the Roman
lictors, which every school-boy honours (often unconsciously) with an
allusion when he says he will _lick_, or vows he won't be
_licked_,--to the herald's staff of Hermes, the caduceus of Mercury,
the wand of \xC6sculapius, and the rods of Moses and the contending
sorcerers--to the mystic bundles of nine twigs, in honour of the nine
muses, that Dr. Busby loved to wield, and which many a simple English
parent believes Solomon, in all his glory, recommended as an element
in domestic jurisdiction--to the sacred wands of savage tribes, the
staffs of our constables and sheriffs, and the highly polished gold
sticks and black rods that hover about the anterooms of St. James's or
Portsoken. The rule of thumb has been said to be the government of
this world. And what is this thumb but a short stick, a _sceptre_,
emblematic of a sovereign authority which none dares to dispute? "The
stick," says the Egyptian proverb, "came down from heaven."

The only sticks, however, that we here care to speak about are
physicians' canes, barbers' poles, and the twigs of rue which are
still strewn before the prisoner in the dock of a criminal court. Why
should they be thus strung together?

The physician's cane is a very ancient part of his insignia. It is now
disused, but up to very recent times no doctor of medicine presumed to
pay a professional visit, or even to be seen in public, without this
mystic wand. Long as a footman's stick, smooth and varnished, with a
heavy gold knob or cross-bar at the top, it was an instrument with
which, down to the present century, every prudent aspirant to medical
practice was provided. The celebrated "gold-headed cane" which
Radcliffe, Mead, Askew, Pitcairn and Baillie successively bore is
preserved in the College of Physicians, bearing the arms which those
gentlemen assumed, or were entitled to. In one respect it deviated
from the physician's cane proper. It has a cross-bar almost like a
crook; whereas a physician's wand ought to have a knob at the top.
This knob in olden times was hollow, and contained a vinaigrette,
which the man of science always held to his nose when he approached a
sick person, so that its fumes might protect him from the noxious
exhalations of his patient. We know timid people who, on the same
plan, have their handkerchiefs washed in camphor-water, and bury their
faces in them whenever they pass the corner of a dingy street, or
cross an open drain, or come in contact with an ill-looking man. When
Howard, the philanthropist, visited Exeter, he found that the medical
officer of the county gaol had caused a clause to be inserted in his
agreement with the magistrates, exonerating him from attendance and
services during any outbreak of the gaol fever. Most likely this
gentleman, by books or experience, had been enlightened as to the
inefficacy of the vinaigrette.

But though the doctor, like a soldier skulking from the field of
battle, might with impunity decline visiting the wretched captives,
the judge was forced to do his part of the social duty to them--to sit
in their presence during their trial in a close, fetid court; to
brow-beat them when they presumed to make any declaration of their
innocence beyond a brief "not guilty"; to read them an energetic
homily on the consequences of giving way to corrupt passions and evil
manners; and, finally, to order them their proper apportionments of
whipping, or incarceration, or banishment, or death. Such was the
abominable condition of our prisons, that the poor creatures dragged
from them and placed in the dock often by the noxious effluvia of
their bodies made seasoned criminal lawyers turn pale--partly,
perhaps, through fear, but chiefly through physical discomfort. Then
arose the custom of sprinkling aromatic herbs before the prisoners--so
that if the health of his Lordship and the gentlemen of the long robe
suffered from the tainted atmosphere, at least their senses of smell
might be shocked as little as possible. Then, also, came the
chaplain's bouquet, with which that reverend officer was always
provided when accompanying a criminal to Tyburn. Coke used to go
circuit carrying in his hand an enormous fan furnished with a handle,
in the shape of a goodly stick--the whole forming a weapon of offence
or defence. It is not improbable that the shrewd lawyer caused the end
of this cumbrous instrument to be furnished with a vinaigrette.

So much for the head of the physician's cane. The stick itself was
doubtless a relic of the conjuring paraphernalia with which the
healer, in ignorant and superstitious times, worked upon the
imagination of the credulous. Just as the ? which the doctor affixes
to his prescription is the old astrological sign (ill-drawn) of
Jupiter, so his cane descended to him from Hermes and Mercurius. It
was a relic of old jugglery, and of yet older religion--one of those
baubles which we know well where to find, but which our conservative
tendencies disincline us to sweep away without some grave necessity.

The charming-stick, the magic \xC6sculapian wand of the Medicine-man,
differed in shape and significance from the pole of the
barber-surgeon. In the "British Apollo," 1703, No. 3, we read:--

    "I'd know why he that selleth ale
    Hangs out a chequer'd part per pale:
    And why a barber at port-hole
    Puts forth a parti-coloured pole?"


    "In ancient Rome, when men loved fighting,
    And wounds and scars took much delight in,
    Man-menders then had noble pay--
    Which we call surgeons to this day.
    'Twas order'd that a huge long pole,
    With basin deck'd, should grace the hole,
    To guide the wounded, who unlopt
    Could walk, on stumps the other hopt;
    But when they ended all their wars,
    And men grew out of love with scars.
    Their trade decaying, to keep swimming,
    They joined the other trade of trimming;
    And to their poles, to publish either,
    Thus twisted both their trades together."

The principal objection that can be made to this answer is that it
leaves the question unanswered, after making only a very lame attempt
to answer it. Lord Thurlow, in a speech delivered in the House of
Peers on 17th of July, 1797, opposing the surgeons' incorporation
bill, said that, "By a statute still in force, the barbers and
surgeons were each to use a pole. The barbers were to have theirs blue
and white, striped with no other appendage; but the surgeons', which
was the same in other respects, was likewise to have a gallipot and a
red rag, to denote the particular nature of their vocation."

But the reason why the surgeon's pole was adorned with both blue and
red seems to have escaped the Chancellor. The chirurgical pole,
properly tricked, ought to have a line of blue paint, another of red,
and a third of white, winding round its length, in a regular
serpentine progression--the blue representing the venous blood, the
more brilliant colour the arterial, and the white thread being
symbolic of the bandage used in tying up the arm after withdrawing the
ligature. The stick itself is a sign that the operator possesses a
stout staff for his patients to hold, continually tightening and
relaxing their grasp during the operation--accelerating the flow of
the blood by the muscular action of the arm. The phlebotomist's staff
is of great antiquity. It is to be found amongst his properties, in an
illuminated missal of the time of Edward the First, and in an
engraving of the "Comenii Orbis Pictus."

Possibly in ancient times the physician's cane and the surgeon's club
were used more actively. For many centuries fustigation was believed
in as a sovereign remedy for bodily ailment as well as moral failings,
and a beating was prescribed for an ague as frequently as for picking
and stealing. This process Antonius Musa employed to cure Octavius
Augustus of Sciatica. Thomas Campanella believed that it had the same
effect as colocynth administered internally. Galen recommended it as a
means of fattening people. Gordonius prescribed it in certain cases of
nervous irritability--"Si sit juvenis, et non vult obedire,
flagelletur frequenter et fortiter." In some rural districts ignorant
mothers still flog the feet of their children to cure them of
chilblains. And there remains on record a case in which club-tincture
produced excellent results on a young patient to whom Desault gave a
liberal dose of it.

In 1792, when Sir Astley Cooper was in Paris, he attended the lectures
of Desault and Chopart in the Hotel Dieu. On one occasion, during this
part of his student course, Cooper saw a young fellow, of some sixteen
years of age, brought before Desault complaining of paralysis in his
right arm. Suspecting that the boy was only shamming, "Abraham,"
Desault observed, unconcernedly, "Otez votre chapeau."

Forgetting his paralytic story, the boy instantly obeyed, and
uncovered his head.

"Donnez moi un baton!" screamed Desault; and he beat the boy

"D'ou venez vous?" inquired the operator when the castigation was
brought to a close.

"Faubourg de St. Antoine," was the answer.

"Oui, je le crois," replied Desault, with a shrug--speaking a truth
experience had taught him--"tous les coquins viennent de ce quartier

But enough for the present of the barber-surgeon and his pole.
"Tollite barberum,"--as Bonnel Thornton suggested, when in 1745 (a
year barbarous in more ways than one), the surgeons, on being
disjoined from the barbers, were asking what ought to be their motto.

Next to his cane, the physician's wig was the most important of his
accoutrements. It gave profound learning and wise thought to lads just
out of their teens. As the horse-hair skull-cap gives idle Mr.
Briefless all the acuteness and gravity of aspect which one looks for
in an attorney-general, so the doctor's artificial locks were to him a
crown of honour. One of the Dukes of Holstein, in the eighteenth
century, just missed destruction through being warned not to put on
his head a poisoned wig which a traitorous peruke-maker offered him.
To test the value of the advice given him, the Duke had the wig put
upon the head of its fabricator. Within twelve minutes the man
expired! We have never heard of a physician finding death in a wig;
but a doctor who found the means of life in one is no rare bird in

    "Each son of Sol, to make him look more big,
    Had on a large, grave, decent, three-tailed wig;
    His clothes full-trimmed, with button-holes behind,
    Stiff were the skirts, with buckram stoutly lined;
    The cloth-cut velvet, or more reverend black,
    Full-made, and powder'd half-way down his back;
    Large decent cuffs, which near the ground did reach,
    With half a dozen buttons fix'd on each.
    Grave were their faces--fix'd in solemn state,
    These men struck awe; their children carried weight,
    In reverend wigs old heads young shoulders bore,
    And twenty-five or thirty seemed threescore."

The three-tailed wig was the one worn by Will Atkins, the gout doctor
in Charles the Second's time (a good specialty then!). Will Atkins
lived in the Old Bailey, and had a vast practice. His nostrums, some
of which were composed of _thirty_ different ingredients, were
wonderful--but far less so than his wig, which was combed and frizzled
over each cheek. When Will walked about the town, visiting his
patients, he sometimes carried a cane, but never wore a hat. Such an
article of costume would have disarranged the beautiful locks, or, at
least, have obscured their glory.

    "Physic of old her entry made
    Beneath th' immense full-bottom's shade;
    While the gilt cane, with solemn pride,
    To each sagacious nose applied,
    Seem'd but a necessary prop
    To bear the weight of wig at top."

One of the most magnificent wigs on record was that of Colonel
Dalmahoy, which was celebrated in a song beginning:--

    "If you would see a noble wig,
    And in that wig a man look big,
    To Ludgate Hill repair, my joy,
    And gaze on Col'nel Dalmahoy."

On Ludgate Hill, in close proximity to the Hall of the Apothecaries in
Water Lane, the Colonel vended drugs and nostrums of all
sorts--sweetmeats, washes for the complexion, scented oil for the
hair, pomades, love-drops, and charms. Wadd, the humorous collector of
anecdotes relating to his profession, records of him--

    "Dalmahoy sold infusions and lotions,
      Decoctions, and gargles, and pills;
    Electuaries, powders, and potions,
      Spermaceti, salts, scammony, squills.

    "Horse-aloes, burnt alum, agaric,
      Balm, benzoine, blood-stone, and dill;
    Castor, camphor, and acid tartaric,
      With specifics for every ill.

    "But with all his specifics in store,
      Death on Dalmahoy one day did pop;
    And although he had doctors a score,
      Made poor Dalmahoy shut up his shop."

The last silk-coated physician was Henry Revell Reynolds, M. D., one
of the physicians who attended George III. during his long and
melancholy affliction. Though this gentleman came quite down to living
times, he persisted to the end in wearing the costume--of a
well-powdered wig, silk coat, breeches, stockings, buckled shoes,
gold-headed cane, and lace ruffles--with which he commenced his
career. He was the Brummel of the Faculty, and retained his fondness
for delicate apparel to the last. Even in his grave-clothes the
coxcombical tastes of the man exhibited themselves. His very cerements
were of "a good make."

    "Here well-dressed Reynolds lies.
      As great a beau as ever;
    We may perhaps see one as wise,
      But sure a smarter never."

Whilst Brocklesby's wig is still bobbing about in the distance, we may
as well tell a good story of him. He was an eccentric man, with many
good points, one of which was his friendship for Dr. Johnson. The
Duchess of Richmond requested Brocklesby to visit her maid, who was so
ill that she could not leave her bed. The physician proceeded
forthwith to Richmond House, in obedience to the command. On arriving
there he was shown up-stairs by the invalid's husband, who held the
post of valet to the Duke. The man was a very intelligent fellow, a
character with whom all visitors to Richmond House conversed freely,
and a vehement politician. In this last characteristic the Doctor
resembled him. Slowly the physician and the valet ascended the
staircase, discussing the fate of parties, and the merits of
ministers. They became excited, and declaiming at the top of their
voices entered the sick room. The valet--forgetful of his marital
duties in the delights of an intellectual contest--poured in a
broadside of sarcasms, ironical inquiries, and red-hot declamation;
the doctor--with true English pluck--returning fire, volley for
volley. The battle lasted for upwards of an hour, when the two
combatants walked down-stairs, and the man of medicine took his
departure. When the doctor arrived at his door, and was stepping from
his carriage, it flashed across his mind that he had not applied his
finger to his patient's pulse, or even asked her how she felt herself!

Previous to Charles II.'s reign physicians were in the habit of
visiting their patients on horse-back, sitting sideways on foot-cloths
like women. Simeon Fox and Dr. Argent were the last Presidents of the
College of Physicians to go their rounds in this undignified manner.
With the "Restoration" came the carriage of the London physician. The
_Lex Talionis_ says, "For there must now be a little coach and two
horses; and, being thus attended, half-a-piece, their usual fee, is
but ill-taken, and popped into their left pocket, and possibly may
cause the patient to send for his worship twice before he will come
again to the hazard of another angel."

The fashion, once commenced, soon prevailed. In Queen Anne's reign, no
physician with the slightest pretensions to practice could manage
without his chariot and four, sometimes even six, horses. In our own
day an equipage of some sort is considered so necessary an appendage
to a medical practitioner, that a physician without a carriage (or a
fly that can pass muster for one) is looked on with suspicion. He is
marked down _mauvais sujet_ in the same list with clergymen without
duty, barristers without chambers, and gentlemen whose Irish tenantry
obstinately refuse to keep them supplied with money. On the whole the
carriage system is a good one. It protects stair carpets from being
soiled with muddy boots (a great thing!), and bears cruelly on needy
aspirants after professional employment (a yet greater thing! and one
that manifestly ought to be the object of all professional
etiquette!). If the early struggles of many fashionable physicians
were fully and courageously written, we should have some heart-rending
stories of the screwing and scraping and shifts by which their first
equipages were maintained. Who hasn't heard of the darling doctor who
taught singing under the moustachioed and bearded guise of an Italian
Count, at a young ladies' school at Clapham, in order that he might
make his daily West-end calls between 3 p. m. and 6 p. m. in a
well-built brougham drawn by a fiery steed from a livery stable? There
was one noted case of a young physician who provided himself with the
means of figuring in a brougham during the May-fair morning, by
condescending to the garb and duties of a flyman during the hours of
darkness. He used the same carriage at both periods of the
four-and-twenty hours, lolling in it by daylight, and sitting on it by
gaslight. The poor fellow forgetting himself on one occasion, so far
as to jump _in_ when he ought to have jumped _on_, or jump _on_ when
he ought to have jumped _in_, he published his delicate secret to an
unkind world.

It is a rash thing for a young man to start his carriage, unless he is
sure of being able to sustain it for a dozen years. To drop it is sure
destruction. We remember an ambitious Phaeton of Hospitals who
astonished the world--not only of his profession, but of all
London--with an equipage fit for an ambassador--the vehicle and the
steeds being obtained, like the arms blazoned on his panels, upon
credit. Six years afterwards he was met by a friend crushing the mud
on the Marylebone pavements, and with a characteristic assurance, that
even adversity was unable to deprive him of, said that his health was
so much deranged that his dear friend, Sir James Clarke, had
prescribed continual walking exercise for him as the only means of
recovering his powers of digestion. His friends--good-natured people,
as friends always are--observed that "it was a pity Sir James hadn't
given him the advice a few years sooner--prevention being better than

Though physicians began generally to take to carriages in Charles
II.'s reign, it may not be supposed that no doctor of medicine before
that time experienced the motion of a wheeled carriage. In "Stowe's
Survey of London" one may read:--

     "In the year 1563, Dr. Langton, a physician, rid in a car,
     with a gown of damask, lined with velvet, and a coat of
     velvet, and a cap of the same (such, it seems, doctors then
     wore), but having a blue hood pinned over his cap; which was
     (as it seems) a customary mark of guilt. And so came through
     Cheapside on a market-day."

The doctor's offence was one against public morals. He had loved not
wisely--but too well. The same generous weakness has brought learned
doctors, since Langton's day, into extremely ridiculous positions.

The cane, wig, silk coat, stockings, side-saddle, and carriage, of the
old physician have been mentioned. We may not pass over his muff in
silence. That he might have his hands warm and delicate of touch, and
so be able to discriminate to a nicety the qualities of his patient's
arterial pulsations, he made his rounds, in cold weather, holding
before him a large fur muff, in which his fingers and fore-arm were



     "Medicine is a science which hath been, as we have said,
     more professed than laboured, and yet more laboured than
     advanced; the labour having been, in my judgment, rather in
     circle than in progression. For I find much iteration, and
     small progression."--Lord Bacon's _Advancement of Learning_.

The British doctor, however, does not make his first appearance in
sable dress and full-bottomed wig. Chaucer's physician, who was
"groundit in Astronomy and Magyk Naturel," and whose "study was but
lytyl in the Bible," had a far smarter and more attractive dress.

    "In sanguyn and in perse he clad was al,
    Lined with taffata and with sendal."

Taffeta and silk, of crimson and sky-blue colour, must have given an
imposing appearance to this worthy gentleman, who, resembling many
later doctors in his disuse of the Bible, resembled them also in his
love of fees.

    "And yit he was but esy of dispence,
    He kepte that he won in pestelence;
    For gold in physik is a cordial;
    Therefore he lovede gold in special."

Amongst our more celebrated and learned English physicians was John
Phreas, born about the commencement of the fifteenth century, and
educated at Oxford, where he obtained a fellowship on the foundation
of Balliol College. His M. D. degree he obtained in Padua, and the
large fortune he made by the practice of physic was also acquired in
Italy. He was a poet and an accomplished scholar. Some of his epistles
in MS. are still preserved in the Balliol Library and at the Bodleian.
His translation of Diodorus Siculus, dedicated to Paul II., procured
for him from that pontiff the fatal gift of an English bishopric. A
disappointed candidate for the same preferment is said to have
poisoned him before the day appointed for his consecration.

Of Thomas Linacre, successively physician to Henry VII., Henry VIII.,
Edward VI., and Princess Mary, the memory is still green amongst men.
At his request, in conjunction with the representations of John
Chambre, Fernandus de Victoria, Nicholas Halswell, John Fraunces,
Robert Yaxley (physicians), and Cardinal Wolsey, Henry VIII. granted
letters patent, establishing the College of Physicians, and conferring
on its members the sole privilege of practicing, and admitting persons
to practice, within the city, and a circuit of seven miles. The
college also was empowered to license practitioners throughout the
kingdom, save such as were graduates of Oxford and Cambridge--who were
to be exempt from the jurisdiction of the new college, save within
London and its precincts. Linacre was the first President of the
College of Physicians. The meetings of the learned corporation were
held at Linacre's private house, No. 5, Knight-Rider Street, Doctors'
Commons. This house (on which the Physician's arms, granted by
Christopher Barker, Garter King-at-arms, Sept. 20, 1546, may still be
seen,) was bequeathed to the college by Linacre, and long remained
their property and abode. The original charter of the brotherhood
states: "Before this period a great multitude of ignorant persons, of
whom the greater part had no insight into physic, nor into any other
kind of learning--some could not even read the letters and the
book--so far forth, that common artificers, as smiths, weavers and
women, boldly and accustomably took upon them great cures, to the high
displeasure of God, great infamy of the Faculty, and the grievous
hurt, damage, and destruction of many of the king's liege people."

Linacre died in the October of 1524. Caius, writing his epitaph,
concludes, "Fraudes dolosque mire perosus, fidus amicis, omnibus juxta
charus; aliquot annos antequam obierat Presbyter factus; plenus annes,
ex hac vita migravit, multum desideratus." His motive for taking holy
orders towards the latter part of his life is unknown. Possibly he
imagined the sacerdotal garb would be a secure and comfortable
clothing in the grave. Certainly he was not a profound theologian. A
short while before his death he read the New Testament for the first
time, when so great was his astonishment at finding the rules of
Christians widely at variance with their practice, that he threw the
sacred volume from him in a passion, and exclaimed, "Either this is
not the gospel, or we are not Christians."

Of the generation next succeeding Linacre's was John Kaye, or Key (or
Caius, as it has been long pedantically spelt). Like Linacre (the
elegant writer and intimate friend of Erasmus), Caius is associated
with letters not less than medicine. Born of a respectable Norfolk
family, Caius raised, on the foundation of Gonvil Hall, the college in
the University of Cambridge that bears his name--to which Eastern
Counties' men do mostly resort. Those who know Cambridge remember the
quaint humour with which, in obedience to the founder's will, the
gates of Caius are named. As a president of the College of Physicians,
Caius was a zealous defender of the rights of his order. It has been
suggested that Shakespeare's Dr. Caius, in "The Merry Wives of
Windsor," was produced in resentment towards the president, for his
excessive fervor against the surgeons.

Caius terminated his laborious and honourable career on July the 29th,
1573, in the sixty-third year of his age.[2] He was buried in his
college chapel, in a tomb constructed some time before his decease,
and marked with the brief epitaph--"Fui Caius." In the same year in
which this physician of Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth died, was born
Theodore Turquet de Mayerne, Baron Aulbone of France, and Sir Theodore
Mayerne in England. Of Mayerne mention will be made in various places
of these pages. There is some difficulty in ascertaining to how many
crowned heads this lucky courtier was appointed physician. After
leaving France and permanently fixing himself in England, he kept up
his connection with the French, so that the list of his
monarch-patients may be said to comprise two French and three English
sovereigns--Henry IV. and Louis XIII. of France, and James I., Charles
I., and Charles II. of England. Mayerne died at Chelsea, in the
eighty-second year of his age, on the 15th of March, 1655. Like John
Hunter, he was buried in the church of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields. His
library went to the College of Physicians, and his wealth to his only
daughter, who was married to the Marquis of Montpouvillon. Though
Mayerne was the most eminent physician of his time, his prescriptions
show that his enlightenment was not superior to the prevailing
ignorance of the period. He recommended a monthly excess of wine and
food as a fine stimulant to the system. His treatise on Gout, written
in French, and translated into English (1676) by Charles II.'s
physician in ordinary, Dr. Thomas Sherley, recommends a clumsy and
inordinate administration of violent drugs. Calomel he habitually
administered in scruple doses. Sugar of lead he mixed largely in his
conserves; pulverized human bones he was very fond of prescribing; and
the principal ingredient in his gout-powder was "raspings of a human
skull unburied." But his sweetest compound was his "Balsam of Bats,"
strongly recommended as an unguent for hypochondriacal persons, into
which entered adders, bats, suckling whelps, earth-worms, hog's
grease, the marrow of a stag, and the thigh-bone of an ox. After such
a specimen of the doctor's skill, possibly the reader will not care to
study his receipts for canine madness, communicated to the Royal
Society in 1687, or his "Excellent and well-approved Receipts and
Experiments in Cookery, with the best way of Preserving." Nor will the
reader be surprised to learn that the great physician had a firm
belief in the efficacy of amulets and charms.

  [2] In Dr. Moussett's "Health's Improvement; or Rules concerning Food"
  is a curious passage relating to this eminent physician's decay.

But the ignorance and superstition of which Mayerne was the
representative were approaching the close of their career; and Sir
Theodore's court celebrity and splendour were to become contemptible
by the side of the scientific achievements of a contemporary. The
grave closed over Mayerne in 1655; but in the December of 1652, the
College of Physicians had erected in their hall a statue of Harvey,
who died on the third of June, 1657, aged seventy-nine years.

    "The circling streams, once thought but pools of blood
    (Whether life's fuel, or the body's food),
    From dark oblivion Harvey's name shall save."

Aubrey says of Harvey--"He was not tall, but of the lowest stature;
round-faced, olivaster (waintscott) complexion; little eie--round,
very black, full of spirit; his haire was black as a raven, but quite
white twenty years before he dyed. I remember he was wont to drink
coffee, which he and his brother Eliab did, before coffee-houses were
in fashion in London. He was, as all the rest of his brothers, very
cholerique; and in his younger days wore a dagger (as the fashion then
was); but this doctor would be apt to draw out his dagger upon every
slight occasion. He rode on _horse-back with a foot-cloath to visit
his patients, his man following on foot, as the fashion then was, was
very decent, now quite discontinued_."

Harvey's discovery dates a new era in medical and surgical science.
Its influence on scientific men, not only as a stepping-stone to
further discoveries, but as a power rousing in all quarters a spirit
of philosophic investigation, was immediately perceptible. A new class
of students arose, before whom the foolish dreams of medical
superstition and the darkness of empiricism slowly disappeared.

Of the physicians[3] of what may be termed the Elizabethan era, beyond
all others the most sagacious and interesting, is William Bulleyn. He
belongs to a bevy of distinguished Eastern Counties' physicians. Dr.
Butts, Henry VIII.'s physician, mentioned in Strype's "Life of
Cranmer," and made celebrated amongst doctors by Shakespeare's "Henry
the Eighth," belonged to an honourable and gentle family sprinkled
over Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire. The butcher king knighted
him by the style of William Butts of Norfolk. Caius was born at
Norwich; and the eccentric William Butler, of whom Mayerne, Aubrey,
and Fuller tell fantastic stories, was born at Ipswich, about the year

  [3] To the acquirements of the Elizabethan physicians in every
  department of learning, _save_ the sciences immediately concerning
  their own profession, Lord Bacon bears emphatic testimony--"For you
  shall have of them antiquaries, poets, humanists, statesmen,
  merchants, divines."

William Bulleyn was born in the isle of Ely; but it is with the
eastern division of the county of Suffolk that his name is especially
associated. Sir William Bulleyn, the Sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk
in the fifteenth year of Henry VII., and grandfather of the
unfortunate Anne Boleyn, was one of the magnates of the doctor's
family--members of which are still to be found in Ipswich and other
parts of East Anglia, occupying positions of high respectability. In
the reigns of Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth, no one ranked higher
than William Bulleyn as botanist and physician. The record of his
acuteness and learning is found in his numerous works, which are
amongst the most interesting prose writings of the Elizabethan era. If
Mr. Bohn, who has already done so much to render old and neglected
authors popular, would present the public with a well-edited reprint
of Bulleyn's works, he would make a valuable addition to the services
he has already conferred on literature.

After receiving a preliminary education in the University of
Cambridge, Bulleyn enlarged his mind by extended travel, spending much
time in Germany and Scotland. During the reign of Queen Mary he
practiced in Norwich; but he moved to Blaxhall, in Suffolk (of which
parish it is believed his brother was for some years rector). Alluding
to his wealthy friend, Sir Thomas Rushe, of Oxford, he says, with a
pun, "I myself did know a Rushe, growing in the fenne side, by Orford,
in Suffolke, that might have spent three hundred marks by year. Was
not this a _rush_ of estimation? A fewe sutche rushes be better than
many great trees or bushes. But thou doste not know that countrey,
where sometyme I did dwell, at a place called Blaxall, neere to that
_Rushe Bushe_. I would all rushes within this realme were as riche in
value." (The ancient family still maintain their connection with the
county.) Speaking of the rushes near Orford, in Suffolk, and about the
isle of Ely, Bulleyn says, "The playne people make mattes and
horse-collars of the greater rushes, and of the smaller they make
lightes or candles for the winter. Rushes that growe upon dry groundes
be good to strewe in halles, chambers, and galleries, to walk
upon--defending apparell, as traynes of gownes and kirtles, from the

He tells of the virtues of Suffolk sage (a herb that the nurses of
that county still believe in as having miraculous effects, when
administered in the form of "sage-tea"). Of Suffolk hops (now but
little grown in the county) he mentions in terms of high
praise--especially of those grown round Framlingham Castle, and "the
late house of nunnes at Briziarde." "I know in many places of the
country of Suffolke, where they brew theyr beere with hoppes that
growe upon theyr owne groundes, as in a place called Briziarde, near
an old famous castle called Framingham, and in many other places of
the country." Of the peas of Orford the following mention is
made:--"In a place called Orforde, in Suffolke, betwene the haven and
the mayne sea, wheras never plow came, nor natural earth was, but
stones onely, infinite thousand ships loden in that place, there did
pease grow, whose roots were more than iii fadome long, and the coddes
did grow uppon clusters like the keys of ashe trees, bigger than
fitches, and less than the fyeld peason, very sweete to eat upon, and
served many pore people dwelling there at hand, which els should have
perished for honger, the scarcity of bread was so great. In so much
that the playne pore people did make very much of akornes; and a
sickness of a strong fever did sore molest the commons that yere, the
like whereof was never heard of there. Now, whether th' occasion of
these peason, in providence of God, came through some shipwracke with
much misery, or els by miracle, I am not able to determine thereof;
but sowen by man's hand they were not, nor like other pease."[4]

  [4] The tradition of this timely and unaccountable growth of peas
  still exists amongst the peasants in the neighbourhood of Orford. J.
  C. J.

In the same way one has in the Doctor's "Book of Simples" pleasant
gossip about the more choice productions of the garden and of
commerce, showing that horticulture must have been far more advanced
at that time than is generally supposed, and that the luxuries
imported from foreign countries were largely consumed throughout the
country. Pears, apples, peaches, quinces, cherries, grapes, raisins,
prunes, barberries, oranges, medlars, raspberries and strawberries,
spinage, ginger, and lettuces are the good things thrown upon the

Of pears, the author says: "There is a kynd of peares growing in the
city of Norwich, called the black freere's peare, very delicious and
pleasaunt, and no lesse profitable unto a hoate stomacke, as I heard
it reported by a ryght worshipful phisicion of the same city, called
Doctour Manfield." Other pears, too, are mentioned, "sutch as have
names as peare Robert, peare John, bishop's blessyngs, with other
prety names. The red warden is of greate vertue, conserved, roasted
or baken to quench choller." The varieties of the apple especially
mentioned are "the costardes, the greene cotes, the pippen, the queene

Grapes are spoken of as cultivated and brought to a high state of
perfection in Suffolk and other parts of the country. Hemp is
humorously called "gallow grasse or neckweede." The heartesease, or
paunsie, is mentioned by its quaint old name, "three faces in one
hodde." Parsnips, radishes, and carrots are offered for sale. In the
neighborhood of London, large quantities of these vegetables were
grown for the London market; but Bulleyn thinks little of them,
describing them as "more plentiful than profytable." Of figs--"Figges
be good agaynst melancholy, and the falling evil, to be eaten. Figges,
nuts, and herb grace do make a sufficient medicine against poison or
the pestilence. Figges make a good gargarism to cleanse the throates."

The double daisy is mentioned as growing in gardens. Daisy tea was
employed in gout and rheumatism--as herb tea of various sorts still is
by the poor of our provinces. With daisy tea (or _bellis-tea_) "I,
Bulleyn, did recover one Belliser, not onely from a spice of the
palsie, but also from the quartan. And afterwards, the same Belliser,
more unnatural than a viper, sought divers ways to have murthered me,
taking part against me with my mortal enemies, accompanied with bloudy
ruffins for that bloudy purpose." Parsley, also, was much used in
medicine. And as it was the custom for the doctor to grow his own
herbs in his garden, we may here see the origin of the old nursery
tradition of little babies being brought by the doctor from the
parsley bed.[5]

  [5] The classical reader who is acquainted with the significations of
  the Greek ???????, will not be at a loss to account for this
  medicinal use of the crisp green leaves.

Scarcely less interesting than "The Book of Simples" is Bulleyn's
"Dialogue betweene Soarenes and Chirurgi." It opens with an honourable
mention of many distinguished physicians and chirurgians. Dr. John
Kaius is praised as a worthy follower of Linacre. Dr. Turner's "booke
of herbes will always grow greene." Sir Thomas Eliot's "'castel of
health' cannot decay." Thomas Faire "is not deade, but is transformed
and chaunged into a new nature immortal." Androwe Borde, the father of
"Merry Andrews," "wrote also wel of physicke to profit the common
wealth withal." Thomas Pannel, the translator of the Schola
Saternitana, "hath play'd ye good servant to the commonwealth in
translating good bookes of physicke." Dr. William Kunyngham "hath wel
travailed like a good souldiour agaynst the ignorant enemy." Numerous
other less eminent practitioners are mentioned--such as Buns, Edwards,
Hatcher, Frere, Langton, Lorkin, Wendy--educated at Cambridge; Gee and
Simon Ludford, of Oxford; Huyck (the Queen's physician), Bartley,
Carr; Masters, John Porter, of Norwich; Edmunds of York, Robert
Baltrop, and Thomas Calfe, apothecary.

"Soft chirurgians," says Bulleyn, "make foul sores." He was a bold and
courageous one. "Where the wound is," runs the Philippine proverb,
"the plaster must be." Bulleyn was of the same opinion; but, in
dressing a tender part, the surgeon is directed to have "a gladsome
countenance," because "the paciente should not be greatly troubled."
For bad surgeons he has not less hostility than he has for

        "Petty Foggers, in cases of the law,
    Who make mountaynes of molhils, and trees of a straw."

The state of medicine in Elizabeth's reign may be discovered by a
survey of the best recipes of this physician, who, in sagacity and
learning, was far superior to Sir Theodore Mayerne, his successor by a
long interval.

"_An Embrocation._--An embrocation is made after this manner:--?.
Of a decoction of mallowes, vyolets, barly, quince seed, lettice
leaves, one pint; of barly meale, two ounces; of oyle of vyolets and
roses, of each, an ounce and half; of butter, one ounce; and then
seeth them all together till they be like a broathe, puttyng thereto,
at the ende, four yolkes of eggs; and the maner of applying them is
with peeces of cloth, dipped in the aforesaid decoction, being
actually hoate."

"_A Good Emplaster._--You shall mak a plaster with these medicines
following, which the great learned men themselves have used unto their
pacientes:--?. Of hulled beanes, or beane flower that is
without the brane, one pound; of mallow-leaves, two handfuls; seethe
them in lye, til they be well sodden, and afterwarde let them be
stamped and incorporate with four ounces of meale of lint or flaxe,
two ounces of meale of lupina; and forme thereof a plaster with goat's
grease, for this openeth the pores, avoideth the matter, and
comforteth also the member; but if the place, after a daye or two of
the application, fall more and more to blackness, it shall be
necessary to go further, even to sacrifying and incision of the

Pearl electuaries and pearl mixtures were very fashionable medicines
with the wealthy down to the commencement of the eighteenth century.
Here we have Bulleyn's recipe for

"_Electuarium de Gemmis._--Take two drachms of white perles; two
little peeces of saphyre; jacinth, corneline, emerauldes, granettes,
of each an ounce; setwal, the sweate roote doronike, the rind of
pomecitron, mace, basel seede, of each two drachms; of redde corall,
amber, shaving of ivory, of each two drachms; rootes both of white and
red behen, ginger, long peper, spicknard, folium indicum, saffron,
cardamon, of each one drachm; of troch, diarodon, lignum aloes, of
each half a small handful; cinnamon, galinga, zurubeth, which is a
kind of setwal, of each one drachm and a half; thin pieces of gold and
sylver, of each half a scruple; of musk, half a drachm. Make your
electuary with honey emblici, which is the fourth kind of mirobalans
with roses, strained in equall partes, as much as will suffice. This
healeth cold diseases of ye braine, harte, stomack. It is a medicine
proved against the tremblynge of the harte, faynting and souning, the
weaknes of the stomacke, pensivenes, solitarines. Kings and noble men
have used this for their comfort. It causeth them to be bold-spirited,
the body to smell wel, and ingendreth to the face good coloure."

Truly a medicine for kings and noblemen! During the railway panic in
'46 an unfortunate physician prescribed for a nervous lady:--

    ?. Great Western, 350 shares.
    Eastern Counties}
    North Middlesex } a--a 1050
    Mft. Haust. 1. Om. noc. cap.

This direction to a delicate gentlewoman, to swallow nightly two
thousand four hundred and fifty railway shares, was regarded as
evidence of the physician's insanity, and the management of his
private affairs was forthwith taken out of his hands. But assuredly it
was as rational a prescription as Bulleyn's "Electuarium de Gemmis."

"_A Precious Water._--Take nutmegges, the roote called doronike, which
the apothecaries have, setwall, gatangall, mastike, long peper, the
bark of pomecitron, of mellon, sage, bazel, marjorum, dill, spiknard,
wood of aloes, cubebe, cardamon, called graynes of paradise, lavender,
peniroyall, mintes, sweet catamus, germander, enulacampana, rosemary,
stichados, and quinance, of eche lyke quantity; saffron, an ounce and
half; the bone of a harte's heart grated, cut, and stamped; and beate
your spyces grossly in a morter. Put in ambergrice and musk, of each
half a drachm. Distil this in a simple aqua vit\xE6, made with strong
ale, or sackeleyes and aniseedes, not in a common styll, but in a
serpentine; to tell the vertue of this water against colde, phlegme,
dropsy, heavines of minde, comming of melancholy, I cannot well at
thys present, the excellent virtues thereof are sutch, and also the
tyme were to long."

The cure of cancers has been pretended and attempted by a numerous
train of knaves and simpletons, as well as men of science. In the
Elizabethan time this most terrible of maladies was thought to be
influenced by certain precious waters--_i. e._ precious messes.

"Many good men and women," says Bulleyn, "wythin thys realme have
dyvers and sundry medicines for the canker, and do help their
neighboures that bee in perill and daunger whyche be not onely poore
and needy, having no money to spende in chirurgie. But some do well
where no chirurgians be neere at hand; in such cases, as I have said,
many good gentlemen and ladyes have done no small pleasure to poore
people; as that excellent knyght, and worthy learned man, Syr Thomas
Eliot, whose works be immortall. Syr William Parris, of
Cambridgeshire, whose cures deserve prayse; Syr William Gascoigne, of
Yorkshire, that helped many soare eyen; and the Lady Tailor, of
Huntingdonshire, and the Lady Darrell of Kent, had many precious
medicines to comfort the sight, and to heale woundes withal, and were
well seene in herbes.

"The commonwealth hath great want of them, and of theyr medicines,
whych if they had come into my handes, they should have bin written in
my booke. Among al other there was a knight, a man of great worshyp, a
Godly hurtlesse gentleman, which is departed thys lyfe, hys name is
Syr Anthony Heveningham. This gentleman learned a water to kyll a
canker of hys owne mother, whych he used all hys lyfe, to the greate
helpe of many men, women, and chyldren."

This water "learned by Syr Anthony Heveningham" was, Bulleyn states on
report, composed thus:--

"_Precious Water to Cure a Canker_:--Take dove's foote, a herbe so
named, Arkangell ivy wyth the berries, young red bryer toppes, and
leaves, whyte roses, theyr leaves and buds, red sage, selandyne, and
woodbynde, of eche lyke quantity, cut or chopped and put into pure
cleane whyte wyne, and clarified hony. Then breake into it alum glasse
and put in a little of the pouder of aloes hepatica. Destill these
together softly in a limbecke of glasse or pure tin; if not, then in
limbecke wherein aqua vit\xE6 is made. Keep this water close. It will not
onely kyll the canker, if it be duly washed therewyth; but also two
droppes dayly put into the eye wyll sharp the syght, and breake the
pearle and spottes, specially if it be dropped in with a little fenell
water, and close the eys after."

There is reason to wish that all empirical applications, for the cure
of cancer, were as harmless as this.

The following prescription for pomatum differs but little from the
common domestic receipts for lip-salve in use at the present day:--

"_Sickness._--How make you pomatum?

"_Health._--Take the fat of a young kyd one pound, temper it with the
water of musk roses by the space of foure dayes; then take five
apples, and dresse them, and cut them in pieces, and lard them with
cloves, then boyle them altogeather in the same water of roses, in one
vessel of glasse; set within another vessel; let it boyle on the fyre
so long until all be white; then wash them with ye same water of muske
roses; this done, kepe it in a glass; and if you wil have it to smel
better, then you must put in a little civet or musk, or of them both,
and ambergrice. Gentilwomen doe use this to make theyr faces smoth and
fayre, for it healeth cliftes in the lyppes, or in any other place of
the hands and face."

The most laughable of all Bulleyn's receipts is one in which, for the
cure of a child suffering under a certain nervous malady, he
prescribes "a smal yong mouse rosted." To some a "rosted mouse" may
seem more palatable than the compound in which snails are the
principal ingredient. "Snayles," says Bulleyn, "broken from the
shelles and sodden in whyte wyne with oyle and sugar are very holsome,
because they be hoat and moist for the straightnes of the lungs and
cold cough. Snails stamped with camphory, and leven wil draw forth
prycks in the flesh." So long did this belief in the virtue of snails
retain its hold on Suffolk, that the writer of these pages remembers a
venerable lady (whose memory is cherished for her unostentatious
benevolence and rare worth) who for years daily took a cup of snail
broth, for the benefit of a weak chest.

One minor feature of Bulleyn's works is the number of receipts given
in them for curing the bites of mad dogs. The good man's horror of
Suffolk witches is equal to his admiration of Suffolk dairies. Of the
former he says, "I dyd know wythin these few yeres a false witch,
called M. Line, in a towne of Suffolke called Derham, which with a
payre of ebene beades, and certain charmes, had no small resort of
foolysh women, when theyr chyldren were syck. To thys lame wytch they
resorted, to have the fairie charmed and the spyrite conjured away;
through the prayers of the ebene beades, whych she said came from the
Holy Land, and were sanctifyed at Rome. Through whom many goodly cures
were don, but my chaunce was to burn ye said beades. Oh that damnable
witches be suffred to live unpunished and so many blessed men burned;
witches be more hurtful in this realm than either quarten or
pestilence. I know in a towne called Kelshall in Suffolke, a witch,
whose name was M. Didge, who with certain _Ave Marias_ upon her ebene
beades, and a waxe candle, used this charme for S. Anthonies fyre,
having the sycke body before her, holding up her hande, saying--

    'There came two angels out of the North-east,
    One brought fyre, the other brought frost,--
        Out fyre, and in frost!'

"I could reherse an hundred of sutch knackes, of these holy gossips.
The fyre take them all, for they be God's enemyes."

On leaving Blaxhall in Suffolk, Bulleyn migrated to the north. For
many years he practised with success at Durham. At Shields he owned a
considerable property. Sir Thomas, Baron of Hilton, Commander of
Tinmouth Castle under Philip and Mary, was his patron and intimate
friend. His first book, entitled "Government of Health," he dedicated
to Sir Thomas Hilton; but the MS., unfortunately, was lost in a
shipwreck before it was printed. Disheartened by this loss, and the
death of his patron, Bulleyn bravely set to work in London, to "revive
his dead book." Whilst engaged on the laborious work of recomposition,
he was arraigned on a grave charge of murder. "One William Hilton," he
says, telling his own story, "brother to the sayd Syr Thomas Hilton,
accused me of no less cryme then of most cruel murder of his owne
brother, who dyed of a fever (sent onely of God) among his owne
frends, fynishing his lyfe in the Christian fayth. But this William
Hilton caused me to be arraigned before that noble Prince, the Duke's
Grace of Norfolke, for the same; to this end to have had me dyed
shamefully; that with the covetous Ahab he might have, through false
witnes and perjury, obtayned by the counsel of Jezabell, a wineyard,
by the pryce of blood. But it is wrytten, _Testis mendax peribit_, a
fals witnes shal com to naught; his wicked practise was wisely espyed,
his folly deryded, his bloudy purpose letted, and fynallye I was with
justice delivered."

This occurred in 1560. His foiled enemy afterwards endeavoured to get
him assassinated; but he again triumphed over the machinations of his
adversary. Settling in London, he obtained a large practice, though he
was never enrolled amongst the physicians of the college. His leisure
time he devoted to the composition of his excellent works. To the last
he seems to have kept up a close connection with the leading Eastern
Counties families. His "Comfortable Regiment and Very Wholsome order
against the moste perilous Pleurisie," was dedicated to the Right
Worshipful Sir Robart Wingfelde of Lethryngham, Knight.

William Bulleyn died in London, on the 7th of January, 1576, and was
buried in the church of St. Giles's, Cripplegate, in the same tomb
wherein his brother Richard had been laid thirteen years before; and
wherein John Fox, the martyrologist, was interred eleven years later.



Amongst the physicians of the seventeenth century were three
Brownes--father, son, and grandson. The father wrote the "Religio
Medici," and the "Pseudoxia Epidemica"--a treatise on vulgar errors.
The son was the traveller, and author of "Travels in Hungaria, Servia,
Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thessaly, Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola,
Friuli &c.," and the translator of the Life of Themistocles in the
English version of "Plutarch's Lives" undertaken by Dryden. He was
also a physician of Bartholomew's, and a favourite physician of
Charles II., who on one occasion said of him, "Doctor Browne is as
learned as any of the college, and as well bred as any of the court."
The grandson was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and, like his father
and grandfather, a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians; but he
was by no means worthy of his distinguished progenitors. Alike unknown
in literature, science, and art, he was a miserable sot, and was
killed by a fall from his horse, between Southfleet and Gravesend,
when in a state of intoxication. He was thus cut off in the July of
1710, having survived his father not quite two years.

The author of the "Religio Medici" enjoys as good a chance of an
immortality of fame as any of his contemporaries. The child of a
London merchant, who left him a comfortable fortune, Thomas Browne was
from the beginning of his life (Oct. 19, 1605) to its close (Oct. 19,
1682), well placed amongst the wealthier of those who occupied the
middle way of life. From Winchester College, where his schoolboy days
were spent, he proceeded to the University of Oxford, becoming a
member of Broadgates Hall, i.e., Pembroke College--the college of
Blackstone, Shenstone, and Samuel Johnson. After taking his B.A. and
M.A. degrees, he turned his attention to medicine, and for some time
practised as a physician in Oxfordshire. Subsequently to this he
travelled over different parts of Europe, visiting France, Italy, and
Holland, and taking a degree of Doctor in Physic at Leyden. Returning
to England, he settled at Norwich, married a rich and beautiful
Norfolk lady, named Mileham; and for the rest of his days resided in
that ancient city, industriously occupied with an extensive practice,
the pursuits of literature, and the education of his children. When
Charles II. visited Norwich in 1671, Thomas Browne, M.D., was knighted
by the royal hand. This honour, little as a man of letters would now
esteem it, was highly prized by the philosopher. He thus alludes to it
in his "Antiquities of Norwich"--"And it is not for some wonder, that
Norwich having been for so long a time so considerable a place, so few
kings have visited it; of which number among so many monarchs since
the Conquest we find but four; viz., King Henry III., Edward I.,
Queen Elizabeth, and our gracious sovereign now reigning, King Charles
II., of which I had a particular reason to take notice."

Amongst the Norfolk people Sir Thomas was very popular, his suave and
unobtrusive manners securing him many friends, and his philosophic
moderation of temper saving him from ever making an enemy. The honour
conferred on him was a subject of congratulation--even amongst his
personal friends, when his back was turned. The Rev. John Whitefoot,
M.A., Rector of Heigham, in Norfolk, in his "Minutes for the Life of
Sir Thomas Browne," says, that had it been his province to preach his
funeral sermon, he should have taken his text from an uncanonical
book--"I mean that of Syracides, or Jesus, the son of Syrach, commonly
called Ecclesiasticus, which, in the 38th chapter, and the first
verse, hath these words, 'Honour a physician with the honour due unto
him; for the uses which you may have of him, for the Lord hath created
him; for of the Most High cometh healing, and he shall receive Honour
of the King' (as ours did that of knighthood from the present King,
when he was in this city). 'The skill of the physician shall lift up
his head, and in the sight of great men shall he be in admiration'; so
was this worthy person by the greatest man of this nation that ever
came into this country, by whom also he was frequently and personally

Widely and accurately read in ancient and modern literature, and
possessed of numerous accomplishments, Sir Thomas Browne was in
society diffident almost to shyness. "His modesty," says Whitefoot,
"was visible in a natural habitual blush, which was increased upon the
least occasion, and oft discovered without any observable cause. Those
who knew him only by the briskness of his writings were astonished at
his gravity of aspect and countenance, and freedom from loquacity." As
was his manner, so was his dress. "In his habit of cloathing he had an
aversion to all finery, and affected plainness both in fashion and

The monuments of Sir Thomas and his lady are in the church of St.
Peter's, Mancroft, Norwich, where they were buried. Some years since
Sir Thomas Browne's tomb was opened for the purpose of submitting it
to repair, when there was discovered on his coffin a plate, of which
Dr. Diamond, who happened at the time to be in Norwich, took two
rubbings, one of which is at present in the writer's custody. It bears
the following interesting inscription:--"Amplissimus vir Dr. Thomas
Browne Miles Medicin\xE6 Dr. Annos Natus et Denatus 19 Die Mensis Anno
Dmi., 1682--hoc loculo indormiens corporis spagyrici pulvere plumbum
in aurum convertit."

The "Religio Medici" not only created an unprecedented sensation by
its erudition and polished style, but it shocked the nervous guardians
of orthodoxy by its boldness of inquiry. It was assailed for its
infidelity and scientific heresies. According to Coleridge's view of
the "Religio Medici," Sir Thomas Browne, "a fine mixture of humourist,
genius, and pedant," was a Spinosist without knowing it. "Had he,"
says the poet, "lived nowadays, he would probably have been a very
ingenious and bold infidel in his real opinions, though the kindness
of his nature would have kept him aloof from vulgar, prating,
obtrusive infidelity."

Amongst the adverse critics of the "Religio Medici" was the eccentric,
gallant, brave, credulous, persevering, frivolous, Sir Kenelm Digby. A
M\xE6cenas, a Sir Philip Sydney, a Dr. Dee, a Beau Fielding, and a Dr.
Kitchener, all in one, this man is chief of those extravagant
characters that astonish the world at rare intervals, and are found
nowhere except in actual life. No novelist of the most advanced
section of the idealistic school would dare to create such a personage
as Sir Kenelm. The eldest son of the ill-fated Sir Everard Digby, he
was scarcely three years old when his father atoned on the scaffold
for his share in the gunpowder treason. Fortunately a portion of the
family estate was entailed, so Sir Kenelm, although the offspring of
attainted blood, succeeded to an ample revenue of about \xA33000 a-year.
In 1618 (when only in his fifteenth year) he entered Gloucester Hall,
now Worcester College, Oxford. In 1621 he commenced foreign travel. He
attended Charles I. (then Prince of Wales) at the Court of Madrid; and
returning to England in 1623, was knighted by James I. at
Hinchinbroke, the house of Lord Montague, on the 23rd of October in
that year. From that period he was before the world as courtier, cook,
lover, warrior, alchemist, political intriguer, and man of letters. He
became a gentleman of the bedchamber, and commissioner of the navy. In
1628 he obtained a naval command, and made his brilliant expedition
against the Venetians and Algerians, whose galleys he routed off
Scanderon. This achievement is celebrated by his client and friend,
Ben Jonson:--

    "Though, happy Muse, thou know my Digby well,
    Yet read in him these lines: he doth excel
    In honour, courtesy, and all the parts
    Court can call hero, or man could call his arts.
    He's prudent, valiant, just, and temperate;
    In him all virtue is beheld in state;
    And he is built like some imperial room
    For that to dwell in, and be still at home.
    His breast is a brave palace, a broad street,
    Where all heroic, ample thoughts do meet;
    Where nature such a large survey hath ta'en,
    As other souls, to his, dwelt in a lane:
    Witness his action done at Scanderoon
    Upon his birthday, the eleventh of June."

Returning from war, he became once more the student, presenting in
1632 the library he had purchased of his friend Allen, to the Bodleian
Library, and devoting his powers to the mastery of controversial
divinity. Having in 1636 entered the Church of Rome, he resided for
some time abroad. Amongst his works at this period were his
"Conference with a Lady about the Choice of Religion," published in
1638, and his "Letters between Lord George Digby and Sir Kenelm Digby,
Knt., concerning Religion," not published till 1651. It is difficult
to say to which he was most devoted--his King, his Church, literature,
or his beautiful and frail wife, Venetia Stanley, whose charms
fascinated the many admirers on whom she distributed her favours, and
gained her Sir Kenelm for a husband when she was the discarded
mistress of Richard, Earl of Dorset. She had borne the Earl children,
so his Lordship on parting settled on her an annuity of \xA3500 per
annum. After her marriage, this annuity not being punctually paid, Sir
Kenelm sued the Earl for it. Well might Mr. Lodge say, "By the
frailties of that lady much of the noblest blood of England was
dishonoured, for she was the daughter of Sir Edward Stanley, Knight
of the Bath, grandson of the great Edward, Earl of Derby, by Lucy,
daughter and co-heir of Thomas Percy, Earl of Northumberland." Such
was her unfair fame. "The _fair fame_ left to Posterity of that Truly
Noble Lady, the Lady Venetia Digby, late wife of Sir Kenelm Digby,
Knight, a Gentleman Absolute in all Numbers," is embalmed in the clear
verses of Jonson. Like Helen, she is preserved to us by the sacred

    "Draw first a cloud, all save her neck,
    And out of that make day to break;
    Till like her face it do appear,
    And men may think all light rose there."

In other and more passionate terms Sir Kenelm painted the same charms
in his "Private Memoirs."

But if Sir Kenelm was a chivalric husband, he was not a less loyal
subject. How he avenged in France the honour of his King, on the body
of a French nobleman, may be learnt in a curious tract, "Sir Kenelme
Digby's Honour Maintained. By a most courageous combat which he fought
with Lord Mount le Ros, who by base and slanderous words reviled our
King. Also the true relation how he went to the King of France, who
kindly intreated him, and sent two hundred men to guard him so far as
Flanders. And now he is returned from Banishment, and to his eternall
honour lives in England."

Sir Kenelm's "Observations upon Religio Medici," are properly
characterized by Coleridge as those of a pedant. They were written
whilst he was kept a prisoner, by order of the Parliament, in
Winchester House; and the author had the ludicrous folly to assert
that he both read the "Religio Medici" through for the first time,
and wrote his bulky criticism upon it, in less than twenty-four hours.
Of all the claims that have been advanced by authors for the
reputation of being rapid workmen, this is perhaps the most audacious.
For not only was the task one that at least would require a month, but
the impudent assertion that it was accomplished in less than a day and
night was contradicted by the title-page, in which "the observations"
are described as "occasionally written." Beckford's vanity induced him
to boast that "Vathek" was composed at one sitting of two days and
three nights; but this statement--outrageous falsehood though it
be--was sober truth compared with Sir Kenelm's brag.

But of all Sir Kenelm's vagaries, his Sympathetic Powder was the
drollest. The composition, revealed after the Knight's death by his
chemist and steward, George Hartman, was effected in the following
manner:--English vitriol was dissolved in warm water; this solution
was filtered, and then evaporated till a thin scum appeared on the
surface. It was then left undisturbed and closely covered in a cool
place for two or three days, when fair, green, and large crystals were
evolved. "Spread these crystals," continues the chemist, "abroad in a
large flat earthen dish, and expose them to the heat of the sun in the
dog-days, turning them often, and the sun will calcine them white;
when you see them all white without, beat them grossly, and expose
them again to the sun, securing them from the rain; when they are well
calcined, powder them finely, and expose this powder again to the sun,
turning and stirring it often. Continue this until it be reduced to a
white powder, which put up in a glass, and tye it up close, and keep
it in a dry place."

The virtues of this powder were unfolded by Sir Kenelm, in a French
oration delivered to "a solemn assembly of Nobles and Learned Men at
Montpellier, in France." It cured wounds in the following manner:--If
any piece of a wounded person's apparel, having on it the stain of
blood that had proceeded from the wound, was dipped in water holding
in solution some of this sympathetic powder, the wound of the injured
person would forthwith commence a healing process. It mattered not how
far distant the sufferer was from the scene of operation. Sir Kenelm
gravely related the case of his friend Mr. James Howel, the author of
the "Dendrologia," translated into French by Mons. Baudoin. Coming
accidentally on two of his friends whilst they were fighting a duel
with swords, Howel endeavoured to separate them by grasping hold of
their weapons. The result of this interference was to show the perils

    The man who meddles with cold iron."

His hands were severely cut, insomuch that some four or five days
afterwards, when he called on Sir Kenelm, with his wounds plastered
and bandaged up, he said his surgeons feared the supervention of
gangrene. At Sir Kenelm's request, he gave the knight a garter which
was stained with his blood. Sir Kenelm took it, and without saying
what he was about to do, dipped it in a solution of his powder of
vitriol. Instantly the sufferer started.

"What ails you?" cried Sir Kenelm.

"I know not what ails me," was the answer; "but I find that I feel no
more pain. Methinks that a pleasing kind of freshnesse, as it were a
cold napkin, did spread over my hand, which hath taken away the
inflammation that tormented me before."

"Since that you feel," rejoined Sir Kenelm, "already so good an effect
of my medicament, I advise you to cast away all your plaisters. Only
keep the wound clean, and in moderate temper 'twixt heat and cold."

Mr. Howel went away, sounding the praises of his physician; and the
Duke of Buckingham, hearing what had taken place, hastened to Sir
Kenelm's house to talk about it. The Duke and Knight dined together;
when, after dinner, the latter, to show his guest the wondrous power
of his powder, took the garter out of the solution, and dried it
before the fire. Scarcely was it dry, when Mr. Howel's servant ran in
to say that his master's hand was worse than ever--burning hot, as if
"it were betwixt coales of fire." The messenger was dismissed with the
assurance that ere he reached home his master would be comfortable
again. On the man retiring, Sir Kenelm put the garter back into the
solution--the result of which was instant relief to Mr. Howel. In six
days the wounds were entirely healed. This remarkable case occurred in
London, during the reign of James the First. "King James," says Sir
Kenelm, "required a punctuall information of what had passed touching
this cure; and, after it was done and perfected, his Majesty would
needs know of me how it was done--having drolled with me first (which
he could do with a very good grace) about a magician and sorcerer." On
the promise of inviolable secrecy, Sir Kenelm communicated the secret
to his Majesty; "whereupon his Majesty made sundry proofs, whence he
received singular satisfaction."

The secret was also communicated by Sir Kenelm to Mayerne, through
whom it was imparted to the Duke of Mayerne--"a long time his friend
and protector." After the Duke's death, his surgeon communicated it to
divers people of quality; so that, ere long, every country-barber was
familiar with the discovery. The mention made of Mayerne in the
lecture is interesting, as it settles a point on which Dr. Aikin had
no information; viz.,--Whether Sir Theodore's Barony of Aubonne was
hereditary or acquired? Sir Kenelm says, "A little while after the
Doctor went to France, to see some fair territories that he had
purchased near Geneva, which was the Barony of Aubonne."

For a time the Sympathetic Powder was very generally believed in; and
it doubtless did as much good as harm, by inducing people to throw
from their wounds the abominable messes of grease and irritants which
were then honoured with the name of plaisters. "What is this?" asked
Abernethy, when about to examine a patient with a pulsating tumour,
that was pretty clearly an aneurism.

"Oh! that is a plaister," said the family doctor.

"Pooh!" said Abernethy, taking it off, and pitching it aside.

"That was all very well," said the physician, on describing the
occurrence; "but that 'pooh' took several guineas out of my pocket."

Fashionable as the Sympathetic Powder was for several years, it fell
into complete disrepute in this country before the death of Sir
Kenelm. Hartman, the Knight's attached servant, could, of his own
experience, say nothing more for it than, when dissolved in water, it
was a useful astringent lotion in cases of bleeding from the nose; but
he mentions a certain "Mr. Smith, in the city of Augusta, in Germany,
who told me that he had a great respect for Sir D. K.'s books, and
that he made his sympatheticall powder every year, and did all his
chiefest cures with it in green wounds, with much greater ease to the
patient than if he had used ointments or plaisters."

In 1643 Sir Kenelm Digby was released from the confinement to which he
had been subjected by the Parliament. The condition of his liberty was
that he forthwith retired to the Continent--having previously pledged
his word as a Christian and a gentleman, in no way to act or plot
against the Parliament. In France he became a celebrity of the highest
order. Returning to England with the Restoration, he resided in "the
last fair house westward in the north portico of Covent Garden," and
became the centre of literary and scientific society. He was appointed
a member of the council of the Royal Society, on the incorporation of
that learned body in the year 1663. His death occurred in his
sixty-second year, on the 11th of June, 1665; and his funeral took
place in Christ's Church, within Newgate, where, several years before,
he had raised a splendid tomb to the memory of the lovely and
abandoned Venetia. His epitaph, by the pen of R. Ferrar, is concise,
and not too eulogistic for a monumental inscription:--

    "Under this tomb the matchless Digby lies--
    Digby the great, the valiant, and the wise;
    This age's wonder for his noble parts,
    Skill'd in six tongues, and learned in all the arts.
    Born on the day he died--the Eleventh of June--
    And that day bravely fought at Scanderoon.
    It's rare that one and the same day should be
    His day of birth, and death, and victory."

After his death, with the approval of his son, was published (1669),
"The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie, Kt., Opened:
Whereby is discovered Several ways for making of Metheglin, Sider,
Cherry-Wine, &c.; together with excellent Directions for Cookery: as
also for Preserving, Conserving, Candying, &c." The frontispiece of
this work is a portrait of Sir Kenelm, with a shelf over his head,
adorned with his five principal works, entitled, "Plants," "Sym.
Powder," "His Cookery," "Rects. in Physick, &c.," "Sr. K. Digby of

In Sir Kenelm's receipts for cookery the gastronome would find
something to amuse him, and more to arouse his horror. Minced pies are
made (as they still are amongst the homely of some counties) of
_meat_, raisins, and spices, mixed. Some of the sweet dishes very
closely resemble what are still served on English tables. The potages
are well enough. But the barley-puddings, pear-puddings, and oat-meal
puddings give ill promise to the ear. It is recommended to batter up a
couple of eggs and a lot of brown sugar in a cup of tea;--a not less
impious profanation of the sacred leaves than that committed by the
Highlanders, mentioned by Sir Walter Scott, who, ignorant of the
proper mode of treating a pound of fragrant Bohea, served it up
in--melted butter!



The lives of three physicians--Sydenham, Sir Hans Sloane, and
Heberden--completely bridge over the uncertain period between old
empiricism and modern science. The son of a wealthy Dorsetshire
squire, Sydenham was born in 1624, and received the most important
part of his education in the University of Oxford, where he was
created Bachelor of Medicine 14th April, 1648. Settling in London
about 1661, he was admitted a Licentiate of the Royal College of
Physicians 25th June, 1665. Subsequently he acquired an M.D. degree at
Cambridge, but this step he did not take till 17th May, 1676. He also
studied physic at Montpellier; but it may be questioned if his
professional success was a consequence of his labours in any seat of
learning, so much as a result of that knowledge of the world which he
gained in the Civil war as a captain in the Parliamentary army. It was
he who replied to Sir Richard Blackmore's inquiry after the best
course of study for a medical student to pursue--"Read Don Quixote; it
is a very good book--I read it still." Medical critics have felt it
incumbent on themselves to explain away this memorable answer--attributing
it to the doctor's cynical temper rather than his scepticism with
regard to medicine. When, however, the state of medical science in the
seventeenth century is considered, one has not much difficulty in
believing that the shrewd physician meant exactly what he said. There
is no question but that as a practitioner he was a man of many doubts.
The author of the capital sketch of Sydenham in the "Lives of British
Physicians" says--"At the commencement of his professional life it is
handed down to us by tradition, that it was his ordinary custom, when
consulted by his patients for the first time, to hear attentively the
story of their complaints, and then say, 'Well, I will consider of
your case, and in a few days will order something for you.' But he
soon discovered that this deliberate method of proceeding was not
satisfactory, and that many of the persons so received forgot to come
again; and he was consequently obliged to adopt the usual practice of
prescribing immediately for the diseases of those who sought his
advice." A doctor who feels the need for such deliberation must labour
under considerable perplexity as to the proper treatment of his
patient. But the low opinion he expressed to Blackmore of books as
instructors in medicine, he gave publicly with greater decorum, but
almost as forcibly, in a dedication addressed to Dr. Mapletoft, where
he says, "The medical art could not be learned so well and so surely
as by use and experience; and that he who would pay the nicest and
most accurate attention to the symptoms of distempers would succeed
best in finding out the true means of cure."

Sydenham died in his house, in Pall Mall, on the 29th of December,
1689. In his last years he was a martyr to gout, a malady fast
becoming one of the good things of the past. Dr. Forbes Winslow, in
his "Physic and Physicians"--gives a picture, at the same time painful
and laughable, of the doctor's sufferings. "Sydenham died of the gout;
and in the latter part of his life is described as visited with that
dreadful disorder, and sitting near an open window, on the ground
floor of his house, in St. James's Square, respiring the cool breeze
on a summer's evening, and reflecting, with a serene countenance and
great complacency, on the alleviation to human misery that his skill
in his art enabled him to give. Whilst this divine man was enjoying
one of these delicious reveries, a thief took away from the table,
near to which he was sitting, a silver tankard filled with his
favourite beverage, small beer, in which a sprig of rosemary had been
immersed, and ran off with it. Sydenham was too lame to ring his bell,
and too feeble in his voice to give the alarm."

Heberden, the medical friend of Samuel Johnson, was born in London in
1710, and died on the 17th of May, 1801. Between Sydenham and Heberden
came Sir Hans Sloane, a man ever to be mentioned honourably amongst
those physicians who have contributed to the advancement of science,
and the amelioration of society.

Pope says:--

    "'Tis strange the miser should his cares employ,
    To gain those riches he can ne'er enjoy;
    Is it less strange the prodigal should waste
    His wealth to purchase what he ne'er can taste?
    Not for himself he sees, or hears, or eats,
    Artists must chuse his pictures, music, meats;
    He buys for Topham drawings and designs,
    For Pembroke statues, dirty gods, and coins;
    Rare monkish manuscripts, for Hearne alone,
    And books for Mead, and butterflies for Sloane."
                       Pope's _Moral Essays_, Epistle IV.

Hans Sloane (the seventh and youngest child of Alexander Sloane,
receiver-general of taxes for the county of Down, before and after the
Civil war, and a commissioner of array, after the restoration of
Charles II.) was born at Killileagh in 1660. An Irishman by birth, and
a Scotchman by descent, he exhibited in no ordinary degree the energy
and politeness of either of the sister countries. After a childhood of
extreme delicacy he came to England, and devoted himself to medical
study and scientific investigation. Having passed through a course of
careful labour in London, he visited Paris and Montpellier, and,
returning from the Continent, became the intimate friend of Sydenham.
On the 21st of January, 1685, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal
Society; and on the 12th of April, 1687, he became a Fellow of the
College of Physicians. In the September of the latter year he sailed
to the West Indies, in the character of physician to the Duke of
Albemarle, who had been appointed Governor of Jamaica. His residence
in that quarter of the globe was not of long duration. On the death of
his Grace the doctor attended the Duchess back to England, arriving
once more in London in the July of 1689. From that time he remained in
the capital--his professional career, his social position, and his
scientific reputation being alike brilliant. From 1694 to 1730, he was
a physician of Christ's Hospital. On the 30th of November, 1693, he
was elected Secretary of the Royal Society. In 1701 he was made an
M.D. of Oxford; and in 1705 he was elected into the fellowship of the
College of Physicians of Edinburgh. In 1708 he was chosen a Fellow of
the Royal Academy of Sciences of Paris. Four years later he was
elected a member of the Royal Society of Berlin. In 1719 he became
president of the College of Physicians; and in 1727 he was created
President of the Royal Society (on the death of Sir Isaac Newton), and
was appointed physician to King George II. In addition to these
honours, he won the distinction of being the first[6] medical
practitioner advanced to the dignity of a baronetcy.

  [6] The learned Librarian of the College of Physicians in a letter to
  me, elicited by the first edition of "The Book About Doctors,"
  observes on this point: "Sir Hans Sloane is commonly stated to have
  been the first medical baronet, but I think incorrectly. Sir Edmund
  Greaves, M. D., a Fellow of the College, who died 11th Nov., 1680, is
  said, and I am disposed to think with truth, to have been created a
  Baronet at Oxford in 1645. Anthony A. Wood it is true calls him a
  'pretended baronet,' but he was acknowledged to be a true and
  veritable one by his colleagues of our college, and considering the
  jealousy of physicians, which is not quite so great by the way as you
  seem to think, this is no small testimony in favour of my belief. In
  the 5th edition of Guillim's Heraldry he is made to be the 450th
  baronet from the first institution of the order, and is placed between
  William de Borcel of Amsterdam and George Carteret of Jersey. If you
  think the matter worthy of investigation you may turn to Nash's
  Worcestershire, vol. i., p. 198."

In 1742, Sir Hans Sloane quitted his professional residence at
Bloomsbury; and in the society of his library, museum, and a select
number of scientific friends, spent the last years of his life at
Chelsea, the manor of which parish he had purchased in 1722.

In the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1748, there is a long but
interesting account of a visit paid by the Prince and Princess of
Wales to the Baronet's museum. Sir Hans received his royal guests and
entertained them with a banquet of curiosities, the tables being
cleverly shifted, so that a succession of "courses," under glass
cases, gave the charm of variety to the labours of observation.

In his old age Sir Hans became sadly penurious, grudging even the
ordinary expenses of hospitality. His intimate friend, George Edwards,
F.R.S., gives, in his "Gleanings of Natural History," some particulars
of the old Baronet, which present a stronger picture of his parsimony
than can be found in the pages of his avowed detractors.

"Sir Hans, in the decline of his life, left London and retired to his
manor-house, at Chelsea, where he resided about fourteen years before
he died. After his retirement at Chelsea, he requested it as a favour
to him (though I embraced it as an honour due to myself), that I would
visit him every week, in order to divert him for an hour or two with
the common news of the town, and with everything particular that
should happen amongst his acquaintance of the Royal Society, and other
ingenious gentlemen, many of whom I was weekly conversant with; and I
seldom missed drinking coffee with him on a Saturday, during the whole
time of his retirement at Chelsea. He was so infirm as to be wholly
confined to his house, except sometimes, though rarely, taking a
little air in his garden in a wheeled chair; and this confinement made
him very desirous to see any of his old acquaintance, to amuse him. He
was strictly careful that I should be at no expense in my journeys
from London to Chelsea to wait on him, knowing that I did not
superabound in the gifts of fortune. He would calculate what the
expense of coach-hire, waterage, or any other little charge that might
attend on my journeys backward and forward would amount to, and would
oblige me annually to accept of it, though I would willingly have
declined it."

Such generosity speaks of a parsimonious temper and habit more
forcibly than positive acts of stinginess would.

On the death of Sir Hans Sloane, on the 11th of January, 1753, his
museum and library passed into the hands of the nation for a
comparatively small sum of money, and became the nucleus of our
British Museum.

The Royal Society of Sir Hans Sloane's time differed widely from the
Royal Society of the present day. The reader of Mr. Charles Weld's
history of that distinguished fraternity smiles a painful smile at the
feeble steps of its first members in the direction of natural science.
The efficacy of the divining rod, and the merits of Sir Kenelm Digby's
sympathetic powder, were the subjects that occupied the attention of
the philosophers of Charles II.'s reign. Entries such as the following
are the records of their proceedings:--

"_June 5._--Col. Tuke related the manner of the rain like corn at
Norwich, and Mr Boyle and Mr Evelyn were entreated to sow some of
those rained seeds to try their product.

"Magneticall cures were then discoursed of. Sir Gilbert Talbot
promised to bring what he knew of sympathetical cures. Those that had
any powder of sympathy were desired to bring some of it at the next

"Mr Boyle related of a gentleman, who, having made some experiments of
the ayre, essayed the quicksilver experiment at the top and bottom of
a hill, when there was found three inches difference.

"Dr Charleton promised to bring in that white powder, which, put into
water, heates that.

"The Duke of Buckingham promised to cause charcoal to be distilled by
his chymist.

"His Grace promised to bring into the society a piece of a unicorne's

"Sir Kenelme Digby related that the calcined powder of toades
reverberated, applyed in bagges upon the stomach of a pestiferate
body, cures it by several applications."

"_June 13._--Colonel Tuke brought in the history of rained seedes,
which were reported to have fallen downe from heaven in Warwickshire
and Shropshire, &c.

"That the dyving engine be going forward with all speed, and the
treasurer to procure the lead and moneys.

"Ordered, that Friday next the engine be tried at Deptford."

"_June 26._--Dr Ent, Dr Clarke, Dr Goddard, and Dr Whistler, were
appointed curators of the proposition made by Sir G. Talbot, to
torment a man presently with the sympatheticall powder.

"Sir G. Talbot brought in his experiments of the sympathetick cures."

It is true that these passages relate to transactions of the Royal
Society that occurred long before Sir Hans was one of the body. But
even in his time the advances made towards greater enlightenment were
few and feeble, when compared with the strides of science during the
last century. So simple and childish were the operations and
speculations of the Society in the first half of the eighteenth
century, that even Sir John Hill was able to cover them with ridicule.

Sir Hans had two medical successors in the presidentship of the Royal
Society--Sir John Pringle, Bart., elected Nov. 30, 1772, and William
Hyde Wollaston, M.D., elected June 29, 1820. The last-mentioned
physician had but a brief tenure of the dignity, for he retired from
the exalted post on Nov. 30, 1820, in favor of Sir Humphrey Davy,

Humphrey Davy (the son of the Penzance woodcarver, who was known to
his acquaintances as "Little Carver Davy") was the most acute natural
philosopher of his generation, and at the same time about the vainest
and most eccentric of his countrymen. With all his mental energy, he
was disfigured by a moral pettiness, which, to a certain extent,
justified Wordsworth's unaccustomed bitterness in "A Poet's

    "Physician art thou? one all eyes;
      Philosopher? a fingering slave,
    One that would peep and botanize
      Upon his mother's grave!

    "Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece,
      O turn aside--and take, I pray,
    That he below may rest in peace,
      Thy ever-dwindling soul away!"

At the summit of his success, Davy was morbidly sensitive of the
humility of his extraction. That his father had been a respectable
mechanic--that his mother, on her husband's death, had established
herself as milliner in Penzance, in order to apprentice her son to an
apothecary in that town--that by his own intellects, in the hard
battle of life, he had raised himself from obscure poverty to a
brilliant eminence--were to him facts of shame, instead of pride. In
contradiction to this moral cowardice, there was in him, on some
points, an extravagant eccentricity, which, in most men, would have
pointed to imperviousness to ridicule. The demands of society, and the
labours of his laboratory, of course left him with but little leisure.
He, however, affected not to have time enough for the ordinary
decencies of the toilet. Cold ablutions neither his constitution nor
his philosophic temperament required, so he rarely washed himself.
And, on the plea of saving time, he used to put on his clean linen
over his dirty--so that he has been known to wear at the same time
five shirts and five pairs of stockings. On the rare occasions when he
divested himself of his superfluous integuments, he caused infinite
perplexity to his less intimate friends, who could not account for his
rapid transition from corpulence to tenuity.

The ludicrousness of his costume did not end there. Like many other
men of powerful and excitable minds, he was very fond of angling; and
on the banks of the Thames he might be found, at all unsuitable
seasons, in a costume that must have been a source of no common
merriment to the river nymphs. His coat and breeches were of green
cloth. On his head he wore a hat that Dr. Paris describes as "having
been originally intended for a coal-heaver, but as having, when in its
raw state, been dyed green by some sort of pigment." In this attire
Davy flattered himself that he resembled vegetable life as closely as
it was possible for mortal to do.

But if his angling dress was droll, his shooting costume was more so.
His great fear as an angler was that the fish should escape him; his
greatest anxiety as a bearer of a gun was to escape being shot. In the
one character, concealment was his chief object--in the other,
revelation. So that he might be seen from a distance, and run fewer
chances of being fired into by accident, he was accustomed on shooting
excursions, to crown himself with a broad-brimmed hat, covered with
scarlet. It never struck him that, in our Protestant England, he
incurred imminent peril of being mistaken for a cardinal, and knocked
over accordingly.

Naturally, Davy was of a poetical temperament; and some of his boyish
poetry possesses merit that unquestionably justifies the anticipation
formed by his poet-friends of the flights his more mature muse would
take. But when his intellect became absorbed in the pursuits by which
he rendered inestimable service to his species, he never renewed the
bright imaginings of his day-spring.

On passing (in 1809) through the galleries of the Louvre, he could
find nothing more worthy of admiration than the fine frames of the
pictures. "What an extraordinary collection of fine frames!" he
observed to the gentleman who acted as his guide, amidst the treasures
of art gathered from every part of the Continent. His attention was
directed to the "Transfiguration"; when, on its being suggested to him
that he was looking at a rather well-executed picture, he said,
coldly, "Indeed! I am glad I have seen it." In the same way, the
statues were to him simply blocks of material. In the Apollo
Belvidere, the Laocoon, and the Venus dei Medici, he saw no beauty;
but when his eyes rested on the Antinous, treated in the Egyptian
style, and sculptured in alabaster, he made an exclamation of delight,
and cried, "Gracious powers, what a beautiful stalactite!"

More amusing than even these criticisms, is a story told of Lady Davy,
who accompanied her husband to Paris. She was walking in the Tuileries
garden, wearing the fashionable London bonnet of the day--shaped like
a cockle-shell. The Parisians, who just then were patronizing bonnets
of enormous dimensions, were astounded at the apparition of a
head-dress so opposed to their notions of the everlasting fitness of
things; and with the good breeding for which they are and have long
been proverbial, they surrounded the daring stranger, and stared at
her. This was sufficiently unpleasant to a timid English lady. But her
discomfort had only commenced. Ere another minute or two had elapsed,
one of the inspectors of the garden approached, and telling her
Ladyship that no cause of _rassemblement_ could be permitted in that
locality, requested her to retire. Alarmed and indignant, she appealed
to some officers of the Imperial Guard, but they could afford her no
assistance. One of them politely offered her his arm, and proposed to
conduct her to a carriage. But by the time she had decided to profit
by the courtesy, such a crowd had gathered together, that it was found
necessary to send for a guard of infantry, and remove _la belle
Anglaise_, surrounded with bayonets.



Baldwin Hamey, whose manuscript memoirs of eminent physicians are
among the treasures of the College, praises Winston because he treated
his apothecary as a master might a slave. "Heriliter imperavit," says
the Doctor. The learned Thomas Winston, anatomy lecturer at Gresham
College, lived to the age of eighty years, and died on the 24th of
October, 1655. He knew, therefore, apothecaries in the day of their
humility--before prosperity had encouraged them to compete with their
professional superiors.

The apothecaries of the Elizabethan era compounded their medicines
much as medicines are compounded at the present--as far as
manipulation and measuring are concerned. Prescriptions have altered,
but shop-customs have undergone only a very slight change. The
apothecaries' table of weights and measures, still in use, was the
rule in the sixteenth century, and the symbols (for a pound, an ounce,
a drachm, a scruple, a grain, &c.) remain at this day just what they
were three hundred years ago.

Our good friend, William Bulleyn, gave the following excellent rules
for an apothecary's life and conduct:--


"1.--Must fyrst serve God, forsee the end, be clenly, pity the poore.

"2.--Must not be suborned for money to hurt mankynde.

"3.--His place of dwelling and shop to be clenly to please the sences

"4.--His garden must be at hand with plenty of herbes, seedes, and

"5.--To sow, set, plant, gather, preserve and kepe them in due tyme.

"6.--To read Dioscorides, to know ye natures of plants and herbes.

"7.--To invent medicines to chose by coloure, tast, odour, figure, &c.

"8.--To have his morters, stilles, pottes, filters, glasses, boxes,
cleane and sweete.

"9.--To have charcoals at hand, to make decoctions, syrupes, &c.

"10.--To kepe his cleane ware closse, and cast away the baggage.

"11.--To have two places in his shop--one most cleane for the phisik,
and a baser place for the chirurgie stuff.

"12.--That he neither increase nor diminish the physician's bill (_i.
e._ prescription), and kepe it for his own discharge.

"13.--That he neither buy nor sel rotten drugges.

"14.--That he peruse often his wares, that they corrupt not.

"15.--That he put not in _quid pro quo_ (_i. e._, use one ingredient
in the place of another, when dispensing a physician's prescription)
without advysement.

"16.--That he may open wel a vein for to helpe pleuresy.

"17.--That he meddle only in his vocation.

"18.--That he delyte to reede Nicolaus Myrepsus, Valerius Cordus,
Johannes Placaton, the Lubik, &c.

"19.--That he do remember his office is only to be ye physician's

"20.--That he use true measure and waight.

"21.--To remember his end, and the judgment of God: and thus I do
commend him to God, if he be not covetous, or crafty, seeking his own
lucre before other men's help, succour, and comfort."

The apothecaries to whom these excellent directions were given were
only tradesmen--grocers who paid attention to the commands of
physicians. They were not required to have any knowledge of the
medical science, beyond what might be obtained by the perusal of two
or three writers; they were not to presume to administer drugs on
their own judgment and responsibility--or to perform any surgical
operation, except phlebotomy, and that only for one malady. The custom
was for the doctors to sell their most valuable remedies as nostrums,
keeping their composition a secret to themselves, and themselves
taking the price paid for them by the sick. The commoner drugs were
vended to patients by the drug-merchants (who invariably dealt in
groceries for culinary use, as well as in medicinal simples), acting
under the directions of the learned graduates of the Faculty.

In the fourth year of James I., a charter was obtained, that "Willed,
ordained, and granted, that all and singular the Freemen of the
Mystery of Grocers and Apothecaries of the City of London ... should
and might be ... one body corporate and politique, in deed, fact, and
name, by the name of Warden and Commonalty of the Mystery of Grocers
of the City of London." But in the thirteenth year of the same king,
the apothecaries and grocers were disunited. At the advice of Theodore
de Mayerne and Henry Atkins, doctors in physick, another charter was
granted, constituting drug-venders a distinct company. Amongst the
apothecaries mentioned in this charter are the names of the most
respectable families of the country. Gideon de Laune, one of this
first batch of apothecaries, amassed a very large fortune in his
vocation, and founded a family at Sharsted, in Kent, from which
several persons of distinction draw part of their origin; and not a
few of De Laune's brethren were equally lucky.

At their first foundation as a company the apothecaries were put
completely under control of the College of Physicians, who were
endowed with dangerous powers of inspecting their wares and punishing
their malpractices. But before a generation had passed away, the
apothecaries had gained such a firm footing in society that the more
prosperous of them could afford to laugh at the censures of the
College; and before the close of a century they were fawned upon by
young physicians, and were in a position to quarrel with the old.

The doctors of that day knew so little that the apothecaries found it
easy to know as much. A knowledge of the herbals, an acquaintance with
the ingredients and doses of a hundred empirical compounds and
systems of maltreating eruptive fevers, gout, and consumption,
constituted all the medical learning of such men as Mayerne or
Gibbons. To pick up that amount of information was no hard task for an
ambitious apothecary.

Soon the leading apothecaries began to prescribe on their own
responsibility, without the countenance of a member of the College. If
they were threatened with censure or other punishment by a regular
physician, they retorted by discontinuing to call him in to
consultations. Jealousies soon sprang up. Starving graduates, with the
diplomas of Oxford and Cambridge and the certificates of the College
in their pockets, were embittered by having to trudge the pavements of
London, and see the mean medicine-mixers (who had scarce scholarship
enough to construe a Latin bill) dashing by in their carriages. Ere
long the heartburnings broke out in a paper warfare, as rancorous and
disreputable as any squabble embalmed in literature. The scholars
called the rich tradesmen thieves, swindlers, and unlettered
blockheads. The rich tradesmen taunted the scholars with discontent,
falsehood, and ignorance of everything except Latin and Greek.

Pope took the side of the physicians. Like Johnson, Parr, and all men
of enlightenment and sound scholarship, he had a high opinion of the
Faculty. It is indeed told of him, on questionable authority, that on
his death-bed, when he heard the bickerings of Dr. Burton and Dr.
Thompson, each accusing the other of maltreating his patient, he
levelled with his last breath an epigram at the two rivals--

    "Dunces, rejoice, forgive all censures past--
    The greatest dunce has killed your foe at last."

To Dr. Arbuthnot he wrote--

    "Friend to my life, which did not you prolong,
    The world had wanted many an idle song."

His feeble health, making his life a long disease, never allowed him
vigour and confidence enough to display ingratitude to the Faculty,
and illustrate the truth of the lines--

    "God and the doctor we alike adore,
    But only when in danger, not before;
    The danger o'er, both are alike requited,
    God is forgotten, and the doctor slighted."

His habitual tone, when speaking of the medical profession, was that
of warm admiration and affection. In the "Imitations of Horace" he

    "Weak though I am of limb, and short of sight,
    Far from a lynx, and not a giant quite,
    I'll do what Mead and Cheselden advise,
    To keep these limbs, and to preserve these eyes."

It is true that he elsewhere ridicules Mead's fondness for rare books
and Sloane's passion for butterflies; but at the close of his days he
wrote in a confidential letter to a friend of the Faculty, "They are
in general the most amiable companions and the best friends, as well
as the most learned men I know."

In the protracted dissensions between the physicians and the
apothecaries Pope was a cordial supporter of the former. When he
accused, in the "Essay on Criticism," the penny-a-lining critics of
acquiring their slender knowledge of the poetic art from the poets
they assailed, he compared them to apothecaries whose scientific
information was pilfered from the prescriptions they were required to

    "Then Criticism the Muse's handmaid proved,
    To dress her charms and make her more beloved:
    But following wits from that intention stray'd.
    Who could not win the mistress, woo'd the maid;
    Against the poets their own arms they turn'd,
    Sure to hate most the men from whom they learn'd.
    So modern 'Pothecaries, taught the art
    By Doctors' bills to play the Doctor's part,
    Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,
    Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools."

The origin of the memorable Dispensarian Campaign between the College
of Physicians and the Company of Apothecaries is a story that can be
briefly told. The younger physicians, impatient at beholding the
prosperity and influence of the apothecaries, and the older ones
indignant at seeing a class of men they despised creeping into their
quarters and craftily laying hold of a portion of their monopoly,
concocted a scheme to reinstate themselves in public favour. Without a
doubt many of the physicians who countenanced this scheme gave it
their support from purely charitable motives; but it cannot be
questioned that as a body the dispensarians were actuated in their
humanitarian exertions by a desire to lower the apothecaries, and
raise themselves in the eyes of the world. With all its genuine and
sterling benevolence, the medical profession, by the unworthy and
silly conduct of its obscure members, has repeatedly laid itself open
to the charge of trading on its reputation for humanity. In Smollett's
time, as his novels show, the recognized mode employed by unknown
doctors to puff themselves into notoriety and practice, was to get up
little hospitals and infirmaries, and advertise to the charitable for
aid in the good task of ameliorating the condition of the poor. And
half the peddling little charitable institutions, infirmaries,
dispensaries, or hospitals, that at the present time rob the rich and
do harm to the poor in every quarter of London, originated in "the
friends" of young physicians and surgeons conspiring together to get
them "the position of being attached to an hospital staff." In 1687,
the physicians at a college-meeting, voted "that all members of the
College, whether Fellows, Candidates, or Licentiates, should give
their advice gratis to all their sick neighbouring poor, when desired,
within the city of London, or seven miles round."

To give prescriptions to the very poor, unaccompanied with the means
of getting them dispensed, is of little use. Sir Astley Cooper used to
see in the vicinity of his residence the slips of paper, marked with
his pen, which it was his wont to distribute gratuitously to indigent
applicants. The fact was, the poor people, finding it beyond their
means to pay the druggist for dispensing them, threw them away in
disgust. It was just the same in 1687. The poor folk carried their
prescriptions to the apothecaries, to learn that the trade charge for
dispensing them was beyond their means. The physicians asserted that
the demands of the drug-venders were extortionate, and were not
reduced to meet the finances of the applicants, to the end that the
undertakings of benevolence might prove abortive. This was of course
absurd. The apothecaries knew their own interests better than so to
oppose a system which at least rendered drug-consuming fashionable
with the lower orders. Perhaps they regarded the poor as their
peculiar field of practice, and felt insulted at having the same
humble people--for whom they had pompously prescribed and put up
boluses at two-pence apiece--now entering their shops with papers
dictating what the two-penny bolus was to be composed of. But the
charge preferred against them was groundless. Indeed, a numerous body
of the apothecaries expressly offered to sell medicines "to the poor
within their respective parishes, at such rates as the committee of
physicians should think reasonable."

But this would not suit the game of the physicians. "A proposal was
started by a committee of the College, that the College should furnish
the medicines of the poor, and perfect alone that charity which the
apothecaries refused to concur in; and after divers methods
ineffectually tried, and much time wasted in endeavouring to bring the
Apothecaries to terms of reason in relation to the poor, an instrument
was subscribed by divers charitably disposed members of the College,
now in number about fifty, wherein they obliged themselves to pay ten
pounds apiece towards the preparing and delivering medicines at their
intrinsic value." Such was the version of the affair given by the
College apologists. The plan was acted upon; and a dispensary was
eventually established (some nine years after the vote of 1687) in the
College of Physicians, Warwick Lane, where medicines were vended to
the poor at cost price.

This measure of the College was impolitic and unjustifiable. It was
unjust to that important division of the trade who were ready to vend
the medicines at rates to be fixed by the College authorities--for it
took altogether out of their hands the small amount of profit which
they, as _dealers_, could have realized on those terms. It was also an
eminently unwise course. The College sank to the level of the
Apothecaries' Hall, becoming an emporium for the sale of medicines.
It was all very well to say that no profit was made on such sale--the
censorious world would not believe it. The apothecaries and their
friends denied that such was the fact, and avowed that the benevolent
dispensarians were bent only on underselling and ruining them.

Again, the movement introduced dissension within the walls of the
College. Many of the first physicians, with the conservatism of
success, did not care to offend the apothecaries, who were continually
calling them in, and paying them fees. They therefore joined in the
cry against the dispensary. The profession was split up into
dispensarians and anti-dispensarians. The apothecaries combined and
agreed not to recommend the dispensarians. The anti-dispensarians
repaid this ill service by refusing to meet dispensarians in
consultation. Sir Thomas Millington, the president of the College,
Edward Hulse, Hans Sloane, John Woodward, Sir Edmund King, and Samuel
Garth were amongst the latter. Of them the last-named was the man who
rendered the most efficient service to his party.

Garth is perhaps the most cherished by the present generation of all
the physicians of Pope's time. He was a Whig without rancour, and a
bon-vivant without selfishness. Full of jest and amiability, he did
more to create merriment at the Kit-Kat club than either Swift or
Arbuthnot. He loved wine to excess; but then wine loved him too,
ripening and warming his wit, and leaving no sluggish humour behind.
His practice was a good one, but his numerous patients prized his
_bon-mots_ more than his prescriptions. His enemies averred that he
was not only an epicure, but a profligate voluptuary and an infidel.
Pope, however, wrote of him after his death, "If ever there was a good
Christian, without knowing himself to be so, it was Dr. Garth." Pope
had honoured him when alive by dedicating his second pastoral to him.

    "Accept, O Garth, the muse's early lays,
    That adds this wreath of ivy to thy bays;
    Hear what from love unpractised hearts endure,
    From love, the sole disease thou canst not cure."

A good picture of Garth the politician is found in the "Journal to
Stella." "London, Nov. 17, 1711," writes Swift--"This is Queen
Elizabeth's birthday, usually kept in this town by apprentices, &c.;
but the Whigs designed a mighty procession by midnight, and had laid
out a thousand pounds to dress up the pope, devil, cardinals,
Sacheverel, &c., and carry them with torches about and burn them. They
did it by contribution. Garth gave five guineas; Dr. Garth I mean, if
ever you heard of him. But they were seized last night by order from
the Secretary.... The figures are now at the Secretary's Office at
Whitehall. I design to see them if I can."

A Whig, but the friend of Tories, Garth cordially disliked Sir Richard
Blackmore, a member of his own profession and political party.
Blackmore was an anti-dispensarian, a bad poet, and a pure and rigid
moralist. Naturally Garth abominated him, and sneered at him for his
pomposity and bad scholarship. It is to be regretted that Garth, with
the vulgarity of the age, twitted him with his early poverty, and with
having been--a schoolmaster. To ridicule his enemy Garth composed the
following verses:--

               HALL, IN CHEAPSIDE.

    "Unwieldy pedant, let thy awkward muse
    With censures praise, with flatteries abuse;
    To lash, and not be felt, in thee's an art,
    That ne'er mad'st any but thy school-boys smart.
    Then be advised and scribble not again--
    Thou'rt fashion'd for a flail and not a pen.
    If B----l's immortal wit thou would'st decry,
    Pretend 'tis he that wrote thy poetry.
    Thy feeble satire ne'er can do him wrong--
    Thy poems and thy patients live not long."

Garth's death, as described by William Ayre, was characteristic. He
was soon tired of an invalid's suffering and helplessness, the _ennui_
and boredom of the sick-room afflicting him more than the bodily pain.
"Gentlemen," said he to the crowd of weeping friends who stood round
his bed, "I wish the ceremony of death was over." And so, sinking
lower in the bed, he died without a struggle. He had previously, on
being informed that his end was approaching, expressed pleasure at the
intelligence, because he was tired of having his shoes pulled off and
on. The manner of Garth's exit reminds one of the death of Rabelais,
also a physician. The presence of officious friends troubled him; and
when he saw his doctors consulting together, he raised his head from
his pillow and said with a smile, "Dear gentlemen, let me die a
natural death." After he had received extreme unction, a friend
approached him, and asked him how he did. "I am going on my journey,"
was the answer--"they have greased my boots already."

Garth has, apart from his literary productions, one great claim on
posterity. To him Dryden owed honourable interment. When the great
poet died, Garth caused his body to be conveyed to the College of
Physicians, and started a public subscription to defray the expenses
of the funeral. He pronounced an oration over the deceased at the
College in Warwick Lane, and then accompanied it to Westminster Abbey.

Of the stories preserved of Garth's social humour some are exquisitely
droll. Writing a letter at a coffee-house, he found himself overlooked
by a curious Irishman, who was impudently reading every word of the
epistle. Garth took no notice of the impertinence, until he had
finished and signed the body of the letter, when he added a
postscript, of unquestionable legibility: "I would write you more by
this post, but there's a d---- tall impudent Irishman looking over my
shoulder all the time."

"What do you mean, sir?" roared the Irishman in a fury. "Do you think
I looked over your letter?"

"Sir," replied the physician, "I never once opened my lips to you."

"Ay, but you have put it down, for all that."

"'Tis impossible, sir, that you should know that, for you have never
once looked over my letter."

Stumbling into a Presbyterian church one Sunday, for pastime, he found
a pathetic preacher shedding tears over the iniquity of the earth.

"What makes the man greet?" asked Garth of a bystander.

"By my faith," was the answer, "and you too would greet if you were in
his place and had as little to say."

"Come along, my dear fellow," responded Garth to his new acquaintance,
"and dine with me. You are too good a fellow to be here."

At the Kit-Kat he once stayed to drink long after he had said that he
must be off to see his patients. Sir Richard, more humane than the
physician, or possibly, like the rest of the world, not disinclined to
be virtuous at another's expense, observed, "Really, Garth, you ought
to have no more wine, but be off to see those poor devils."

"It's no great matter," Garth replied, "whether I see them to-night or
not, for nine of them have such bad constitutions, that all the
physicians in the world can't save them; and the other six have such
good constitutions, that all the physicians in the world can't kill

Born of a respectable north-country family, Garth was educated first
at a provincial school, and then at Cambridge. He was admitted a
Fellow of the College of Physicians on June 26, 1692, just when the
quarrel of the Physicians and Apothecaries was waxing to its hottest,
_i. e._ between the College edict of 1687, ordaining gratuitous
advice, and the creation of the dispensary in 1696. As a young man he
saw that his right place was with the dispensarians--and he took it.
For a time his great poem, "The Dispensary," covered the apothecaries
and anti-dispensarians with ridicule. It rapidly passed through
numerous editions--in each of which, as was elegantly observed, the
world lost and gained much. To say that of all the books, pamphlets,
and broad-sheets thrown out by the combatants on both sides, it is by
far the one of the greatest merit, would be scant justice, when it
might almost be said that it is the only one of them that can now be
read by a gentleman without a sense of annoyance and disgust. There is
no point of view from which the medical profession appears in a more
humiliating and contemptible light than that which the literature of
this memorable squabble presents to the student. Charges of ignorance,
dishonesty, and extortion were preferred on both sides; and the
dispensarian physicians did not hesitate to taunt their brethren of
the opposite camp with playing corruptly into the hands of the
apothecaries--prescribing enormous and unnecessary quantities of
medicine, so that the drug-venders might make heavy bills, and, as a
consequence, recommend in all directions such complacent _superiors_
to be called in. Garth's poem, unfair and violent though it is, seldom
offends against decency. As a work of art it cannot be ranked high,
and is now deservedly forgotten, although it has many good lines, and
some felicitous satire. Johnson rightly pointed to the secret of its
success, though he took a one-sided and unjust view of the dissensions
which called it forth. "The poem," observes the biographer, "as its
subject was present and popular, co-operated with passions and
prejudices then prevalent; and, with such auxiliaries to its intrinsic
merit, was universally and liberally applauded. It was on the side of
charity against the intrigues of interest, and of regular learning
against licentious usurpation of medical authority."

Sir Samuel Garth (knighted by the sword of Marlborough) died January
18, 1718-19, and was buried at Harrow-on-the-Hill.

But he lived to see the apothecaries gradually emancipate themselves
from the ignominious regulations to which they consented, when their
vocation was first separated from the grocery trade. Four years after
his death they obtained legal acknowledgment of their right to
dispense and sell medicines without the prescription of a physician;
and six years later the law again decided in their favour, with regard
to the physicians' right of examining and condemning their drugs. In
1721, Mr. Rose, an apothecary, on being prosecuted by the College for
prescribing as well as compounding medicines, carried the matter into
the House of Lords, and obtained a favourable decision. And from 1727,
in which year Mr. Goodwin, an apothecary, obtained in a court of law a
considerable sum for an illegal seizure of his wares (by Drs.
Arbuthnot, Bale, and Levit), the physicians may be said to have
discontinued to exercise their privileges of inspection.

Arbuthnot did not exceed Garth in love to the apothecaries. His
contempt for, and dislike of, the fraternity, inspired him to write
his "Essay on an Apothecary." He thinks it a pity that, to prevent the
country from being overrun with apothecaries, it should not be allowed
to anatomize them, for the improvement of natural knowledge. He
ridicules them for pedantically "dressing all their discourse in the
language of the Faculty."

"At meals," he says, "they distributed their wine with a little lymph,
dissected a widgeon, cohobated their pease-porridge, and amalgamated a
custard. A morsel of beef was a bolus; a grillard was sacrificed;
eating was mastication and deglutition; a dish of steaks was a
compound of many powerful ingredients; and a plate of soup was a very
exalted preparation. In dress, a suit of cloaths was a system, a
loophole a valve, and a surtout an integument. Cloth was a texture of
fibres spread into a drab or kersey; a small rent in it was cutaneous;
a thread was a filament; and the waistband of the breeches the

The superior branch of the Faculty invited in many ways the same
satire. Indeed, pedantry was the prevalent fault of the manners of the
eighteenth century. The physician, the divine, the lawyer, the
parliament-man, the country gentleman, the author by profession--all
had peculiarities of style, costume, speech, or intonation, by which
they were well pleased they should be recognised. In one respect, this
was well; men were proud of being what they were, and desired to be
known as belonging to their respective vocations. They had no anxiety
to be free from trade-marks. The barrister's smirk, the physician's
unctuous smiles, the pedagogue's frown, did not originate in a mean
desire to be taken for something of higher mark and esteem than they
really were.

From the time when Bulleyn called him the physician's cook, down to
the present, generation, the pure apothecary is found holding a very
subordinate position. His business is to do unpleasant drudgery that a
gentleman finds it unpleasant to perform, but which cannot be left to
the hands of a nurse. The questions to be considered previous to
becoming an apprentice to an apothecary, put in Chemberlaine's
"Tyrocinium Medicum," well describe the state of the apothecary's
pupil. "Can you bear the thoughts of being obliged to get up out of
your warm bed, on a cold winter's night, or rather morning, to make up
medicines which your employer, just arrived through frost and snow,
prescribes for a patient taken suddenly or dangerously ill?--or,
supposing that your master is not in sufficient business to keep a
boy to take out medicines, can you make up your mind to think it no
hardship to take them to the patient after you have made them up?"
&c., &c. When such services were expected from pupils studying for
admittance to the craft, of course boys with ample means, or prospects
elsewhere, did not as a rule desire to become apothecaries.

Within the last fifty years changes have been affected in various
departments of the medical profession, that have rendered the
apothecary a feature of the past, and transferred his old functions to
a new labourer. Prior to 1788, it is stated on authority there were
not in all London more than half-a-dozen druggists who dispensed
medicines from physicians' prescriptions. Before that time, the
apothecaries--the members of the Apothecaries' Company--were almost
the sole compounders and preparers of drugs. At the present time it is
exceptional for an apothecary to put up prescriptions, unless he is
acting as the family or ordinary medical attendant to the patient
prescribed for. As a young man, indeed, he sometimes condescends to
keep an open shop; but as soon as he can get on without "counter"
business, he leaves the commercial part of his occupation to the
druggist, as beneath his dignity. The dispensing chemists and
druggists, whose shops, flashing with blue bottles (last remnant of
empiric charlatanry), brighten our street corners and scare our horses
at night, are the apothecaries of the last century. The apothecary
himself--that is, the member of the Company--is hardly ever found as
an apothecary _pur et simple_. He enrolls himself at "the hall" for
the sake of being able to sue ungrateful patients for money due to
him. But in the great majority of cases he is also a Fellow or Member
of the College of Surgeons, and acts as a general practitioner; that
is, he does anything and everything--prescribes and dispenses his
prescriptions; is at the same time physician, surgeon, accoucheur, and
dentist. Physic and surgery were divided at a very early date in
theory, but in practice they were combined by eminent physicians till
a comparatively recent period. And yet later the physician performed
the functions of the apothecary, just as the apothecary presumed to
discharge the offices of physician. It was not derogatory to the
dignity of a leading physician, in the reign of Charles the Second, to
keep a shop, and advertise the wares vended in it, announcing in the
same manner their prices. Dr. Mead realized large sums by the sale of
worthless nostrums. And only a few years since, a distinguished
Cambridge physician, retaining as an octogenarian the popularity he
had achieved as a young man, in one of our eastern counties, used to
sell his "gout tincture"--a secret specific against gout--at so many
shillings per bottle. In many respects the general practitioner of
this century would consider his professional character compromised if
he adopted the customs generally in vogue amongst the physicians of
the last.



     "So then the subject being so variable, hath made the art by
     consequence more conjectural; an art being conjectural hath
     made so much the more place to be left for imposture. For
     almost all other arts and sciences are judged by acts or
     masterpieces, as I may term them, and not by the successes
     and events. The lawyer is judged by the virtue of his
     pleading, and not by the issue of the cause. The master of
     the ship is judged by the directing his course aright, and
     not by the fortune of the voyage. But the physician, and
     perhaps the politician, hath no particular acts
     demonstrative of his ability, but is judged most by the
     event; which is ever but as it is taken: for who can tell,
     if a patient die or recover, or if a state be preserved or
     ruined, whether it be art or accident? and therefore many
     times the impostor is prized, and the man of virtue taxed.
     _Nay, we see the weakness and credulity of men is such, as
     they will often prefer a mountebank or witch before a
     learned physician._"--Lord Bacon's "_Advancement of

The history of quackery, if it were written on a scale that should
include the entire number of those frauds which may be generally
classed under the head of humbug, would be the history of the human
race in all ages and climes. Neither the benefactors nor the enemies
of mankind would escape mention; and a searching scrutiny would show
that dishonesty has played as important, though not as manifest, a
part in the operations of benevolence, as in the achievements of the
devil. But a more confined use of the word must satisfy us on the
present occasion. We are not about to enter on a philosophic inquiry
into the causes that contributed to the success of Mahomet and
Cromwell, but only to chronicle a few of the most humorous facts
connected with the predecessors of Dr. Townsend and Mr. Morrison.

In the success that has in every century attended the rascally
enterprises of pretenders to the art of medicine, is found a touching
evidence of the sorrow, credulity, and ignorance of the generations
that have passed, or are passing, to the silent home where the pain
and joy, the simplicity and cunning, of this world are alike of
insignificance. The hope that to the last lurks in the breast of the
veriest wretch under heaven's canopy, whether his trials come from
broken health, or an empty pocket, or wronged affection, speaks aloud
in saddest tones, as one thinks of the multitudes who, worn with
bodily malady and spiritual dejection, ignorant of the source of their
sufferings, but thirsting for relief from them, have gone from
charlatan to charlatan, giving hoarded money in exchange for charms,
cramp-rings, warming-stones, elixirs, and trochees, warranted to cure
every ill that flesh is heir to. The scene, from another point of
view, is more droll, but scarcely less mournful. Look away for a few
seconds from the throng of miserable objects who press round the
empiric's stage; wipe out for a brief while the memory of their woes,
and regard the style and arts of the practitioner who, with a trunk
full of nostrums, bids disease to vanish, and death to retire from the
scenes of his triumph. There he stands--a lean, fantastic man,
voluble of tongue, empty-headed, full of loud words and menaces,
prating about kings and princes who have taken him by the hand and
kissed him in gratitude for his benefits showered upon them--dauntless,
greedy, and so steeped in falsehood that his crazy-tainted brain half
believes the lies that flow from his glib tongue. Are there no such
men amongst us now--not standing on carts at the street-corners, and
selling their wares to a dingy rabble, but having their seats of
exchange in honoured places, and vending their prescriptions to crowds
of wealthy clients?

In the feudal ages medicine and quackery were the same, as far as any
principles of science are concerned. The only difference between the
physician and the charlatan was, that the former was a fool and the
latter a rogue. Men did not meddle much with the healing art. A few
clerks devoted themselves to it, and in the exercise of their
spiritual and medical functions discovered how to get two fleeces from
a sheep at one shearing; but the care of the sick was for the most
part left to the women, who then, as in every other period of the
world's history, prided themselves on their medical cunning, and, with
the exception of intrigue, preferred attending on the sick to any
other occupation. From the time of the Reformation, however, the
number of lady doctors rapidly diminished. The fair sex gradually
relinquished the ground they had so long occupied, to men, who, had
the monastic institutions continued to exist, would have assumed the
priestly garb and passed their days in sloth. Quackery was at length
fairly taken out of the hands of women and the shelter of domestic
life, and was practised, not for love, and in a superstitious belief
in its efficacy, but for money, and frequently with a perfect
knowledge of its worthlessness as a remedial system.

As soon as the printing-press had become an institution of the
country, and there existed a considerable proportion of the community
capable of reading, the empirics seized hold of Caxton's invention,
and made it subservient to their honourable ends. The advertising
system was had recourse to in London, during the Stuart era, scarcely
less than it is now. Handbills were distributed in all directions by
half-starved wretches, whose withered forms and pallid cheeks were of
themselves a sufficient disproof of the assertions of their employers.

The costume, language, style, and artifices of the pretenders to
physic in the seventeenth century were doubtless copied from models of
long standing, and differed little in essentials from those of their
predecessors. Professions retain their characteristics with singular
obstinacy. The doctor of Charles the Second's London transmitted all
his most salient features to the quack of the Regency.

Cotgrave, in his "Treasury of "Wit and Language," published 1655, thus
paints the poor physician of his time:--

    "My name is Pulsefeel, a poor Doctor of Physick,
    That does wear three pile velvet in his hat,
    Has paid a quarter's rent of his house before-hand,
    And (simple as he stands here) was made doctor beyond sea.
    I vow, as I am right worshipful, the taking
    Of my degree cost me twelve French crowns, and
    Thirty-five pounds of butter in Upper Germany.
    I can make your beauty, and preserve it,
    Rectifie your body and maintaine it,
    Clarifie your blood, surfle your cheeks, perfume
    Your skin, tinct your hair, enliven your eye,
    Heighten your appetite; and as for Jellies,
    Dentifrizes, Dyets, Minerals, Fricasses,
    Pomatums, Fumes, Italia masks to sleep in,
    Either to moisten or dry the superficies, Faugh! Galen
    Was a goose, and Paracelsus a Patch,
    To Doctor Pulsefeel."

This picture would serve for the portrait of Dr. Pulsefeel in the
eighteenth and nineteenth, as well as the seventeenth century. How it
calls to mind the image of Oliver Goldsmith, when, with a smattering
of medical knowledge, a cane, and a dubious diploma, he tried to pick
out of the miseries and ignorance of his fellow-creatures the means of
keeping body and soul together! He too, poet and scholar though he
was, would have sold a pot of rouge to a faded beauty, or a bottle of
hair-dye, or a nostrum warranted to cure the bite of a mad dog.

A more accurate picture, however, of the charlatan, is to be found in
"The Quack's Academy; or, The Dunce's Directory," published in 1678,
of which the following is a portion:--

"However, in the second place, to support this title, there are
several things very convenient: of which some are external
accoutrements, others internal qualifications.

"Your outward requisites are a decent black suit, and (if your credit
will stretch so far in Long Lane) a plush jacket; not a pin the worse
though threadbare as a tailor's cloak--it shows the more reverend

"Secondly, like Mercury, you must always carry a caduceus or conjuring
japan in your hand, capt with a civet-box; with which you must walk
with Spanish gravity, as in deep contemplation upon an arbitrament
between life and death.

"Thirdly, a convenient lodging, not forgetting a hatch at the door; a
chamber hung with Dutch pictures, or looking-glasses, belittered with
empty bottles, gallipots, and vials filled with tapdroppings, or fair
water, coloured with saunders. Any sexton will furnish your window
with a skull, in hope of your custom; over which hang up the skeleton
of a monkey, to proclaim your skill in anatomy.

"Fourthly, let your table be never without some old musty Greek or
Arabick author, and the 4th book of Cornelius Agrippa's 'Occult
Philosophy,' wide open to amuse spectators; with half-a-dozen of gilt
shillings, as so many guineas received that morning for fees.

"Fifthly, fail not to oblige neighbouring ale-houses, to recommend you
to inquirers; and hold correspondence with all the nurses and midwives
near you, to applaud your skill at gossippings."

The directions go on to advise loquacity and impudence, qualities
which quacks of all times and kinds have found most useful. But in
cases where the practitioner has an impediment in his speech, or
cannot by training render himself glib of utterance, he is advised to
persevere in a habit of mysterious silence, rendered impressive by
grave nods of the head.

When Dr. Pulsefeel was tired of London, or felt a want of country air,
he concentrated his powers on the pleasant occupation of fleecing
rustic simplicity. For his journeys into the provinces he provided
himself with a stout and fast-trotting hack--stout, that it might bear
without fatigue weighty parcels of medicinal composition; and fleet of
foot, so that if an ungrateful rabble should commit the indecorum of
stoning their benefactor as an impostor (a mishap that would
occasionally occur), escape might be effected from the infatuated and
excited populace. In his circuit the doctor took in all the fairs,
markets, wakes, and public festivals; not, however, disdaining to stop
an entire week, or even month, at an assize town, where he found the
sick anxious to benefit by his wisdom.

His plan of making acquaintance with a new place was to ride boldly
into the thickest crowd of a fair or market, with as much speed as he
could make without imperilling the lives of by-standers; and then,
when he had checked his steed, inform all who listened that he had
come straight from the Duke of Bohemia, or the most Serene Emperor of
Wallachia, out of a desire to do good to his fellow-creatures. He was
born in that very town,--yes, that very town in which he then was
speaking, and had left it when an orphan child of eight years of age,
to seek his fortune in the world. He had found his way to London, and
been crimped on board a vessel bound for Morocco, and so had been
carried off to foreign parts. His adventures had been wonderful. He
had visited the Sultan and the Great Mogul. There was not a part of
the Indies with which he was not familiar. If any one doubted him, let
his face be regarded, and his bronze complexion bear witness of the
scorching suns he had endured. He had cured hundreds--ay,
thousands--of emperors, kings, queens, princes, margravines, grand
duchesses, and generalissimos, of their diseases. He had a powder
which would stay the palsy, jaundice, hot fever, and cramps. It was
expensive; but that he couldn't help, for it was made of pearls, and
the dried leaves of violets brought from the very middle of Tartary;
still he could sell a packet of the medicine for a crown--a sum which
would just pay him back his outlaid money, and leave him no profit.
But he didn't want to make money of them. He was their fellow-townsman;
and in order to find them out and cure them he had refused offers of
wealth from the king of Mesopotamia, who wanted him to accept a
fortune of a thousand gold pieces a month, tarry with the
Mesopotamians, and keep them out of Death's clutches. Sometimes this
harangue was made from the back of a horse; sometimes from a rude
hustings, from which he was called _mountebank_. He sold all kinds of
medicaments: dyes for the hair, washes for the complexion, lotions to
keep young men youthful; rings which, when worn on the fore-finger of
the right hand, should make a chosen favourite desperately in love
with the wearer, and when worn on the same finger of the left hand,
should drive the said favourite to commit suicide. Nothing could
surpass the impudence of the fellow's lies, save the admiration with
which his credulous auditors swallowed his assertions. There they
stood,--stout yeomen, drunken squires, merry peasant girls, gawky
hinds, gabbling dames, deeming themselves in luck's way to have lived
to see such a miracle of learning. Possibly a young student home from
Oxford, with the rashness of inexperience, would smile scornfully, and
in a loud voice designate the pretender a quack--a quacksalvar
(kwabzalver), from the liniment he vended for the cure of wens. But
such an interruption, in ninety and nine cases out of every hundred,
was condemned by the orthodox friends of the young student, and he
was warned that he would come to no good if he went on as he had
begun--a contemptuous unbeliever, and a mocker of wise men.

The author of the "Discourse de l'Origine des M\x9Curs, Fraudes, et
Impostures des Ciarlatans, avec leur D\xE9couverte, Paris, 1662," says,
"Premi\xE8rement, par ce mot de Ciarlatans, j'entens ceux que les
Italiens appellent Saltambaci, basteleurs, bouffons, vendeurs de
bagatelles, et generalement toute autre personne, laquelle en place
publique mont\xE9e en banc, \xE0 terre, ou \xE0 cheval, vend medecines, baumes,
huilles ou poudres, compos\xE9es pour guerir quelque infirmit\xE9, louant et
exaltant sa drogue, avec artifice, et mille faux sermens, en racontant
mille et mille merveilles.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Mais c'est chose plaisante de voir l'artifice dont se servent ces
medecins de banc pour vendre leur drogue, quand avec mille faux
sermens ils affirment d'avoir appris leur secret du roi de Dannemarc,
au d'un prince de Transilvanie."

The great quack of Charles the Second's London was Dr. Thomas Saffold.
This man (who was originally a weaver) professed to cure every disease
of the human body, and also to foretell the destinies of his patients.
Along Cheapside, Fleet-street, and the Strand, even down to the sacred
precincts of Whitehall and St. James's, he stationed bill-distributors,
who showered prose and poetry on the passers-by--just as the agents
(possibly the poets) of the Messrs. Moses cast their literature on the
town of Queen Victoria. When this great benefactor of his species
departed this life, on May the 12th, 1691, a satirical broadsheet
called on the world to mourn for the loss of one--

    "So skilled in drugs and verse, 'twas hard to show it,
    Whether was best, the doctor or the poet."

The ode continues:--

    "Lament, ye damsels of our London city,
    (Poor unprovided girls) tho' fair and witty,
    Who, maskt, would to his house in couples come,
    To understand your matrimonial doom;
    To know what kind of men you were to marry,
    And how long time, poor things, you were to tarry;
    Your oracle is silent, none can tell
    On whom his astrologick mantle fell:
    For he when sick refused all doctors' aid,
    And only to his pills devotion paid!
    Yet it was surely a most sad disaster,
    The saucy pills at last should kill their master."


    "Here lies the corpse of Thomas Saffold,
    By death, in spite of physick, baffled;
    Who, leaving off his working loom,
    Did learned doctor soon become.
    To poetry he made pretence,
    Too plain to any man's own sense;
    But he when living thought it sin
    To hide his talent in napkin;
    Now death does doctor (poet) crowd
    Within the limits of a shroud."

The vocation of fortune-teller was exercised not only by the quacks,
but also by the apothecaries, of that period. Garth had ample
foundation, in fact, for his satirical sketch of Horoscope's shop in
the second canto of "The Dispensary."

    "Long has he been of that amphibious fry,
    Bold to prescribe and busie to apply;
    His shop the gazing vulgars' eyes employs,
    With foreign trinkets and domestick toys.
    Here mummies lay most reverendly stale,
    And there the tortoise hung her coat of mail.
    Not far from some huge shark's devouring head
    The flying fish their finny pinions spread;
    Aloft in rows large poppy-heads were strung,
    And near a scaly alligator hung;
    In this place, drugs in musty heaps decay'd,
    In that, dry'd bladders and drawn teeth were laid.

    "An inner room receives the num'rous shoals
    Of such as pay to be reputed fools;
    Globes stand by globes, volumes by volumes lye,
    And planetary schemes amuse the eye.
    The sage, in velvet chair, here lolls at ease,
    To promise future health for present fees.
    Then, as from Tripod, solemn shams reveals,
    And what the stars know nothing of reveals.

    "One asks how soon Panthea may be won,
    And longs to feel the marriage fetters on;
    Others, convinced by melancholy proof,
    Enquire when courteous fates will strike them off;
    Some by what means they may redress the wrong,
    When fathers the possession keep too long;
    And some would know the issue of their cause,
    And whether gold can solder up its flaws.
          .      .      .      .      .
    "Whilst Iris his cosmetick wash would try,
    To make her bloom revive, and lovers die;
    Some ask for charms, and others philters choose,
    To gain Corinna, and their quartans lose."

Queen Anne's weak eyes caused her to pass from one empiric to another,
for the relief they all promised to give, and in some cases even
persuaded that they gave her. She had a passion for quack oculists;
and happy was the advertising scoundrel who gained her Majesty's
favour with a new collyrium. For, of course, if the greatest personage
in the land said that Professor Bungalo was a wonderful man, a master
of his art, and inspired by God to heal the sick, there was no appeal
from so eminent an authority. How should an elderly lady with a crown
on her head be mistaken? Do we not hear the same arguments every day
in our own enlightened generation, when the new Chiropodist, or
Rubber, or inventor of a specific for consumption, points to the
social distinctions of his dupes as conclusive evidence that he is
neither supported by vulgar ignorance, nor afraid to meet the most
searching scrutiny of the educated? Good Queen Anne was so charmed
with two of the many knaves who by turns enjoyed her countenance, that
she had them sworn in as her own oculists in ordinary; and one of them
she was even so silly as to knight. This lucky gentleman was William
Reade, originally a botching tailor, and to the last a very ignorant
man, as his "Short and Exact Account of all Diseases Incident to the
Eyes" attests; yet he rose to the honour of knighthood, and the most
lucrative and fashionable physician's practice of his period. Surely
every dog has his day. Lazarus never should despair; a turn of fortune
may one fine day pick him from the rags which cover his nakedness in
the kennel, and put him to feast amongst princes, arrayed in purple
and fine linen, and regarded as an oracle of wisdom. It was true that
Sir William Reade was unable to read the book which he had written (by
the hand of an amanuensis), but I have no doubt that many worthy
people who listened to his sonorous voice, beheld his lace ruffles and
gold-headed cane, and saw his coach drawn along to St. James's by
superb horses, thought him in every respect equal, or even superior,
to Pope and Swift.

When Sir William was knighted he hired a poet, who lived in Grub
Street, to announce the fact to posterity and "the town," in
decasyllabic verse. The production of this bard, "The Oculist, a
Poem," was published in the year 1705, and has already (thanks to the
British Museum, which like the nets of fishermen receiveth of "all
sorts") endowed with a century and a half of posthumous renown; and
no one can deny that so much fame is due, both to the man who bought,
and the scribbler who sold the following strain:--

    "Whilst Britain's Sovereign scales such worth has weighed,
    And Anne herself her smiling favours paid,
    That sacred hand does your fair chaplet twist,
    Great Reade her own entitled Oculist,
    With this fair mark of honour, sir, assume
    No common trophies from this shining plume;
    Her favours by desert are only shared--
    Her smiles are not her gift, but her reward.
    Thus in your new fair plumes of Honour drest,
    To hail the Royal Foundress of the feast;
    When the great Anne's warm smiles this favourite raise,
    'Tis not a royal grace she gives, but pays."

Queen Anne's other "sworn oculist," as he and Reade termed themselves,
was Roger Grant, a cobbler and Anabaptist preacher. He was a
prodigiously vain man, even for a quack, and had his likeness engraved
in copper. Impressions of the plate were distributed amongst his
friends, but were not in all cases treated with much respect; for one
of those who had been complimented with a present of the eminent
oculist's portrait, fixed it on a wall of his house, having first
adorned it with the following lines:--

    "See here a picture of a brazen face,
    The fittest lumber of this wretched place.
    A tinker first his scene of life began;
    That failing, he set up for cunning man;
    But wanting luck, puts on a new disguise,
    And now pretends that he can mend your eyes;
    But this expect, that, like a tinker true,
    Where he repairs one eye he puts out two."

The charge of his being a tinker was preferred against him also by
another lampoon writer. "In his stead up popped Roger Grant, the
tinker, of whom a friend of mine once sung.--

    "'Her Majesty sure was in a surprise,
      Or else was very short-sighted;
    When a tinker was sworn to look after her eyes,
      And the mountebank Reade was knighted.'"

This man, according to the custom of his class, was in the habit of
publishing circumstantial and minute accounts of his cures. Of course
his statements were a tissue of untruths, with just the faintest
possible admixture of what was not altogether false. His plan was to
get hold of some poor person of imperfect vision, and, after treating
him with medicines and half-crowns for six weeks, induce him to sign a
testimonial to the effect that he had been born stone-blind, and had
never enjoyed any visual power whatever, till Providence led him to
good Dr. Grant, who had cured him in little more than a month. This
certificate the clergyman and churchwardens of the parish, in which
the patient had been known to wander about the streets in mendicancy,
were asked to attest; and if they proved impregnable to the cunning
representations of the importunate suitors, and declined to give the
evidence of their handwriting, either on the ground that they had
reason to question the fact of the original blindness, or because they
were not thoroughly acquainted with the particulars of the case, Dr.
Grant did not scruple to sign their names himself, or by the hands of
his agents. The _modus operandi_ with which he carried out these
frauds may be learned by the curious in a pamphlet, published in the
year 1709, and entitled "A Full and True Account of a Miraculous Cure
of a Young Man in Newington that was Born Blind."

But the last century was rife with medical quacks. The Rev. John
Hancocke, D.D., Rector of St. Margaret's, Lothbury, London,
Prebendary of Canterbury, and chaplain to the Duke of Bedford,
preached up the water-cure, which Pliny the naturalist described as
being in his day the fashionable remedy in Rome. He published a work
in 1723 that immediately became popular, called "Febrifugum Magnum;
or, Common Water the best Cure for Fevers, and probably for the

The good man deemed himself a genius of the highest order, because he
had discovered that a draught of cold water, under certain
circumstances, is a powerful diaphoretic. His pharmacopeia, however,
contained another remedy--namely, stewed prunes, which the Doctor
regarded as a specific in obstinate cases of blood-spitting. Then
there was Ward, with his famous pill, whose praises that learned man,
Lord Chief Baron Reynolds, sounded in every direction. There was also
a tar-water mania, which mastered the clear intellect of Henry
Fielding, and had as its principal advocate the supreme intellect of
the age, Bishop Berkeley. In volume eighteen of the _Gentleman's
Magazine_ is a list of the quack-doctors then practising; and the
number of those named in it is almost as numerous as the nostrums,
which mount up to 202. These accommodating fellows were ready to
fleece every rank of society. The fashionable impostor sold his
specific sometimes at the rate of 2_s._ 6_d._ a pill, while the
humbler knave vended his boluses at 6_d._ a box. To account for
society tolerating, and yet more, warmly encouraging such a state of
things, we must remember the force of the example set by eminent
physicians in vending medicines the composition of which they kept
secret. Sir Hans Sloane sold an eye-salve; and Dr. Mead had a
favourite nostrum--a powder for the bite of a mad dog.

The close of the seventeenth century was not in respect of its quacks
behind the few preceding generations. In 1789 Mr. and Mrs.
Loutherbourg became notorious for curing people without medicine. God,
they proclaimed, had endowed them with a miraculous power of healing
the impoverished sick, by looking upon them and touching them. Of
course every one who presumed to doubt the statement was regarded as
calling in question the miracles of holy writ, and was exclaimed
against as an infidel. The doctor's house was besieged with enormous
crowds. The good man and his lady refused to take any fee whatever,
and issued gratuitous tickets amongst the mob, which would admit the
bearers into the Loutherbourgian presence. Strange to say, however,
these tickets found their way into the hands of venal people, who sold
them to others in the crowd (who were tired of waiting) for sums
varying from two to five guineas each; and ere long it was discovered
that these barterers of the healing power were accomplices in the pay
of the poor man's friend. A certain Miss Mary Pratt, in all
probability a puppet acting in obedience to Loutherbourg's
instructions, wrote an account of the cures performed by the physician
and his wife. In a dedicatory letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury,
Miss Pratt says:--"I therefore presume when these testimonies are
searched into (which will corroborate with mine) your Lordship will
compose a form of prayer, to be used in all churches and chapels, that
nothing may impede or prevent this inestimable gift from having its
free course; and publick thanks may be offered up in all churches and
chapels, for such an astonishing proof of God's love to this favoured
land." The publication frankly states that "Mr. De Loutherbourg, who
lives on Hammersmith Green, has received a most glorious power from
the Lord Jehovah--viz. the gift of healing all manner of diseases
incident to the human body, such as blindness, deafness, lameness,
cancers, loss of speech, palsies." But the statements of "cases" are
yet more droll. The reader will enjoy the perusal of a few of them.

"_Case of Thomas Robinson._--Thomas Robinson was sent home to his
parents at the sign of the Ram, a public-house in Cow Cross, so ill
with what is called the king's evil, that they applied for leave to
bring him into St Bartholomew's Hospital." (Of course he was
discharged as "incurable," and was eventually restored to health by
Mr. Loutherbourg.) "But how," continues Miss Pratt, "shall my pen
paint ingratitude? The mother had procured a ticket for him from the
Finsbury Dispensary, and with a shameful reluctance denied having seen
Mr De Loutherbourg, waited on the kind gentleman belonging to the
dispensary, and, _amazing_! thanked them for relief which they had no
hand in; for she told me and fifty more, she took the drugs and
medicines and threw them away, reserving the phials, &c. Such an
imposition on the public ought to be detected, as she deprived other
poor people of those medicines which might have been useful; not only
so--robbed the Lord of Life of the glory due to him only, by returning
thanks at the dispensary for a cure which they had never performed.
The lad is now under Mr De Loutherbourg's care, who administered to
him before me yesterday in the public healing-room, amongst a large
concourse of people, amongst whom was some of the first families in
the kingdom."

"_Case.--Mary Ann Hughes._--Her father is chairman to her Grace the
Duchess of Rutland, who lives at No. 37, in Ogle Street. She had a
most violent fever, _fell into her knee_, went to Middlesex Hospital,
where they made every experiment in order to cure her--but in vain;
she came home worse than she went in, her leg contracted and useless.
In this deplorable state she waited on Mrs De Loutherbourg, who, with
infinite condescension, saw her, administered to her, and the second
time of waiting on Mrs De Loutherbourg she was perfectly cured."

"_Case.--Mrs Hook._--Mrs Hook, Stableyard, St James's, has two
daughters born deaf and dumb. She waited on the lady above-mentioned,
_who looked on them with an eye of benignity, and healed them_. (I
heard them both speak.)"

Mary Pratt, after enumerating several cases like the foregoing,
concludes thus:

"Let me repeat, with horror and detestation, the wickedness of those
who have procured tickets of admission, and sold them for five and two
guineas apiece!--whereas this gift was chiefly intended for the poor.
Therefore Mr De Loutherbourg has retired from the practice into the
country (for the present), having suffered all the indignities and
contumely that man could suffer, joined to ungrateful behaviour, and
tumultuous proceedings. I have heard people curse him and threaten his
life, instead of returning him thanks; and it is my humble wish that
prayers may be put up in all churches for his great gifts to


"Report says three thousand persons have waited for tickets at a

Forming a portion of this interesting work by Miss Pratt is a
description of a case which throws the Loutherbourgian miracles into
the shade, and is apparently cited only for the insight it affords
into the state of public feeling in Queen Anne's time, as contrasted
with the sceptical enlightenment of George III.'s reign:--

"I hope the public will allow me to adduce a case which history will
evince the truth of. A girl, whose father and mother were French
refugees, had her hip dislocated from her birth. She was apprentice to
a milliner, and obliged to go out about the mistress's business; the
boys used to insult her for her lameness continually, as she limped
very much.... Providence directed her to read one of the miracles
performed by our blessed Saviour concerning the withered arm. The girl
exclaimed, 'Oh, madam, was Jesus here on earth he would cure me.' Her
mistress answered, 'If you have faith, his power is the same now.' She
immediately cried, 'I have faith!' and the bone flew into its place
with a report like the noise of a pistol. The girl's joy was ecstatic.
She jumped about the room in raptures. The servant was called, sent
for her parents, and the minister under whom she sat. They spent the
night praising God. Hundreds came to see her, amongst whom was the
Bishop of London, by the command of her Majesty Queen Anne (for in
those days people were astonished at this great miracle.)"

Dr. Loutherbourg was not the first quack to fleece the good people of
Hammersmith. In the 572nd paper of the _Spectator_, dated July 26,
1714, there is a good story of a consummate artist, who surrounded
himself with an enormous crowd, and assured them that Hammersmith was
the place of his nativity; and that, out of strong natural affection
for his birth-place, he was willing to give each of its inhabitants a
present of five shillings. After this exordium, the benevolent fellow
produced from his cases an immense number of packets of a powder
warranted to cure everything and kill nothing. The price of each
packet was properly five shillings and sixpence; but out of love for
the people of Hammersmith the good doctor offered to let any of his
audience buy them at the rate of sixpence apiece. The multitude
availed themselves of this proposition to such an extent that it is to
be feared the friend of Hammersmith's humanity suffered greatly from
his liberality.

Steele has transmitted to us some capital anecdotes of the empirics of
his day. One doctor of Sir Richard's acquaintance resided in Moore
Alley, near Wapping, and proclaimed his ability to cure cataracts,
_because he had lost an eye in the emperor's service_. To his patients
he was in the habit of displaying, as a conclusive proof of his
surgical prowess, a muster-roll showing that either he, or a man of
his name, had been in one of his imperial Majesty's regiments. At the
sight of this document of course mistrust fled. Another man professed
to treat ruptured children, because his father and grandfather were
born bursten. But more humorous even than either of these gentlemen
was another friend of Sir Richard's, who announced to the public that
"from eight to twelve and from two till six, he attended for the good
of the public to bleed for threepence."

The fortunes which pretenders to the healing art have amassed would
justify a belief that empiricism, under favourable circumstances, is
the best trade to be found in the entire list of industrial
occupations. Quacks have in all ages found staunch supporters amongst
the powerful and affluent. Dr. Myersbach, whom Lettsom endeavoured to
drive back into obscurity, continued, long after the publication of
the "Observations," to make a large income out of the credulity of the
fashionable classes of English society. Without learning of any kind,
this man raised himself to opulence. His degree was bought at Erfurth
for a few shillings, just before that university raised the prices of
its academical distinctions, in consequence of the pleasant raillery
of a young Englishman, who paid the fees for a Doctor's diploma, and
had it duly recorded in the Collegiate archives as having been
presented to Anglicus Ponto; Ponto being no other than his mastiff
dog. With such a degree Myersbach set up for a philosopher. Patients
crowded to his consulting-room, and those who were unable to come sent
their servants with descriptions of their cases. But his success was
less than that of the inventor of Ailhaud's powders, which ran their
devastating course through every country in Europe, sending to the
silence of the grave almost as many thousands as were destroyed in all
Napoleon's campaigns. Tissot, in his "Avis au Peuple," published in
1803, attacked Ailhaud with characteristic vehemence, and put an end
to his destructive power; but ere this took place the charlatan had
mounted on his slaughtered myriads to the possession of three
baronies, and was figuring in European courts as the Baron de

The tricks which these practitioners have had recourse to for the
attainment of their ends are various. Dr. Katterfelto, who rose into
eminence upon the evil wind that brought the influenza to England in
the year 1782, always travelled about the country in a large caravan,
containing a number of black cats. This gentleman's triumphant
campaign was brought to a disastrous termination by the mayor of
Shrewsbury, who gave him a taste of the sharp discipline provided at
that time by the law for rogues and vagabonds.--"The Wise Man of
Liverpool," whose destiny it was to gull the canny inhabitants of the
North of England, used to traverse the country in a chariot drawn by
six horses, attended by a perfect army of outriders in brilliant
liveries, and affecting all the pomp of a prince of the royal blood.

The quacks who merit severe punishment the least of all their order
are those who, while they profess to exercise a powerful influence
over the bodies of their patients, leave nature to pursue her
operations pretty much in her own way. Of this comparatively harmless
class was Atwell, the parson of St. Tue, who, according to the account
given of him by Fuller, in his English Worthies, "although he now and
then used blood-letting, mostly for all diseases prescribed milk, and
often milk and apples, which (although contrary to the judgments of
the best-esteemed practitioners) either by virtue of the medicine, or
fortune of the physician, or fancy of the patient, recovered many out
of desperate extremities." Atwell won his reputation by acting on the
same principle that has brought a certain degree of popularity to the
hom\x9Copathists--that, namely, of letting things run their own
course. The higher order of empirics have always availed themselves of
the wonderful faculty possessed by nature of taking good care of
herself. Simple people who enlarge on the series of miraculous cures
performed by their pet charlatan, and find in them proofs of his
honesty and professional worth, do not reflect that in ninety-and-nine
cases out of every hundred where a sick person is restored to health,
the result is achieved by nature rather than art, and would have been
arrived at as speedily without as with medicine. Again, the fame of an
ordinary medical practitioner is never backed up by simple and
compound addition. His cures and half cures are never summed up to
magnificent total by his employers, and then flaunted about on a
bright banner before the eyes of the electors. 'Tis a mere matter of
course that _he_ (although he _is_ quite wrong, and knows not half as
much about his art as any great lady who has tested the efficacy of
the new system on her sick poodle) should cure people. 'Tis only the
cause of globules which is to be supported by documentary evidence,
containing the case of every young lady who has lost a severe headache
under the benign influence of an infinitesimal dose of flour and

Dumoulin, the physician, observed at his death that "he left behind
him two great physicians, Regimen and River Water." A due appreciation
of the truth embodied in this remark, coupled with that masterly
assurance, without which the human family is not to be fleeced,
enabled the French quack, Villars, to do good to others and to himself
at the same time. This man, in 1723, confided to his friends that his
uncle, who had recently been killed by an accident at the advanced age
of one hundred years, had bequeathed to him the recipe for a nostrum
which would prolong the life of any one who used it to a hundred and
fifty, provided only that the rules of sobriety were never
transgressed. Whenever a funeral passed him in the street he said
aloud, "Ah! if that unfortunate creature had taken my nostrum, he
might be carrying that coffin, instead of being carried in it." This
nostrum was composed of nitre and Seine water, and was sold at the
ridiculously cheap rate of five francs a bottle. Those who bought it
were directed to drink it at certain stated periods, and also to lead
regular lives, to eat moderately, drink temperately, take plenty of
bodily exercise, go to and rise from bed early, and to avoid mental
anxiety. In an enormous majority of cases the patient was either cured
or benefitted. Some possibly died, who, by the ministrations of
science, might have been preserved from the grave. But in these cases,
and doubtless they were few, the blunder was set down to Nature, who,
somewhat unjustly, was never credited with any of the recoveries. The
world was charitable, and the doctor could say--

    "The grave my faults does hide,
      The world my cures does see;
    What youth and time provide,
      Are oft ascribed to me."

Anyhow Villars succeeded, and won the approbation not only of his
dupes, but of those also who were sagacious enough to see the nature
of his trick. The Abbe Pons declared him to be the superior of the
marshal of the same name. "The latter," said he, "kills men--the
former prolongs their existence." At length Villars' secret leaked
out; and his patients, unwise in coming to him, unwisely deserted him.
His occupation was gone.

The displeasure of Villars' dupes, on the discovery of the benevolent
hoax played upon them, reminds us of a good story. Some years since,
at a fashionable watering-place, on the south-east coast of England,
resided a young surgeon--handsome, well-bred, and of most pleasant
address. He was fast rising into public favour and a good practice,
when an eccentric and wealthy maiden lady, far advanced in years, sent
for him. The summons of course was promptly obeyed, and the young
practitioner was soon listening to a most terrible story of suffering.
The afflicted lady, according to her own account, had a year before,
during the performance of her toilet, accidentally taken into her
throat one of the bristles of her tooth-brush. This bristle had stuck
in the top of the gullet, and set up an irritation which, she was
convinced, was killing her. She had been from one surgeon of eminence
to another, and everywhere in London and in the country the Faculty
had assured her that she was only the victim of a nervous
delusion--that her throat was in a perfectly healthy condition--that
the disturbance existed only in her own imagination. "And so they go
on, the stupid, obstinate, perverse, unfeeling creatures," concluded
the poor lady, "saying there is nothing the matter with me, while I
am--dying--dying--dying!" "Allow me, my dear lady," said the adroit
surgeon in reply, "to inspect for myself--carefully--the state of
your throat." The inspection was made gravely, and at much length. "My
dear Miss ----," resumed the surgeon, when he had concluded his
examination, "you are quite right, and Sir Benjamin Brodie and Sir
James Clark are wrong. I can see the head of the bristle low down,
almost out of sight; and if you'll let me run home for my instruments,
I'll forthwith extract it for you." The adroit man retired, and in a
few minutes re-entered the room, armed with a very delicate pair of
forceps, into the teeth of which he had inserted a bristle taken from
an ordinary tooth-brush. The rest can be imagined. The lady threw back
her head; the forceps were introduced into her mouth; a prick--a
scream! and 'twas all over; and the surgeon, with a smiling face, was
holding up to the light, and inspecting with lively curiosity, the
extracted bristle. The patient was in raptures at a result that proved
that she was right, and Sir Benjamin Brodie wrong. She immediately
recovered her health and spirits, and went about everywhere sounding
the praises of "her saviour," as she persisted in calling the
dexterous operator. So enthusiastic was her gratitude, she offered him
her hand in marriage and her noble fortune. The fact that the young
surgeon was already married was an insuperable obstacle to this
arrangement. But other proofs of gratitude the lady lavishly showered
on him. She compelled him to accept a carriage and horses, a service
of plate, and a new house. Unfortunately the lucky fellow could not
keep his own counsel. Like foolish Samson with Delilah, he imparted
the secret of his cunning to the wife of his bosom; she confided it to
Louise Clarissa, her especial friend, who had been her bridesmaid;
Louise Clarissa told it under vows of inviolable secrecy to six other
particular friends; and the six other particular friends--base and
unworthy girls!--told it to all the world. Ere long the story came
round to the lady herself. Then what a storm arose! She was in a
transport of fury! It was of no avail for the surgeon to remind her
that he had unquestionably raised her from a pitiable condition to
health and happiness. That mattered not. He had tricked, fooled,
bamboozled her! She would not forgive him, she would pursue him with
undying vengeance, she would ruin him! The writer of these pages is
happy to know that the surgeon here spoken of, whose prosperous career
has been adorned by much genuine benevolence, though unforgiven, was
not ruined.

The ignorant are remarkable alike for suspicion and credulity; and the
quack makes them his prey by lulling to sleep the former quality, and
artfully arousing and playing upon the latter. Whatever the field of
quackery may be, the dupe must ever be the same. Some years since a
canny drover, from the north of the Tweed, gained a high reputation
throughout the Eastern Counties for selling at high prices the beasts
intrusted to him as a salesman. At Norwich and Earl Soham, at Bury and
Ipswich, the story was the same--Peter M'Dougal invariably got more
per head for "a lot" than even his warmest admirers had calculated he
would obtain. He managed his business so well, that his brethren,
unable to compete with him, came to a conclusion not altogether
supported by the facts of the case, but flattering to their own
self-love. Clearly Peter could only surpass them by such a long
distance, through the agency of some charm or witch's secret. They
hinted as much; and Peter wisely accepted the suggestion, with a
half-assenting nod of cunning, and encouraged his mates to believe in
it. A year or so passed on, and it was generally allowed that Peter
M'Dougal was in league on honourable terms with the unseen world. To
contend with him was useless. The only line open to his would-be
imitators was to buy from him participations in his mysterious powers.
"Peter," at length said a simple southern, at the close of Halesworth
cattle-fair, acting as spokesman for himself and four other
conspirators, "lets us into yer secret, man. Yer ha' made here twelve
pun a yead by a lot that aren't woth sex. How ded yer doo it? We are
all owld friens. Lets us goo to 'Th' Alter'd Case,' an I an my mets
ull stan yar supper an a dead drunk o' whiskey or rom poonch, so be
yar jine hans to giv us the wink." Peter's eyes twinkled. He liked a
good supper and plenty of hot grog at a friend's expense. Indeed, of
such fare, like Sheridan with wine, he was ready to take any given
quantity. The bargain was made, and an immediate adjournment effected
to the public-house rejoicing in the title of "The Case is Altered."
The supper was of hot steak-pudding, made savoury with pepper and
onions. Peter M'Dougal ate plentifully and deliberately. Slowly also
he drank two stiff tumblers of whiskey punch, smoking his pipe
meanwhile without uttering a word. The second tumbler was followed by
a third, and as he sipped the latter half of it, his entertainers
closed round him, and intimated that their part of the contract being
accomplished, he, as a man of honour, ought to fulfill his. Peter was
a man of few words, and without any unnecessary prelude or comment, he
stated in one laconic speech the secret of his professional success.
Laying down his pipe by his empty glass, and emitting from his gray
eyes a light of strange humour, he said drily, "Ye'd knoo hoo it was I
cam to mak sae guid a sale o' my beasties? Weel, I ken it was joost
this--_I fund a fule!_"

The drover who rises to be a capitalist, and the lawyer who mounts to
the woolsack, ascend by the same process. They know how to find out
fools, and how to turn their discoveries to advantage.

It is told of a Barbadoes physician and slaveholder, that having been
robbed to a serious extent in his sugar-works, he discovered the thief
by the following ingenious artifice. Having called his slaves
together, he addressed them thus:--"My friends, the great serpent
appeared to me during the night, and told me that the person who stole
my money should, at this instant--_this very instant_--have a parrot's
feather at the point of his nose." On this announcement, the dishonest
thief, anxious to find out if his guilt had declared itself, put his
finger to his nose. "Man," cried the master instantly, "'tis thou who
hast robbed me. The great serpent has just told me so."

Clearly this piece of quackery succeeded, because the quack had "fund
a fule."



Radcliffe, the Jacobite partisan, the physician without learning, and
the luxurious _bon-vivant_, who grudged the odd sixpences of his
tavern scores, was born at Wakefield in Yorkshire, in the year 1650.
His extraction was humble, his father being only a well-to-do yeoman.
In after life, when he lived on intimate terms with the leading
nobility of the country, he put in a claim for aristocratic descent;
and the Earl of Derwentwater recognized him as a kinsman deriving his
blood from the Radcliffes of Dilston, in the county of Northumberland,
the chiefs of which honourable family had been knights, barons, and
earls, from the time of Henry IV. It may be remembered that a similar
countenance was given to Burke's patrician pretensions, which have
been related by more than one biographer, with much humorous pomp. In
Radcliffe's case the Heralds interfered with the Earl's decision; for
after the physician's decease they admonished the University of Oxford
not to erect any escutcheon over or upon his monument. But though
Radcliffe was a plebeian, he contrived, by his shrewd humour,
arrogant simplicity, and immeasurable insolence, to hold both Whigs
and Tories in his grasp. The two factions of the aristocracy bowed
before him--the Tories from affection to a zealous adherent of regal
absolutism; and the Whigs, from a superstitious belief in his remedial
skill, and a fear that in their hours of need he would leave them to
the advances of Death.

At the age of fifteen he became a member of the University College,
Oxford; and having kept his terms there, he took his B. A. degree in
1669, and was made senior-scholar of the college. But no fellowship
falling vacant there, he accepted one on the foundation of Lincoln
College. His M. B. degree he took in 1675, and forthwith obtained
considerable practice in Oxford. Owing to a misunderstanding with Dr.
Marshall, the rector of Lincoln College, Radcliffe relinquished a
fellowship, which he could no longer hold, without taking orders, in
1677. He did not take his M. D. degree till 1682, two years after
which time he went up to London, and took a house in Bow Street, next
that in which Sir Godfrey Kneller long resided; and with a facility
which can hardly be credited in these days, when success is achieved
only by slow advances, he stept forthwith into a magnificent income.

The days of mealy-mouthed suavity had not yet come to the Faculty.
Instead of standing by each other with lip-service, as they now do in
spite of all their jealousies, physicians and surgeons vented their
mutual enmities in frank, honest abuse. Radcliffe's tongue was well
suited for this part of his business; and if that unruly member
created for him enemies, it could also contend with a legion of
adversaries at the same time. Foulks and Adams, then the first
apothecaries in Oxford, tried to discredit the young doctor, but were
ere long compelled to sue for a cessation of hostilities. Luff, who
afterwards became Professor of Physic in the University, declared that
all "Radcliffe's cures were performed only by guesswork"; and Gibbons,
with a sneer, said, "that it was a pity that his friends had not made
a scholar of the young man." In return Radcliffe always persisted in
speaking of his opponent as _Nurse_ Gibbons--because of his slops and
diet drinks, whereas he (Radcliffe the innovator) preached up the good
effects of fresh air, a liberal table, and cordials. This was the Dr.
Gibbons around whom the apothecaries rallied, to defend their
interests in the great Dispensarian contest, and whom Garth in his
poem ridicules, under the name of "Mirmillo," for entertaining

    "Not far from that frequented theatre,
    Where wandering punks each night at five repair,
    Where purple emperors in buskins tread,
    And rule imaginary worlds for bread;
    Where Bentley, by old writers, wealthy grew,
    And Briscoe lately was undone by new;
    There triumphs a physician of renown,
    To none, but such as rust in health, unknown.
          .      .      .      .      .
    The trading tribe oft thither throng to dine,
    And want of elbow-room supply in wine."

Gibbons was not the only dangerous antagonist that Radcliffe did
battle with in London. Dr. Whistler, Sir Edmund King, Sir Edward
Hannes, and Sir Richard Blackmore were all strong enough to hurt him
and rouse his jealousy. Hannes, also an Oxford man, was to the last a
dangerous and hated rival. He opened his campaign in London with a
carriage and four horses. The equipage was so costly and imposing that
it attracted the general attention of the town. "By Jove! Radcliffe,"
said a kind friend, "Hannes's horses are the finest I have ever seen."
"Umph!" growled Radcliffe savagely, "then he'll be able to sell them
for all the more."

To make his name known Hannes used to send his liveried footmen
running about the streets with directions to put their heads into
every coach they met and inquire, with accents of alarm, if Dr. Hannes
was in it. Acting on these orders, one of his fellows, after looking
into every carriage between Whitehall and the Royal Exchange, without
finding his employer, ran up Exchange Alley into Garraway's
Coffee-house, which was one of the great places of meeting for the
members of the medical profession. (Apothecaries used regularly to
come and consult the physicians, while the latter were over their
wine, paying only half fees for the advice so given, without the
patients being personally examined. Batson's coffee-house in Corn-hill
was another favourite spot for these Galenic re-unions, Sir William
Blizard being amongst the last of the medical authorities who
frequented that hostelry for the purpose of receiving apothecaries.)
"Gentlemen, can your honours tell me if Dr. Hannes is here?" asked the
man, running into the very centre of the exchange of medicine-men.
"Who wants Dr. Hannes, fellow?" demanded Radcliffe, who happened to be
present. "Lord A---- and Lord B----, your honour!" answered the man.
"No, no, friend," responded the doctor slowly, and with pleasant
irony, "you are mistaken. Those lords don't want your master--'tis he
who wants them."

But Hannes made friends and a fine income, to the deep chagrin of his
contemptuous opponent. An incessant feud existed between the two men.
The virulence of their mutual animosity may be estimated by the
following story. When the poor little Duke of Gloucester was taken
ill, Sir Edward Hannes and Blackmore (famous as Sir Richard Blackmore,
the poet) were called in to attend him. On the case taking a fatal
turn, Radcliffe was sent for; and after roundly charging the two
doctors with the grossest mismanagement of a simple attack of rash,
went on, "It would have been happy for this nation had you, sir, been
bred up a basket-maker--and you, sir, had remained a country
schoolmaster, rather than have ventured out of your reach, in the
practice of an art which you are an utter stranger to, and for your
blunders in which you ought to be whipped with one of your own rods."
The reader will not see the force of this delicate speech if he is not
aware that Hannes was generally believed to be the son of a
basket-maker, and Sir Richard Blackmore had, in the period of his
early poverty, like Johnson and Oliver Goldsmith, been a teacher of
boys. Whenever the "Amenities of the Faculty" come to be published,
this consultation, on the last illness of Jenkin Lewis's little
friend, ought to have its niche in the collection.

Towards the conclusion of his life, Radcliffe said that, "when a young
practitioner, he possessed twenty remedies for every disease; and at
the close of his career he found twenty diseases for which he had not
one remedy." His mode of practice, however, as far as anything is
known about it, at the outset was the same as that which he used at
the conclusion of his career. Pure air, cleanliness, and a wholesome
diet were amongst his most important prescriptions; though he was so
far from running counter to the interests of the druggists, that his
apothecary, Dandridge, whose business was almost entirely confined to
preparing the doctor's medicines, died worth 50,000_l_. For the
imaginary maladies of his hypochondriacal male and fanciful female
patients he had the greatest contempt, and neither respect for age or
rank, nor considerations of interest, could always restrain him from
insulting such patients. In 1686 he was appointed physician to
Princess Anne of Denmark, and was for some years a trusted adviser of
that royal lady; but he lacked the compliant temper and imperturbable
suavity requisite for a court physician. Shortly after the death of
Queen Mary, the Princess Anne, having incurred a fit of what is by the
vulgar termed "blue devils," from not paying proper attention to her
diet, sent in all haste to her physician. Radcliffe, when he received
the imperative summons to hurry to St. James's was sitting over his
bottle in a tavern. The allurements of Bacchus were too strong for
him, and he delayed his visit to the distinguished sufferer. A second
messenger arrived, but by that time the physician was so gloriously
ennobled with claret, that he discarded all petty considerations of
personal advantage, and flatly refused to stir an inch from the room
where he was experiencing all the happiness humanity is capable of.
"Tell her Royal Highness," he exclaimed, banging his fist on the
table, "that her distemper is nothing but the vapours. She's in as
good state of health as any woman breathing--only she can't make up
her mind to believe it."

The next morning prudence returned with sobriety; and the doctor did
not fail to present himself at an early hour in the Princess's
apartment in St. James's Palace. To his consternation he was stopped
in the ante-room by an officer, and informed that he was dismissed
from his post, which had already been given to Dr. Gibbons. Anne never
forgave the sarcasm about "the vapours." It so rankled in her breast,
that, though she consented to ask for the Doctor's advice both for
herself and those dear to her, she never again held any cordial
communication with him. Radcliffe tried to hide the annoyance caused
him by his fall, in a hurricane of insolence towards his triumphant
rival: Nurse Gibbons had gotten a new nursery--Nurse Gibbons was not
to be envied his new acquisition--Nurse Gibbons was fit only to look
after a woman who merely fancied herself ill.

Notwithstanding this rupture with the Court, Radcliffe continued to
have the most lucrative practice in town, and in all that regarded
money he was from first to last a most lucky man. On coming to town he
found Lower, the Whig physician, sinking in public favour--and Thomas
Short, the Roman Catholic doctor, about to drop into the grave.
Whistler, Sir Edmund King, and Blackmore had plenty of patients. But
there was a "splendid opening," and so cleverly did Radcliffe slip
into it, that at the end of his first year in town he got twenty
guineas per diem. The difference in the value of money being taken
into consideration, it may be safely affirmed that no living
physician makes more. Occasionally the fees presented to him were very
large. He cured Bentinck, afterwards Earl of Portland, of a
diarrh\x9Ca, and Zulestein, afterwards Earl of Rochford, of an attack
of congestion of the brain. For these services William III. presented
him with 500 guineas out of the privy-purse, and offered to appoint
him one of his physicians, with \xA3200 per annum more than he gave any
other of his medical officers. Radcliffe pocketed the fee, but his
Jacobite principles precluded him from accepting the post. William,
however, notwithstanding the opposition of Bidloe and the rest of his
medical servants, held Radcliffe in such estimation that he
continually consulted him; and during the first eleven years of his
reign paid him, one year with another, 600 guineas per annum. And when
he restored to health William, Duke of Gloucester (the Princess of
Denmark's son), who in his third year was attacked with severe
convulsions, Queen Mary sent him, through the hand of her Lord
Chamberlain, 1000 guineas. And for attending the Earl of Albemarle at
Namur he had 400 guineas and a diamond ring, 1200 guineas from the
treasury, and an offer of a baronetcy from the King.

For many years he was the neighbour of Sir Godfrey Kneller, in Bow
Street. A dispute that occurred between the two neighbours and friends
is worth recording. Sir Godfrey took pleasure in his garden, and
expended large sums of money in stocking it with exotic plants and
rare flowers. Radcliffe also enjoyed a garden, but loved his fees too
well to expend them on one of his own. He suggested to Sir Godfrey
that it would be a good plan to insert a door into the boundary wall
between their gardens, so that on idle afternoons, when he had no
patients to visit, he might slip into his dear friend's
pleasure-grounds. Kneller readily assented to this proposition, and
ere a week had elapsed the door was ready for use. The plan, however,
had not been long acted on when the painter was annoyed by Radcliffe's
servants wantonly injuring his parterres. After fruitlessly
expostulating against these depredations, the sufferer sent a message
to his friend, threatening, if the annoyance recurred, to brick up the
wall. "Tell Sir Godfrey," answered Radcliffe to the messenger, "that
he may do what he likes to the door, so long as he does not paint it."
When this vulgar jeer was reported to Kneller, he replied, with equal
good humour and more wit, "Go back and give my service to Dr.
Radcliffe, and tell him, I'll take anything from him--but physic."

Radcliffe was never married, and professed a degree of misogyny that
was scarcely in keeping with his conduct on certain occasions. His
person was handsome and imposing, but his manners were little
calculated to please women. Overbearing, truculent, and abusive, he
could not rest without wounding the feelings of his companions with
harsh jokes. Men could bear with him, but ladies were like Queen Anne
in vehemently disliking him. King William was not pleased with his
brutal candour in exclaiming, at the sight of the dropsical ancles
uncovered for inspection, "I would not have your Majesty's legs for
your three kingdoms"; but William's sister-in-law repaid a much
slighter offence with life-long animosity. In 1693, however, the
doctor made an offer to a citizen's daughter, who had beauty and a
fortune of \xA315,000. As she was only twenty-four years of age, the
doctor was warmly congratulated by his friends when he informed them
that he, though well advanced in middle age, had succeeded in his
suit. Before the wedding-day, however, it was discovered that the
health of the lady rendered it incumbent on her honour that she should
marry her father's book-keeper. This mishap soured the doctor's temper
to the fair sex, and his sarcasms at feminine folly and frailty were

He was fond of declaring that he wished for an Act of Parliament
entitling nurses to the sole and entire medical care of women. A lady
who consulted him about a nervous singing in the head was advised to
"curl her hair with a ballad." His scorn of women was not lessened by
the advances of certain disorderly ladies of condition, who displayed
for him that morbid passion which medical practitioners have often to
resist in the treatment of hysterical patients. Yet he tried his luck
once again at the table of love. "There's no fool so great as an old
fool." In the summer of 1709, Radcliffe, then in his sixtieth year,
started a new equipage; and having arrayed himself in the newest mode
of foppery, threw all the town into fits of laughter by paying his
addresses, with the greatest possible publicity, to a lady who
possessed every requisite charm--(youth, beauty, wealth)--except a
tenderness for her aged suitor. Again was there an unlucky termination
to the doctor's love, which Steele, in No. 44 of _The Tatler_,
ridiculed in the following manner:--

"This day, passing through Covent Garden, I was stopped in the Piazza
by Pacolet, to observe what he called _The Triumph of Love and Youth_.
I turned to the object he pointed at, and there I saw a gay gilt
chariot, drawn by fresh prancing horses, the coachman with a new
cockade, and the lacqueys with insolence and plenty in their
countenances. I asked immediately, 'What young heir, or lover, owned
that glittering equipage!' But my companion interrupted, 'Do not you
see there the mourning \xC6sculapius?' 'The mourning!' said I. 'Yes,
Isaac,' said Pacolet, 'he is in deep mourning, and is the languishing,
hopeless lover of the divine Hebe, the emblem of Youth and Beauty.
That excellent and learned sage you behold in that furniture is the
strongest instance imaginable that love is the most powerful of all

"'You are not so ignorant as to be a stranger to the character of
\xC6sculapius, as the patron and most successful of all who profess the
Art of Medicine. But as most of his operations are owing to a natural
sagacity or impulse, he has very little troubled himself with the
Doctrine of Drugs, but has always given Nature more room to help
herself than any of her learned assistants; and consequently has done
greater wonders than in the power of Art to perform; for which reason
he is half deified by the people, and has ever been courted by all the
world, just as if he were a seventh son.

"'It happened that the charming Hebe was reduc'd, by a long and
violent fever, to the most extreme danger of Death; and when all skill
failed, they sent for \xC6sculapius. The renowned artist was touched with
the deepest compassion, to see the faded charms and faint bloom of
Hebe; and had a generous concern, too, in beholding a struggle, not
between Life, but rather between Youth, and Death. All his skill and
his passion tended to the recovery of Hebe, beautiful even in
sickness; but, alas! the unhappy physician knew not that in all his
care he was only sharpening darts for his own destruction. In a word,
his fortune was the same with that of the statuary who fell in love
with an image of his own making; and the unfortunate \xC6sculapius is
become the patient of her whom he lately recovered. Long before this,
\xC6sculapius was far gone in the unnecessary and superfluous amusements
of old age, in the increase of unwieldy stores, and the provision in
the midst of an incapacity of enjoyment, of what he had for a supply
of more wants than he had calls for in Youth itself. But these low
considerations are now no more; and Love has taken place of Avarice,
or rather is become an Avarice of another kind, which still urges him
to pursue what he does not want. But behold the metamorphosis: the
anxious mean cares of an usurer are turned into the languishments and
complaints of a lover. "Behold," says the aged \xC6sculapius, "I submit;
I own, great Love, thy empire. Pity, Hebe, the fop you have made. What
have I to do with gilding but on Pills? Yet, O Fate! for thee I sit
amidst a crowd of painted deities on my chariot, buttoned in gold,
clasp'd in gold, without having any value for that beloved metal, but
as it adorns the person and laces the hat of the dying lover. I ask
not to live, O Hebe! Give me but gentle death. Euthanasia, Euthanasia!
that is all I implore."' When \xC6sculapius had finished his complaint,
Pacolet went on in deep morals on the uncertainty of riches, with
this remarkable explanation--'O wealth! how impatient art thou! And
how little dost thou supply us with real happiness, when the usurer
himself cannot forget thee, for the love of what is foreign to his
felicity, as thou art!'"

Seven days after the _Tatler_ resumed the attack, but with less happy
effect. In this picture, the justice of which was not questioned, even
by the Doctor's admirers, the avarice of the veteran is not less
insisted on as the basis of his character, than his amorousness is
displayed as a ludicrous freak of vanity. Indeed, love of money was
the master-defect of Radcliffe's disposition. Without a child, or a
prospect of offspring, he screwed and scraped in every direction. Even
his debaucheries had an alloy of discomfort that does not customarily
mingle in the dissipations of the rich. The flavour of the money each
bottle cost gave ungrateful smack to his wine. He had numerous poor
relations, of whom he took, during his life, little or no notice. Even
his sisters he kept at arm's distance, lest they should show their
affection for him by dipping their hands in his pockets. It is true,
he provided liberally for them at his death--leaving to the one (a
married lady--Mrs. Hannah Redshaw) a thousand a year for life, and to
the other (a spinster lady) an income of half that amount as long as
she lived. But that he treated them with unbrotherly neglect there is
no doubt.

After his decease, a letter was found in his closet, directed to his
unmarried sister, Millicent Radcliffe, in which, with contrition, and
much pathos, he bids her farewell. "You will find," says he, in that
epistle, "by my will that I have taken better care of you than
perhaps you might expect from my former treatment of you; for which,
with my dying breath, I most heartily ask pardon. I had indeed acted
the brother's part much better, in making a handsome settlement on you
while living, than after my decease; and can plead nothing in excuse,
but that the love of money, which I have emphatically known to be the
root of all evil, was too predominant over me. Though, I hope, I have
made some amends for that odious sin of covetousness, in my last
dispositions of those worldly goods which it pleased the great
Dispenser of Providence to bless me with."

What made this meanness of disposition in money matters the more
remarkable was, that he was capable of occasional munificence, on a
scale almost beyond his wealth, and also of a stoical fortitude under
any reverse of fortune that chanced to deprive him of some of his
beloved guineas.

In the year 1704, at a general collection for propagating the Gospel
in foreign parts, he settled on the Society established for that
purpose \xA350 per annum for ever. And this noble gift he unostentatiously
made under an assumed name. In the same year he presented \xA3520 to the
Bishop of Norwich, to be distributed among the poor non-juring clergy;
and this donation he also desired should be kept a secret from the

His liberality to Oxford was far from being all of the _post-mortem_
sort. In 1687 he presented the chapel of University College with an
east window, representing, in stained glass, the Nativity, and having
the following inscription:--"D.D. Johan Radcliffe, M.D., hujus
Collegii quondam Socius, Anno Domini MDCLXXXVII." In 1707 he gave
Sprat, Bishop of Rochester, bills for \xA3300, drawn under the assumed
name of Francis Andrews, on Waldegrave the goldsmith, of Russell
Street, Covent Garden, for the relief of distressed Scotch Episcopal

As another instance of how his niggard nature could allow him to do
good by stealth, and blush to find it fame, his liberality to James
Drake, the Tory writer, may be mentioned. Drake was a physician, as
well as a political author. As the latter, he was well liked, as the
former he was honestly hated by Radcliffe. Two of a trade--where one
of the two is a John Radcliffe--can never agree. Each of the two
doctors had done his utmost to injure the reputation of the other. But
when Drake, broken in circumstances by a political persecution, was in
sore distress from want of money, Radcliffe put fifty guineas into a
lady's hands, and begged her to convey it to Drake. "Let him," said
Radcliffe, with the delicacy of a fine heart, "by no means be told
whence it comes. He is a gentleman, and has often done his best to
hurt me. He could, therefore, by no means brook the receipt of a
benefit from a person whom he had used all possible means to make an

After such instances of Ratcliffe's generosity, it may seem
unnecessary to give more proofs of the existence of that quality,
disguised though it was by miserly habits. His friend Nutley, a loose
rollicking gentleman about town, a barrister without practice, a man
of good family, and no fortune, a jovial dog, with a jest always on
his lips, wine in his head, and a death's-head grinning over each
shoulder [such bachelors may still be found in London], was in this
case the object of the doctor's benevolence. Driven by duns and
tippling to the borders of distraction, Nutley crept out of his
chambers under the cover of night to the "Mitre Tavern," and called
for "a bottle." "A bottle" with Nutley meant "many bottles." The end
of it was that the high-spirited gentleman fell down in a condition of
---- well! in a condition that Templars, in this age of earnest
purpose and decent morals, would blush to be caught in. Mr. Nutley was
taken hold of by the waiters, and carried up-stairs to bed.

The next morning the merry fellow is in the saddest of all possible
humours. The memory of a few little bills, the holders of which are
holding a parliament on his stair-case in Pump-court; the recollection
that he has not a guinea left--either to pacify those creditors with,
or to use in paying for the wine consumed over night; a depressing
sense that the prominent features of civilized existence are
tax-gatherers and sheriff's officers; a head that seems to be falling
over one side of the pillow, whilst the eyes roll out on the
other;--all these afflict poor Mr. Nutley! A knock at the door, and
the landlady enters. The landlady is the Widow Watts, daughter of the
widow Bowles, also in the same line. As now, so a hundred and fifty
years ago, ladies in licensed victualling circles played tricks with
their husbands' night-caps--killed them with kindness, and reigned in
their stead. The widow Watts has a sneaking fondness for poor Mr.
Nutley, and is much affected when, in answer to her inquiry how "his
honour feels his-self," he begins to sob like a child, narrate the
troubles of his infancy, the errors of his youth, and the sorrows of
his riper age. Mistress Watts is alarmed. Only to think of Mr. Nutley
going on like that, talking of his blessed mother who had been dead
these twenty years, and vowing he'd kill himself, because he is an
outcast, and no better than a disgrace to his family. "To think of it!
and only yesterday he were the top of company, and would have me drink
his own honourable health in a glass of his own wine." Mistress Watts
sends straightway for Squire Nutley's friend, the Doctor. When
Radcliffe makes his appearance, he sees the whole case at a glance,
rallies Billy Nutley about his rascally morals, estimates his
assertion that "it's only his liver a little out of order" exactly at
its worth, and takes his leave shortly, saying to himself, "If poor
Billy could only be freed from the depression caused by his present
pecuniary difficulties, he would escape for this once a return of the
deliri...." At the end of another half hour, a goldsmith's man enters
the bed-room, and puts into Nutley's hand a letter and a bag of gold
containing 200 guineas. The epistle is from Radcliffe, begging his
friend to accept the money, and to allow the donor to send him in a
few days 300 more of the same coins. Such was the physician's
prescription, in dispensing which he condescended to act as his own
apothecary. Bravo, doctor!--who of us shall say which of the good
deeds--thy gift to Billy Nutley or thy princely bequest to Oxford--has
the better right to be regarded as the offspring of sincere
benevolence? Some--and let no "fie!" be cried upon them--will find in
this story more to make them love thy memory than they have ever found
in that noble library whose dome stands up amidst the towers, and
steeples, and sacred walls of beloved Oxford.

It would not be hard to say which of the two gifts has done the
greater good. Poor Will Nutley took his 500 guineas, and had "more
bottles," went a few more times to the theatres in lace and velvet and
brocade, roared out at a few more drinking bouts, and was carried off
by [his biographer calls it "a violent fever"] in the twenty-ninth
year of his age. And possibly since Willy Nutley was Willy Nutley, and
no one else, this was the best possible termination for him. That
Radcliffe, the head of a grave profession, and a man of fifty-seven
years of age, should have conceived an enthusiastic friendship for a
youngster of half his age, is a fact that shows us one of the
consequences of the tavern life of our great-grandfathers. It puts us
in mind of how Fielding, ere he had a beard, burst into popularity
with the haunters of coffee-houses. When roistering was in fashion, a
young man had many chances which he no longer possesses. After the
theatres were closed, he reeled into the hostels of the town, singing
snatches with the blithe, clear voice of youth, laughing and jesting
with all around, and frequently amongst that "all" he came in contact
with the highest and most powerful men of the time. A boy-adventurer
could display his wit and quality to statesmen and leaders of all
sorts; whereas now he must wait years before he is even introduced to
them, and years more ere he gets an invitation to their formal
dinners, at which Barnes Newcome cuts as brilliant a figure as the
best and the strongest.

Throughout his life Radcliffe was a staunch and manly Jacobite. He was
for "the king"; but neither loyalty nor interest could bind him to
higher considerations than those of attachment to the individual he
regarded as the rightful head of the realm. In 1688, when Obadiah
Walker tried to wheedle him into the folly of becoming a Romanist, the
attempt at perversion proved a signal failure. Nothing can be more
truly manly than his manner of rejecting the wily advances of the
proselytizing pervert. "The advantages you propose to me," he writes,
"may be very great, for all that I know; God Almighty can do very much
and so can the king; but you'll pardon me if I cease to speak like a
physician for once, and, with an air of gravity, am very apprehensive
that I may anger the one in being too complaisant to the other. You
cannot call this pinning my faith to any man's sleeve; those that know
me are too well apprized of my quite contrary tendency. As I never
flattered a man myself, so 'tis my firm resolution never to be
wheedled out of my real sentiments--which are, that since it has been
my good fortune to be educated according to the usage of the Church of
England, established by law, I shall never make myself so unhappy as
to shame my teachers and instructors by departing from what I have
imbibed from them."

Thus was Walker treated when he abused his position as head of
University College. But when the foolish man was deprived of his
office, he found a good friend in him whom he had tried to seduce from
the Church in which he had been reared. From the time of his first
coming to London from Oxford, on the abdication of James the Second,
up to the time of his death, Walker subsisted on a handsome allowance
made to him out of Radcliffe's purse. When, also, the discarded
principal died, it was the doctor who gave him an honourable interment
in Pancras churchyard, and years afterwards erected a monument to his

As years passed on, without the restitution of the proscribed males of
the Stuart House, Radcliffe's political feelings became more bitter.
He was too cautious a man to commit himself in any plot having for its
object a change of dynasty; but his ill-humour at the existing state
of things vented itself in continual sarcasms against the chiefs of
the Whig party with whom he came in contact. He professed that he did
not wish for practice amongst the faction to which he was opposed. He
had rather only preserve the lives of those citizens who were loyal to
their king. One of the immediate results of this affectation was
increased popularity with his political antagonists. Whenever a Whig
leader was dangerously ill, his friends were sure to feel that his
only chance of safety rested on the ministrations of the Jacobite
doctor. Radcliffe would be sent for, and after swearing a score of
times that nothing should induce him to comply with the summons, would
make his appearance at the sick-bed, where he would sometimes tell the
sufferer that the devil would have no mercy on those who put
constitutional governments above the divine right of kings. If the
patient recovered, of course his cure was attributed to the Tory
physician; and if death was the result, the same cause was pointed

It might be fancied that, rather than incur a charge of positively
killing his political antagonists, Radcliffe would have left them to
their fates. But this plan would have served him the reverse of well.
If he failed to attend a Whig's death-bed to which he had been
summoned, the death was all the same attributed to him. "He might,"
exclaimed the indignant survivors, "have saved poor Tom if he had
liked; only poor Tom was a Whig, and so he left him to die." He was
charged alike with killing Queen Mary, whom he did attend in her dying
illness--and Queen Anne, whom he didn't.

The reader of the Harleian MS. of Burnet's "History" is amused with
the following passage, which does not appear in the printed
editions:--"I will not enter into another province, nor go out of my
own profession, and so will say no more of the physician's part, but
that it was universally condemned; so that the Queen's death was
imputed to the unskilfulness and wilfulness of Dr. Radcliffe, an
impious and vicious man, who hated the Queen much, but virtue and
religion more. He was a professed Jacobite, and was, by many, thought
a very bad physician; but others cried him up to the highest degree
imaginable. He was called for, and it appeared but too evident that
his opinion was depended on. Other physicians were called when it was
too late; all symptoms were bad, yet still the Queen felt herself

Radcliffe's negative murder of Queen Anne was yet more amusing than
his positive destruction of Mary. When Queen Anne was almost _in
extremis_, Radcliffe was sent for. The Queen, though she never forgave
him for his drunken ridicule of her vapours, had an exalted opinion
of his professional talents, and had, more than once, winked at her
ladies, consulting him about the health of their royal mistress. Now
that death was at hand, Lady Masham sent a summons for the doctor; but
he was at Carshalton, sick of his dying illness, and returned answer
that it would be impossible for him to leave his country-seat and wait
on her Majesty. Such was the absurd and superstitious belief in his
mere presence, that the Queen was popularly pictured as having died
because he was not present to see her draw her last breath. Whom he
liked he could kill, and whom he liked could keep alive and well. Even
Arbuthnot, a brother physician, was so tinctured with the popular
prejudice, that he could gravely tell Swift of the pleasure Radcliffe
had "in preserving my Lord Chief Justice Holt's wife, whom he attended
out of spite to her husband, who wished her dead."

It makes one smile to read Charles Ford's letter to the sarcastic Dean
on the subject of the Queen's last illness. "She continued ill the
whole day. In the evening I spoke to Dr Arbuthnot, and he told me that
he did not think her distemper was desperate. Radcliffe was sent for
to Carshalton about noon, by order of council; but said he had taken
physic and could not come. _In all probability he had saved her life;
for I am told the late Lord Gower had been often in the condition with
the gout in the head, and Radcliffe kept him alive many years after._"
The author of Gulliver must have grinned as he read this sentence. It
was strange stuff to write about "that puppy Radcliffe" (as the Dean
calls the physician in his journal to Stella) to the man who coolly
sent out word to a Dublin mob that he had put off an eclipse to a
more suitable time. The absurdity of Ford's letter is heightened by
the fact that it was written before the Queen's death. It is dated
July 31, 1714, and concludes with the following postscript:--"The
Queen is something better, and the council again adjourned till eight
in the morning." Surely the accusation, then, of negative
womanslaughter was preferred somewhat prematurely. The next day,
however, the Queen died; and then arose a magnificent hubbub of
indignation against the impious doctor. The poor man himself sinking
into the grave, was at that country-seat where he had entertained his
medical friends with so many noisy orgies. But the cries for vengeance
reached him in his retreat. "Give us back our ten days!" screamed the
rabble of London round Lord Chesterfield's carriage. "Give us back our
Queen!" was the howl directed against Radcliffe. The accused was a
member of the House of Commons, having been elected M.P. for the town
of Buckingham in the previous year; and positively a member (one of
Radcliffe's intimate personal acquaintances) moved that the physician
should be summoned to attend in his place and be censured for not
attending her late Majesty. To a friend the doctor wrote from
Carshalton on August 7, 1714:--"Dear Sir,--I could not have thought so
old an acquaintance, and so good a friend as Sir John always professed
himself, would have made such a motion against me. God knows my will
to do her Majesty any service has ever got the start of my ability,
and I have nothing that gives me greater anxiety and trouble than the
death of that great and glorious Princess. I must do that justice to
the physicians that attended her in her illness, from a sight of the
method that was taken for her preservation, transmitted to me by Dr
Mead, as to declare nothing was omitted for her preservation; but the
people about her (the plagues of Egypt fall upon them!) put it out of
the power of physick to be of any benefit to her. I know the nature of
attending crowned heads to their last moments too well to be fond of
waiting upon them, without being sent for by a proper authority. You
have heard of pardons signed for physicians before a sovereign's
demise. However, as ill as I was, I would have went to the Queen in a
horse-litter, had either her Majesty, or those in commission next to
her, commanded me so to do. You may tell Sir John as much, and assure
him, from me, that his zeal for her Majesty will not excuse his ill
usage of _a friend who has drunk many a hundred bottles with him_, and
cannot, even after this breach of good understanding, that was ever
preserved between us, but have a very good esteem for him."

So strong was the feeling against the doctor, that a set of maniacs at
large formed a plan for his assassination. Fortunately, however, the
plot was made known to him in the following letter:--

"Doctor,--Tho' I am no friend of yours, but, on the contrary, one that
could wish your destruction in a legal way, for not preventing the
death of our most excellent Queen, whom you had it in your power to
save, yet I have such an aversion to the taking away men's lives
unfairly, as to acquaint you that if you go to meet the gentlemen you
have appointed to dine with at the 'Greyhound,' in Croydon, on
Thursday next, you will be most certainly murthered. I am one of the
persons engaged in the conspiracy, with twelve more, who are resolved
to sacrifice you to the _Ghost of her late Majesty, that cries aloud
for blood_; therefore, neither stir out of doors that day, nor any
other, nor think of exchanging your present abode for your house at
Hammersmith, since there and everywhere else we shall be in quest of
you. I am touched with remorse, and give you this notice; but take
care of yourself, lest I repent of it, and give proofs of so doing, by
having it in my power to destroy you, who am your sworn enemy.--N. G."

That thirteen men could have been found to meditate such a ridiculous
atrocity is so incredible, that one is inclined to suspect a hoax in
this epistle. Radcliffe, however, did not see the letter in that
light. Panic-struck, he kept himself a close prisoner to his house and
its precincts, though he was very desirous of paying another visit to
London--the monotony of his rural seclusion being broken only by the
customary visits of his professional associates who came down to
comfort and drink with him. The end, however, was fast approaching.
The maladies under which he suffered were exacerbated by mental
disquiet; and his powers suddenly failing him, he expired on the 1st
of November, 1714, just three months after the death of the murdered
Queen, of whose vapours he had spoken so disrespectfully.

His original biographer (from whose work all his many memoirs have
been taken) tells the world that the great physician "_fell a victim
to the ingratitude of a thankless world, and the fury of the gout_."

Radcliffe was an ignorant man, but shrewd enough to see that in the
then existing state of medical science the book-learning of the
Faculty could be but of little service to him. He was so notoriously
deficient in the literature of his profession, that his warmest
admirers made merry about it. Garth happily observed that for
Radcliffe to leave a library was as if a eunuch should found a
seraglio. Nor was Radcliffe ashamed to admit his lack of lore. Indeed,
he was proud of it; and on the inquiry being made by Bathurst, the
head of Trinity College, Oxford, where his study was, he pointed to a
few vials, a skeleton, and an herbal, and answered, "This is
Radcliffe's library." Mead, who rose into the first favour of the town
as the doctor retired from it, was an excellent scholar; but far from
assuming on that ground a superiority to his senior, made it the means
of paying him a graceful compliment. The first time that Radcliffe
called on Mead when in town he found his young friend reading

"Do you read Hippocrates in Greek?" demanded the visitor.

"Yes," replied Mead, timidly fearing his scholarship would offend the
great man.

"I never read him in my life," responded Radcliffe, sullenly.

"You, sir," was the rejoinder, "have no occasion--you are Hippocrates

A man who could manufacture flattery so promptly and courageously
deserved to get on. Radcliffe swallowed the fly, and was glad to be
the prey of the expert angler. Only the day before, Mead had thrown
in his ground-bait. As a promising young man, Radcliffe had asked him
to a dinner-party at Carshalton, with the hospitable resolve of
reducing such a promising young man to a state of intoxication, in the
presence of the assembled elders of his profession. Mead, however, was
not to be so managed. He had strong nerves, and was careful to drink
as little as he could without attracting attention by his abstinence.
The consequence was that Mead saw magnate after magnate disappear
under the table, just as he had before seen magnum after magnum
disappear above it; and still he retained his self-possession. At last
he and his host were the only occupants of the banqueting-room left in
a non-recumbent position. Radcliffe was delighted with his youthful
acquaintance--loved him almost as well as he had loved Billy Nutley.

"Mead," cried the enthusiastic veteran to the young man, who anyhow
had not _fallen_ from his chair, "you are a _rising_ man. You will
succeed me."

"That, sir, is impossible," Mead adroitly answered; "You are Alexander
the Great, and no one can succeed Radcliffe; to succeed to one of his
kingdoms is the utmost of my ambition."

Charmed with the reply, Radcliffe exclaimed,

"By ----, I'll recommend you to my patients."

The promise was kept; and Mead endeavoured to repay the worldly
advancement with spiritual council. "I remember," says Kennett (_vide_
Lansdowne MSS., Brit. Mus.), "what Dr Mede has told to several of his
friends, that he fell much into the favour of Dr Radcliffe a few years
before his death, and visited him often at Carshalton, where he
observed upon occasion that there was no Bible to be found in the
house. Dr Mede had a mind to supply that defect, without taking any
notice of it; and therefore one day carried down with him a very
beautiful Bible that he had lately bought, which had lain in a closet
of King William for his Majesty's own use, and left it as a curiosity
that he had picked up by the way. When Dr Mede made the last visit to
him he found that Dr R. had read in it as far as the middle of the
Book of Exodus, from whence it might be inferred that he had never
before read the Scriptures; as I doubt must be inferred of Dr Linacre,
from the account given by Sir John Cheke."

The allusion to "the kingdom of Alexander the Great" reminds one of
Arbuthnot's letter to Swift, in which the writer concludes his sketch
of the proposed map of diseases for Martinus Scriblerus with--"Then
the great diseases are like capital cities, with their symptoms all
like streets and suburbs, with the roads that lead to other diseases.
It is thicker set with towns than any Flanders map you ever saw.
Radcliffe is painted at the corner of the map, contending for the
universal empire of this world, and the rest of the physicians
opposing his ambitious designs, with a project of a treaty of
partition to settle peace."

As a practitioner, Radcliffe served the public as well as he did his
own interests. The violent measures of bleeding, and the exhibition of
reducing medicines, which constituted the popular practice even to the
present generation, he regarded with distrust in some cases and horror
in others. There is a good story told of him, that well illustrates
his disapproval of a kill-or-cure system, and his hatred of Nurse
Gibbons. John Bancroft, the eminent surgeon, who resided in Russell
Street, Covent Garden, had a son attacked with inflammation of the
lungs. Gibbons was called in, and prescribed the most violent
remedies, or rather the most virulent irritants. The child became
rapidly worse, and Radcliffe was sent for. "I can do nothing, sir,"
observed the doctor, after visiting his patient, "for the poor little
boy's preservation. He is killed to all intents and purposes. But if
you have any thoughts of putting a stone over him, I'll help you to an
inscription." The offer was accepted, and over the child's grave, in
Covent Garden churchyard, was placed a stone sculptured with a figure
of a child laying one hand on his side, and saying, "Hic dolor," and
pointing with the other to a death's head on which was engraved, "Ibi
medicus." This is about the prettiest professional libel which we can
point to in all the quarrels of the Faculty.

The uses to which the doctor applied his wealth every one knows.
Notwithstanding his occasional acts of munificence, and a loss of
\xA35000 in an East Indian venture, into which Betterton, the tragedian,
seduced him, his accumulations were very great. In his will, after
liberally providing for the members of his family and his dependents,
he devoted his acquisitions to the benefit of the University of
Oxford. From them have proceeded the Radcliffe Library, the Radcliffe
Infirmary, the Radcliffe Observatory, and the Radcliffe Travelling
Fellowships. It is true that nothing has transpired in the history of
these last-mentioned endowments to justify us in reversing the
sentiment of Johnson, who remarked to Boswell: "It is wonderful how
little good Radcliffe's Travelling Fellowships have done. I know
nothing that has been imported by them."

After lying in state at his own residence, and again in the
University, Radcliffe's body was interred, with great pomp, in St.
Mary's Church, Oxford. The royal gift of so large an estate (which
during life he had been unable thoroughly to enjoy) to purchase a
library, the contents of which he at no time could have read, of
course provoked much comment. It need not be said that the testator's
memory was, for the most part, extolled to the skies. He had died
rich--a great virtue in itself. He was dead; and as men like to deal
out censure as long as it can cause pain, and scatter praise when it
can no longer create happiness, Radcliffe, the physician, the friend
of suffering humanity, the benefactor of ancient and Tory Oxford, was
spoken of in "most handsome terms." One could hardly believe that this
great good man, this fervent Christian and sublime patriot, was the
same man as he whom Steele had ridiculed for servile vanity, and to
bring whom into contempt a play was written, and publicly acted, only
ten years before, to the intense delight of the Duchess of
Marlborough, and the applauding maids of honour.

The philosophic Mandeville, far from approving the behaviour of the
fickle multitude, retained his old opinion of the doctor, and gave it
to the world in his "Essay on Charity and Charity Schools." "That a
man," writes Mandeville, "with small skill in physic, and hardly any
learning, should by vile arts get into practice, and lay up great
wealth, is no mighty wonder; but that he should so deeply work
himself into the good opinion of the world as to gain the general
esteem of a nation, and establish a reputation beyond all his
contemporaries, with no other qualities but a perfect knowledge of
mankind, and a capacity of making the most of it, is something

"If a man arrived to such a height of glory should be almost
distracted with pride--sometime give his attendance on a servant, or
any mean person, for nothing and at the same time neglect a nobleman
that gives exhorbitant fees--at other times refuse to leave his bottle
for his business, without any regard to the quality of the persons
that sent for him, or the danger they are in; if he should be surly
and morose, affect to be an humourist, treat his patients like dogs,
though people of distinction, and value no man but what would deify
him, and never call in question the certainty of his oracles; if he
should insult all the world, affront the first nobility, and extend
his insolence even to the royal family; if to maintain, as well as to
increase, the fame of his sufficiency, he should scorn to consult his
betters, on what emergency soever, look down with contempt on the most
deserving of his profession, and never confer with any other physician
but what will pay homage to his genius, creep to his humour, and ever
approach him with all the slavish obsequiousness a court flatterer can
treat a prince with; if a man in his life-time should discover, on the
one hand, such manifest symptoms of superlative pride, and an
insatiable greediness after wealth at the same time; and, on the
other, no regard to religion or affection to his kindred, no
compassion to the poor, and hardly any humanity to his fellow-creatures;
if he gave no proofs that he loved his country, had a public spirit,
or was a lover of the arts, of books, or of literature--what must we
judge of his motive, the principle he acted from, when, after his
death, we find that he has left a trifle among his relations who stood
in need of it, and an immense treasure to a University that did not
want it.

"Let a man be as charitable as it is possible for him to be, without
forfeiting his reason or good sense, can he think otherwise, but that
this famous physician did, in the making of his will, as in everything
else, indulge his darling passion, entertaining his vanity with the
happiness of the contrivance?"

This severe portrait is just about as true as the likeness of a man,
painted by a conscientious enemy, usually is. Radcliffe was not
endowed with a kindly nature. "Mead, I love you," said he to his
fascinating adulator; "and I'll tell you a sure secret to make your
fortune--use all mankind ill." Radcliffe carried out his rule by
wringing as much as possible from, and returning as little as possible
to, his fellowmen. He could not pay a tradesman's bill without a sense
of keen suffering. Even a poor pavior, who had been employed to do a
job to the stones before the doctor's house in Bloomsbury Square
(whither the physician removed from Bow Street), could not get his
money without a contest. "Why, you rascal!" cried the debtor, as he
alighted from his chariot, "do you pretend to be paid for such a piece
of work! Why, you have spoiled my pavement, and then covered it over
with earth to hide the bad work."

"Doctor," responded the man, dryly, "mine is not the only bad work the
earth hides."

Of course, the only course to pursue with a creditor who could dun in
this sarcastic style was to pay, and be rid of him. But the doctor
made up for his own avarice by being ever ready to condemn it in

Tyson, the miser, being near his last hour, magnanimously resolved to
pay two of his 3,000,000 guineas to Radcliffe, to learn if anything
could be done for his malady. The miserable old man came up with his
wife from Hackney, and tottered into the consulting-room in Bloomsbury
Square, with two guineas in his hand--

"You may go, sir," exclaimed Radcliffe, to the astonished wretch, who
trusted he was unknown--"you may go home, and die, and be ----,
without a speedy repentance; for both the grave and the devil are
ready for Tyson of Hackney, who has grown rich out of the spoils of
the public and the tears of orphans and widows. You'll be a dead man,
sir, in ten days."

There are numerous stories extant relative to Radcliffe's practice;
but nearly all those which bear the stamp of genuineness are unfit for
publication in the present polite age. Such stories as the
hasty-pudding one, re-edited by the pleasant author of "The
Gold-headed Cane," can be found by the dozen, but the cumbrous
workmanship of Mr. Joseph Miller is manifest in them all.



"What must I do, sir!" inquired an indolent bon-vivant of Abernethy.

"Live on sixpence a day, and earn it, sir," was the stern answer.

Gabriel Fallopius, who has given his name to a structure with which
anatomists are familiar, gave the same reproof in a more delicate
manner. With a smile he replied in the words of Terence,

"Otio abundas Antipho,"--"Sir, you're as lazy as Hall's dog."

But, though medical practitioners have dealt in sayings like these, to
do them bare justice, it must be admitted that their preaching has
generally been contradicted by the practice. When medicine remained
very much in the hands of the ladies, the composition of remedies, and
the making of dinners, went on in the same apartment. Indeed hunger
and thirst were but two out of a list of diseases that were ministered
to by the attendants round a kitchen table. The same book held the
receipts for dishes and the recipes for electuaries. In many an old
hall of England the manual still remains from which three centuries
ago the lady of the house learned to dress a boar's head or cure a
cold. Most physicians would now disdain to give dietetic instruction
to a patient beyond the most general directions; but there are cases
where, even in these days, they stoop to do so, with advantage to
themselves and their patients.

"I have ordered twelve dinners this morning," a cheery little doctor
said to the writer of these pages, on the white cliffs of a well-known
sea-side town.

"Indeed--I did not know that was your business."

"But it is. A host of rich old invalids come down here to be
medicinally treated. They can't be happy without good living, and yet
are so ignorant of the science and art of eating, that they don't know
how to distinguish between a luxurious and pernicious diet, and a
luxurious and wholesome one. They flock to the 'Duke's Hotel,' and I
always tell the landlord what they are to have. Each dinner costs
three or four guineas. They'd grudge them, and their consciences would
be uneasy at spending so much money, if they ordered their dinners
themselves. But when they regard the fare as medicine recommended by
the doctor, there is no drawback to their enjoyment of it. Their
confidence in me is unbounded."

The bottle and the board were once the doctor's two favourite
companions. More than one eminent physician died in testifying his
affection for them. In the days of tippling they were the most
persevering of tavern-haunters. No wonder that some of them were as
fat as Daniel Lambert, and that even more died sudden deaths from
apoplexy. The obesity of Dr. Stafford was celebrated in an epitaph:--

    "Take heed, O good traveller, and do not tread hard,
    For here lies Dr. Stafford in all this churchyard."

Dr. Beddoes was so stout that the Clifton ladies used to call him
their "walking feather-bed."

Dr. Flemyng weighed twenty stone and eleven pounds, till he reduced
his weight by abstinence from the delicacies of the table, and by
taking a quarter of an ounce of common Castile soap every night.

Dr. Cheyne's weight was thirty-two stone, till he cured himself by
persevering in a temperate diet. Laughing at two unwieldly noblemen
whose corpulence was the favourite jest of all the wits in the court,
Louis XV. said to one of them, "I suppose you take little or no

"Your Majesty will pardon me," replied the bulky duke, "for I
generally walk two or three times round my cousin every morning."

Sir Theodore Mayerne, who, though he was the most eminent physician of
his time, did not disdain to write "Excellent and Well-Approved
Receipts in Cookery, with the best way of Preserving," was killed by
tavern wine. He died, after returning from supper in a Strand hotel;
his immediate friends attributing his unexpected death to the quality
of the beverage, but others, less charitable, setting it down to the

Not many years ago, about a score surgeons were dining together at a
tavern, when, about five minutes after some very "particular port" had
been sent round for the first time, they all fell back in their
chairs, afflicted in various degrees with sickness, vertigo, and
spasm. A more pleasant sight for the waiters can hardly be conceived.
One after one the gentlemen were conveyed to beds or sofas.
Unfortunately for the startling effect which the story would otherwise
have produced, they none of them expired. The next day they remembered
that, instead of relishing the "particular port," they had detected a
very unpleasant smack in it. The black bottles were demanded from the
trembling landlord, when chemical analysis soon discovered that they
had been previously used for fly-poison, and had not been properly
cleansed. A fine old crust of such a kind is little to be desired.

It would perhaps have been well had old Butler (mentioned elsewhere in
these volumes) met with a similar mishap, if it had only made him a
less obstinate frequenter of beer-shops. He loved tobacco, deeming it

            "A physician
    Good both for sound and sickly;
      'Tis a hot perfume
      That expels cold Rheume,
    And makes it flow down quickly."

It is on record that he made one of his patients smoke twenty-five
pipes at a sitting. But fond though he was of tobacco, he was yet
fonder of beer. He invented a drink called "Butler's Ale," afterwards
sold at the Butler's Head, in Mason's Alley, Basinghall Street.
Indeed, he was a sad old scamp. Nightly he would go to the tavern, and
drink deeply for hours, till his maid-servant, old Nell, came between
nine and ten o'clock and _fetched_ him home, scolding him all the way
for being such a sot. But though Butler liked ale and wine for
himself, he thought highly of water for other people. When he occupied
rooms in the Savoy, looking over the Thames, a gentleman afflicted
with an ague came to consult him. Butler tipped the wink to his
servants, who flung the sick man, in the twinkling of an eye, slap out
of the window into the river. We are asked to believe that "the
surprise absolutely cured" the patient of his malady.

The physicians of Charles the Second's day were jolly fellows. They
made deep drinking and intrigue part of their profession as well as of
their practice. Their books contain arguments in favour of indulgence,
which their passions suggested and the taste of the times approved.
Tobias Whitaker and John Archer, both physicians in ordinary to the
merry monarch, were representative men of their class. Whitaker, a
Norfolk man, practised with success at Norwich before coming up to
London. He published a discourse upon waters, that proved him very
ignorant on the subject; and a treatise on the properties of wine,
that is a much better testimony to the soundness of his understanding.
Prefixed to his "Elenchus of opinions on Small-Pox," is a portrait
that represents him as a well-looking fellow. That he was a sincere
and discerning worshipper of Bacchus, is shown by his "Tree of Humane
Life, or the Bloud of the Grape. Proving the possibilitie of
maintaining humane life from infancy to extreame old age without any
sicknesse by the use of Wine." In this work (sold, by the way, in the
author's shop, Pope's Head Alley) we read of wine,--"This is the
phisick that doth not dull, but sets a true edge upon nature, after
operation leaveth no venomous contact. Sure I am this was ancient
phisick, else what meant Avicenna, Rhasis, and Averroes, to move the
body twice every month with the same; as it is familiar to Nature, so
they used it familiarly. As for my own experience, though I have not
lived yet so long as to love excesse, yet have I seene such powerful
effects, both on my selfe and others, as if I could render no other
reason, they were enough to persuade me of its excellencie, seeing
extenuate withered bodies by it caused to be faire, fresh, plumpe, and
fat, old and infirme to be young and sound, when as water or
small-beer drinkers looke like apes rather than men."

John Archer, the author of "Every Man his own Doctor," and "Secrets
Disclosed," was an advocate of generous diet and enlightened
sensuality. His place of business was "a chamber in a Sadler's howse
over against the Black Horse nigh Charing-cross," where his hours of
attendance for some years were from 11 A. M. to 5 P. M. each day. On
setting up a house at Knightsbridge, where he resided in great style,
he shortened the number of hours daily passed in London. In 1684 he
announced in one of his works--"For these and other Directions you may
send to the Author, at his chamber against the _Mews_ by
Charing-cross, who is certainly there from twelve to four, at other
times at his house at Knightsbridge, being a mile from Charing-cross,
where is good air for cure of consumptions, melancholy, and other
infirmities." He had also a business established in Winchester Street,
near Gresham College, next door to the _Fleece Tavern_. Indeed,
physician-in-ordinary to the King though he was, he did not think it
beneath him to keep a number of apothecaries' shops, and, like
Whitaker, to live by the sale of drugs as well as fees. His cordial
dyet drink was advertised as costing 2_s._ 6_d._ per quart; for a box
containing 30 morbus pills, the charge was 5_s._; 40 corroborating
pills were to be had for the same sum. Like Dr. Everard, he
recommended his patients to smoke, saying that "tobacco smoke purified
the air from infectious malignancy by its fragrancy, sweetened the
breath, strengthened the brain and memory, and revived the sight to
admiration." He sold tobacco, of a superior quality to the ordinary
article of commerce, at 2_s._ and 1_s._ an ounce. "The order of taking
it is like other tobacco at any time; its virtues may be perceived by
taking one pipe, after which you will spit more, and your mouth will
be dryer than after common tobacco, which you may moisten by drinking
any warm drink, as coffee, &c., or with sugar candy, liquorish, or a
raisin, and you will find yourself much refreshed."

Whilst Whitaker and Archer were advising men to smoke and drink,
another physician of the Court was inventing a stomach-brush, in some
respects much like the bottle-brush with which fly-poison ought to be
taken from the interior of black bottles before wine is committed to
them. This instrument was pushed down the gullet, and then poked about
and turned round, much in the same way as a chimney-sweeper's brush is
handled by a dexterous operator on soot. It was recommended that
gentlemen should thus sweep out their insides not oftener than once a
week, but not less frequently than once a month. The curious may find
not only a detailed description but engraved likeness of this
remarkable stomach-brush in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, vol. xx., for
the year 1750.

It would be unfair to take leave of Dr. Archer without mentioning his
three inventions, on which he justly prided himself not a little. He
constructed a hot steam-bath, an oven "which doth with a small faggot
bake a good quantity of anything," and "a compleat charriot that shall
with any ordinary horse run swift with four or five people within, and
there is place for more without, all which one horse can as easily
draw as two horses." In these days of vapour baths, bachelors'
kettles, and broughams, surely Dr. Archer ought to have a statue by
the side of Jenner in Trafalgar Square.

The doctors of Anne's time were of even looser morals than their
immediate predecessors. In taverns, over wine, they received patients
and apothecaries. It became fashionable (a fashion that has lasted
down to the present day) for a physician to scratch down his
prescriptions illegibly; the mode, in all probability, arising from
the fact that a doctor's hand was usually too unsteady to write

Freind continually visited his patients in a state of intoxication. To
one lady of high rank he came in such a state of confusion that when
in her room he could only grumble to himself, "Drunk--drunk--drunk, by
God!" Fortunately the fair patient was suffering from the same malady
as her doctor, who (as she learnt from her maid on returning to
consciousness) had made the above bluff comment on _her_ case, and
then had gone away. The next day, Freind was sitting in a penitent
state over his tea, debating what apology he should offer to his
aristocratic patient, when he was relieved from his perplexity by the
arrival of a note from the lady herself enclosing a handsome fee,
imploring her dear Dr. Freind to keep her secret, and begging him to
visit her during the course of the day.

On another occasion Freind wrote a prescription for a member of an
important family, when his faculties were so evidently beyond his
control that Mead was sent for. On arriving, Mead, with a
characteristic delicacy towards his professional friend, took up the
tipsy man's prescription, and having looked at it, said, "'Pon my
honour, Dr. Freind can write a better prescription when drunk than I
can when sober."

Gibbons--the "Nurse Gibbons" of our old friend Radcliffe--was a deep
drinker, disgusting, by the grossness of his debaucheries, the polite
and epicurean Garth. But Gibbons did something for English
dinner-tables worth remembering. He brought into domestic use the
mahogany with which we have so many pleasant associations. His
brother, a West Indian Captain, brought over some of the wood as
ballast, thinking it might possibly turn to use. At first the
carpenters, in a truly conservative spirit, refused to have anything
to do with the "new wood," saying it was too hard for their tools. Dr.
Gibbons, however, had first a candle-box and then a bureau made for
Mrs. Gibbons out of the condemned material. The bureau so pleased his
friends, amongst whom was the Duchess of Buckingham, that her Grace
ordered a similar piece of furniture, and introduced the wood into
high life, where it quickly became the fashion.

Of Radcliffe's drunkenness mention is made elsewhere. As an eater, he
was a _gourmand_, not a _gourmet_. When Prince Eugene of Savoy came
over to England on a diplomatic mission, his nephew, the Chevalier de
Soissons, fell into the fashion of the town, roaming it at night in
search of frays--a roaring, swaggering mohock. The sprightly
Chevalier took it into his head that it would be a pleasant thing to
thrash a watchman; so he squared up to one, and threatened to kill
him. Instead of succumbing, the watchman returned his assailant's
blows, and gave him an awful thrashing. The next day, what with the
mauling he had undergone, and what with _delirium tremens_, the merry
roisterer was declared by his physician, Sieur Swartenburgh, to be in
a dying state. Radcliffe was called in, and acting on his almost
invariable rule, told Prince Eugene that the young man must die,
_because_ Swartenburgh had maltreated him. The prophecy was true, if
the criticism was not. The Chevalier died, and was buried amongst the
Ormond family in Westminster Abbey--it being given out to the public
that he had died of small-pox.

Prince Eugene conceived a strong liking for Radcliffe, and dined with
him at the Doctor's residence. The dinner Radcliffe put before his
guest is expressive of the coarseness both of the times and the man.
On the table the only viands were barons of beef, jiggets of mutton,
legs of pork, and such other ponderous masses of butcher's stuff,
which no one can look at without discomfort, when the first edge has
been taken off the appetite. Prince Eugene expressed himself delighted
with "the food and liquors!"

George Fordyce, like Radcliffe, was fond of substantial fare. For more
than twenty years he dined daily at Dolly's Chop-house. The dinner he
there consumed was his only meal during the four-and-twenty hours, but
its bulk would have kept a boa-constrictor happy for a twelvemonth.
Four o'clock was the hour at which the repast commenced, when,
punctual to a minute, the Doctor seated himself at a table specially
reserved for him, and adorned with a silver tankard of strong ale, a
bottle of port-wine, and a measure containing a quarter of a pint of
brandy. Before the dinner was first put on, he had one light dish of a
broiled fowl, or a few whitings. Having leisurely devoured this plate,
the doctor took one glass of brandy, and asked for his steak. The
steak was always a prime one, weighing one pound and a half. When the
man of science had eaten the whole of it, he took the rest of his
brandy, then drank his tankard of heady ale, and, lastly, sipped down
his bottle of port. Having brought his intellects, up or down, to the
standard of his pupils, he rose and walked down to his house in Essex
Street to give his six o'clock lecture on Chemistry.

Dr. Beauford was another of the eighteenth-century physicians who
thought temperance a vice that hadn't even the recommendation of
transient pleasure. A Jacobite of the most enthusiastic sort, he was
not less than Freind a favourite with the aristocracy who countenanced
the Stuart faction. As he was known to be very intimate with Lord
Barrymore, the Doctor was summoned, in 1745, to appear before the
Privy-Council, and answer the questions of the custodians of his
Majesty's safety and honour.

"You know Lord Barrymore?" said one of the Lords of Council.

"Intimately--most intimately,"--was the answer.

"You are continually with him?"

"We dine together almost daily when his Lordship is in town."

"What do you talk about?"

"Eating and drinking."

"And what else?"

"Oh, my lord, we never talk of anything except eating and
drinking--drinking and eating."

A good deal of treasonable sentiment might have been exchanged in
these discussions of eating and drinking. "God send this _crum-well
down_!" was the ordinary toast of the Cavalier during the glorious
Protectorate of Oliver. And long afterwards, English gentlemen of
Jacobite sympathies, drinking "to the King," before they raised the
glass to their lips, put it over the water-bottle, to indicate where
the King was whose prosperity they pledged.

At the tavern in Finch Lane, where Beauford received the apothecaries
who followed him, he drank freely, but never was known to give a glass
from his bottle to one of his clients. In this respect he resembled
Dr. Gaskin of Plymouth, a physician in fine practice in Devonshire at
the close of the last century, who once said to a young beginner in
his profession, "Young man, when you get a fee, don't give fifteen
shillings of it back to your patient in beef and port-wine."

Contemporary with Beauford was Dr. Barrowby--wit, scholar, political
partisan, and toper. Barrowby was the hero of an oft-told tale,
recently attributed in the newspapers to Abernethy. When canvassing
for a place on the staff of St. Bartholomew's Hospital, Barrowby
entered the shop of one of the governors, a grocer on Snow-hill, to
solicit his influence and vote. The tradesman, bursting with
importance, and anticipating the pleasure of getting a very low bow
from a gentleman, strutted up the shop, and, with a mixture of
insolent patronage and insulting familiarity, cried, "Well, friend,
and what is your business?"

Barrowby paused for a minute, cut him right through with the glance of
his eye, and then said, quietly and slowly, "I want a pound of plums."

Confused and blushing, the grocer did up the plums. Barrowby put them
in his pocket, and went away without asking the fellow for his vote.

A good political story is told of Barrowby, the incident of which
occurred in 1749, eleven years after his translation of Astruc's
"Treatise" appeared. Lord Trentham (afterwards Lord Gower) and Sir
George Vandeput were contesting the election for Westminster.
Barrowby, a vehement supporter of the latter, was then in attendance
on the notorious Joe Weatherby, master of the "Ben Jonson's Head," in
Russell Street, who lay in a perilous state, emaciated by nervous
fever. Mrs. Weatherby was deeply afflicted at her husband's condition,
because it rendered him unable to vote for Lord Trentham. Towards the
close of the polling days the Doctor, calling one day on his patient,
to his great astonishment found him up, and almost dressed by the
nurse and her assistants.

"Hey-day! what's the cause of this?" exclaims Barrowby. "Why are you
up without my leave?"

"Dear Doctor," says Joe, in a broken voice, "I am going to poll."

"To poll!" roars Barrowby, supposing the man to hold his wife's
political opinions, "you mean going to the devil! Get to bed, man, the
cold air will kill you. If you don't get into bed instantly you'll be
dead before the day is out."

"I'll do as you bid me, doctor," was the reluctant answer. "But as my
wife was away for the morning, I thought I could get as far as Covent
Garden Church, and vote for Sir George Vandeput."

"How, Joe, for Sir George?"

"Oh, yes, sir, I don't go with my wife. I am a Sir George's man."

Barrowby was struck by a sudden change for the better in the man's
appearance, and said, "Wait a minute, nurse. Don't pull off his
stockings. Let me feel his pulse. Humph--a good firm stroke! You took
the pills I ordered you?"

"Yes, sir, but they made me feel very ill."

"Ay, so much the better; that's what I wished. Nurse, how did he

"Charmingly, sir."

"Well, Joe," said Barrowby, after a few seconds' consideration, "if
you are bent on going to this election, your mind ought to be set at
rest. It's a fine sunny day, and a ride will very likely do you good.
So, bedad, I'll take you with me in my chariot."

Delighted with his doctor's urbanity, Weatherby was taken off in the
carriage to Covent Garden, recorded his vote for Sir George Vandeput,
was brought back in the same vehicle, and died _two_ hours afterwards,
amidst the reproaches of his wife and her friends of the Court party.

Charles the Second was so impressed with the power of the Medical
Faculty in influencing the various intrigues of political parties,
that he averred that Dr. Lower, Nell Gwynn's physician, did more
mischief than a troop of horse. But Barrowby was prevented, by the
intrusion of death, from rendering effectual service to his party.
Called away from a dinner-table, where he was drinking deeply and
laughing much, to see a patient, he got into his carriage, and was
driven off. When the footman opened the door, on arriving at the house
of sickness, he found his master dead. A fit of apoplexy had struck
him down, whilst he was still a young man, and just as he was
ascending to the highest rank of his profession.

John Sheldon was somewhat addicted to the pleasures of the table. On
one occasion, however, he had to make a journey fasting. The son of a
John Sheldon, an apothecary who carried on business in the Tottenham
Court Road, a few doors from the Black Horse Yard, Sheldon conceived
in early life a strong love for mechanics. At Harrow he was birched
for making a boat and floating it. In after life he had a notable
scheme for taking whales with poisoned harpoons; and, to test its
merit, actually made a voyage to Greenland. He was moreover the first
Englishman to make an ascent in a balloon. He went with Blanchard, and
had taken his place in the car, when the aeronaut, seeing that his
machine was too heavily weighted, begged him to get out.

"If you are my friend, you will alight. My fame, my all, depends on
success," exclaimed Blanchard.

"I won't," bluntly answered Sheldon, as the balloon manifested
symptoms of rising.

In a furious passion, the little air-traveller exclaimed, "Then I
starve you! Point du chicken, by Gar, you shall have no chicken." So
saying, he flung the hamper of provisions out of the car, and, thus
lightened, the balloon went up.

Abernethy is said to have reproved an over-fed alderman for his
excesses at table in the following manner. The civic footman was
ordered to put a large bowl under the sideboard, and of whatever he
served his master with to throw the same quantity into the bowl as he
put on the gourmand's plate. After the repast was at an end, the sated
feaster was requested to look into the bowl at a nauseous mess of mock
turtle, turbot, roast-beef, turkey, sausages, cakes, wines, ale,
fruits, cheese.

Sir Richard Jebb showed little favour to the digestion thinking it was
made to be used--not nursed. Habitually more rough and harsh than
Abernethy in his most surly moods, Jebb offended many of his patients.
"That's _my_ way," said he to a noble invalid, astonished at his
rudeness. "Then," answered the sick man, pointing to the door, "I beg
you'll make that your way."

To all questions about diet Jebb would respond tetchily or carelessly.

"Pray, Sir Richard, may I eat a muffin?" asked a lady.

"Yes, madam, 'tis the _best_ thing you can take."

"Oh, dear! Sir Richard, I am glad of that. The other day you said it
was the worst thing in the world for me."

"Good, madam, I said so last Tuesday. This isn't a Tuesday--is it?"

To another lady who asked what she might eat he said contemptuously,
"Boiled turnips."

"Boiled turnips!" was the answer; "you forget, Sir Richard--I told you
I could not bear boiled turnips."

"Then, madam," answered Sir Richard, sternly, as if his sense of the
moral fitness of things was offended, "you must have a d----d vitiated

Sir Richard's best set of dietetic directions consisted of the
following negative advice, given to an old gentleman who put the
everlasting question, "What may I eat?" "My directions, sir, are
simple. You must not eat the poker, shovel, or tongs, for they are
hard of digestion; nor the bellows; but anything else you please."

Even to the King, Sir Richard was plain-spoken. George the Third
lamented to him the restless spirit of his cousin, Dr. John Jebb, the
dissenting minister. "And please your Majesty," was the answer, "if my
cousin were in heaven he would be a reformer."

Dr. Babington used to tell a story of an Irish gentleman, for whom he
prescribed an emetic, saying, "My dear doctor, it is of no use your
giving me an emetic. I tried it twice in Dublin, and it would not stay
on my stomach either time." Jebb's stomach would have gone on
tranquilly, even when entertaining an emetic.

Jebb, with all his bluntness, was a mean lover of the atmosphere of
the Court. His income was subject to great fluctuations, as the whims
of his fashionable employers ran for or against him. Sir Edward
Wilmont's receipts sank from \xA33000 to \xA3300, in consequence of his
having lost two ladies of quality at the Court. Jebb's revenue never
varied so much as this, but the \xA315,000 (the greatest sum he ever made
in one year) often fell off by thousands. This fact didn't tend to
lessen his mortification at the loss of a great patient. When George
the Third dismissed him, and took Sir George Baker in his place, he
nearly died of chagrin. And when he was recalled to attend the royal
family in the measles, he nearly died of delight. This ruling passion
exhibited itself strongly in death. When he was on his death-bed, the
Queen, by the hand of a German lady, wrote to inquire after his
condition. So elated was the poor man with this act of royal
benignity, that he grasped the letter, and never let go his hold of it
till the breath of life quitted his attenuated body.

This chapter has been for the most part on the feasting of physicians.
We'll conclude it with a few words on their fasts. In the house of a
Strand grocer there used to be a scientific club, of which the
principal members were--W. Heberden, M.D., J. Turton, M.D., G. Baker,
M.D., Sir John Pringle, Sir William Watson, and Lord C. Cavendish who
officiated as president. Each member paid sixpence per evening for the
use of the grocer's dining-room. The club took in one newspaper, and
the only refreshment allowed to be taken at the place of meeting

The most abstemious of eminent physicians was Sir Hans Sloane, the
president of the Royal Society and of the College of Physicians, and
(in a certain sense) the founder of the British Museum. A love of
money made him a hater of all good things, except money and his
museum. He gave up his winter soir\xE9es in Bloomsbury Square, in order
to save his tea and bread and butter. At one of these scientific
entertainments Handel offended the scientific knight deeply by laying
a muffin on one of his books. "To be sure it was a gareless trick,"
said the composer, when telling the story, "bud it tid no monsdrous
mischief; pode it but the old poog-vorm treadfully oud of sorts. I
offered my best apologies, but the old miser would not have done with
it. If it had been a biscuit, it would not have mattered; but muffin
and pudder. And I said, _Ah, mine Gotd, that is the rub!--it is the
pudder!_ Now, mine worthy friend, Sir Hans Sloane, you have a nodable
excuse, you may save your doast and pudder, and lay it to that
unfeeling gormandizing German; and den I knows it will add something
to your life by sparing your _burse_."

The eccentric Dr. Glyn of Cambridge, rarely dined, but used to satisfy
his hunger at chance times by cutting slices off a cold joint (a
constant ornament of the side-table in his study), and eating them
while standing. To eat such a dinner in such an attitude would be to
fare little better than the ascetic physician who used twice a week to
dine off two Abernethy biscuits, consumed as he walked at the pace of
four miles an hour. However wholesome they may be, the hard biscuits,
known as Abernethies (but in the construction of which, by-the-by,
Abernethy was no more concerned than were Wellington and Blucher in
making the boots that bear their names), are not convivial cates,
though one would rather have to consume them than the calomel
sandwiches which Dr. Curry (popularly called Dr. Calomel Curry) used
to give his patients.



From the earliest times the Leech (Leighis), or healer, has found, in
the exercise of his art, not only a pleasant sense of being a public
benefactor, but also the means of private advancement. The use the
churchmen made of their medical position throughout Christendom (both
before and after that decree of the council of Tours, A.D. 1163, which
forbade priests and deacons to perform surgical operations in which
cauteries and incisions were employed), is attested by the broad acres
they extracted, for their religious corporations, as much from the
gratitude as from the superstition of their patients. And since the
Reformation, from which period the vocations of the spiritual and the
bodily physician have been almost entirely kept apart, the
practitioners of medicine have had cause to bless the powers of
sickness. A good story is told of Arbuthnot. When he was a young man
(ere he had won the patronage of Queen Anne, and the friendship of
Swift and Pope), he settled at Dorchester, and endeavoured to get
practice in that salubrious town. Nature obviated his good intentions:
he wished to minister to the afflicted, if they were rich enough to
pay for his ministrations, but the place was so healthy that it
contained scarce half-a-dozen sick inhabitants. Arbuthnot determined
to quit a field so ill-adapted for a display of his philanthropy.
"Where are you off to?" cried a friend, who met him riding post
towards London. "To leave your confounded place," was the answer, "for
a man can neither live nor die there." But to arrive at wealth was not
amongst Arbuthnot's faculties; he was unable to use his profession as
a trade; and only a few weeks before his death he wrote, "I am as well
as a man can be who is gasping for breath, and has a house full of men
and women unprovided for."

Arbuthnot's ill-luck, however, was quite out of the ordinary rule.
Fuller says (1662), "Physic hath promoted many more, and that since
the reign of King Henry VIII. Indeed, before his time, I find a doctor
of physic, father to Reginald, first and last Lord Bray. But this
faculty hath flourished much the three last fifty years; it being true
of physic, what is said of Sylla, 'suos divitiis explevit.' Sir
William Butts, physician to King Henry VIII., Doctor Thomas Wendy, and
Doctor Hatcher, Queen Elizabeth's physician, raised worshipful
families in Norfolk, Cambridge, and Lincolnshire, having borne the
office of Sheriff in this county." Sir William Butts was rewarded for
his professional services by Henry VIII. with the honour of
Knighthood, and he attended that sovereign when the royal confirmation
was given, in 1512, to the charter of the barber-surgeons of London.
Another eminent physician of the same period, who also arrived at the
dignity of knighthood, was John Ayliffe, a sheriff of London, and
merchant of Blackwell-Hall. His epitaph records:--

    "In surgery brought up in youth,
      A knight here lieth dead;
    A knight and eke a surgeon, such
      As England seld' hath bred.

    "For which so sovereign gift of God,
      Wherein he did excell,
    King Henry VIII. called him to court,
      Who loved him dearly well.

    "King Edward, for his service sake,
      Bade him rise up a knight;
    A name of praise, and ever since
      He Sir John Ayliffe hight."

This mode of rewarding medical services was not unfrequent in those
days, and long before. Ignorance as to the true position of the barber
in the middle ages has induced the popular and erroneous belief that
the barber-surgeon had in olden times a contemptible social status.
Unquestionably his art has been elevated during late generations to a
dignity it did not possess in feudal life; but it might be argued with
much force, that the reverse has been the case with regard to his
rank. Surgery and medicine were arts that nobles were proud to
practise for honour, and not unfrequently for emolument. The reigns of
Elizabeth and her three predecessors in sovereign power abounded in
medical and surgical amateurs. Amongst the fashionable empirics
Bulleyn mentions Sir Thomas Elliot, Sir Philip Paris, Sir William
Gasgoyne, Lady Taylor and Lady Darrel, and especially that "goodly
hurtlesse Gentleman, Sir Andrew Haveningham, who learned water to kill
a canker of his own mother." Even an Earl of Derby, about this time,
was celebrated for his skill in _chirurgerie_ and _bone-setting_, as
also was the Earl of Herfurth. The Scots nobility were enthusiastic
dabblers in such matters; and we have the evidence of Buchanan and
Lindsay as to James IV. of Scotland, "quod vulnera scientissime
tractaret," to use the former authority's words, and in the language
of the latter, that he was "such a _cunning chirurgeon_, that none in
his realm who used that craft but would take his counsel in all their
proceedings." The only art which fashionable people now-a-days care
much to meddle with is literature. In estimating the difference
between the position of an eminent surgeon now, and that which he
would have occupied in earlier times, we must remember that life and
hereditary knighthood are the highest dignities to which he is now
permitted to aspire; although since this honour was first accorded to
him it has so fallen in public estimation, that it has almost ceased
to be an honour at all. It can scarcely be questioned that if Sir
Benjamin Brodie were to be elevated to the rank of a Baron of the
realm, he would still not occupy a better position, in regard to the
rest of society, than that which Sir William Butts and Sir John
Ayliffe did after they were knighted. A fact that definitely fixes the
high esteem in which Edward III. held his medical officers, is one of
his grants--"Quod Willielmus Holme Sirurgicus Regis pro vit\xE2 su\xE2
possit, fugare, capere, et asportare omnimodas feras in quibuscunque
forestis, chaccis parcis et warrennis regis." Indeed, at a time when
the highest dignitaries of the Church, the proudest bishops and the
wealthiest abbots, practised as physicians, it followed, as a matter
of course, that everything pertaining to their profession was

From remote antiquity the fee of the healer has been regarded as a
voluntary offering for services gratuitously rendered. The pretender
to the art always stuck out for a price, and in some form or other
made the demand which was imprinted on the pillboxes of Lilly's
successor, John Case,

    "Here's fourteen pills for thirteen pence,
    Enough in any man's own con-sci-ence."

But the true physician always left his reward to be measured by the
gratitude and justice of the benefited. He extorted nothing, but
freely received that which was freely given. Dr. Doran, with his
characteristic erudition, says, "Now there is a religious reason why
fees are supposed not to be taken by physicians. Amongst the Christian
martyrs are reckoned the two eastern brothers, Damian and Cosmas. They
practised as physicians in Cilicia, and they were the first mortal
practitioners who refused to take recompense for their work. Hence
they were called Anargyri, or 'without money.' All physicians are
pleasantly supposed to follow this example. They never take fees, like
Damian and Cosmas; but they meekly receive what they know will be
given out of Christian humility, and with a certain or uncertain
reluctance, which is the nearest approach that can be made in these
times to the two brothers who were in partnership at Egea in Cilicia."

But, with all due respect to our learned writer, there is a much
better reason for the phenomenon. Self-interest, and not a Christian
ambition to resemble the charitable Cilician brothers, was the cause
of physicians preferring a system of gratuities to a system of legal
rights. They could scarcely have put in _a claim_ without defining the
_amount claimed_; and they soon discovered that a rich patient, left
to his generosity, folly, and impotent anxiety to propitiate the
mysterious functionary who presided over his life, would, in a great
majority of cases, give ten, or even a hundred times as much as they
in the wildest audacity of avarice would ever dare to ask for.

Seleucus, for having his son Antiochus restored to health, was fool
enough to give sixty thousand crowns to Erasistratus: and for their
attendance on the Emperor Augustus, and his two next successors, no
less than four physicians received annual pensions of two hundred and
fifty thousand sesterces apiece. Indeed, there is no saying what a
sick man will not give his doctor. The "cacoethes donandi" is a
manifestation of enfeebled powers which a high-minded physician is
often called upon to resist, and an unprincipled one often basely
turns to his advantage. Alluding to this feature of the sick, a
deservedly successful and honourable practitioner, using the language
of one of our Oriental pro-consuls, said with a laugh to the writer of
these pages, "I wonder at my moderation."

But directly health approaches, this desirable frame of mind
disappears. When the devil was sick he was a very different character
from what he was on getting well. 'Tis so with ordinary patients, not
less than satanic ones. The man who, when he is in his agonies, gives
his medical attendant double fees three times a day (and vows, please
God he recover, to make his fortune by trumpeting his praises to the
world), on becoming convalescent, grows irritable, suspicious, and
distant,--and by the time he can resume his customary occupations,
looks on his dear benefactor and saviour as a designing rascal, bent
on plundering him of his worldly possessions. Euricus Cordus, who died
in 1535, seems to have taken the worst possible time for getting his
payment; but it cannot be regretted that he did so, as his experiences
inspired him to write the following excellent epigram:--

    "Tres medicus facies habet; unam quando rogatur,
    Angelicam; mox est, cum juvat, ipse Deus.
    Post ubi curato, poscit sua pr\x9Cmia, morbo,
    Horridus apparet, terribilisque Sathan."

    "Three faces wears the doctor: when first sought,
    An angel's--and a God's the cure half wrought:
    But when, that cure complete, he seeks his fee,
    The Devil looks then less terrible than he."

Illustrative of the same truth is a story told of Bouvart. On entering
one morning the chamber of a French Marquis, whom he had attended
through a very dangerous illness, he was accosted by his noble patient
in the following terms:--

"Good day to you, Mr. Bouvart; I feel quite in spirits, and think my
fever has left me."

"I am sure it has," replied Bouvart, dryly. "The very first expression
you used convinced me of it."

"Pray, explain yourself."

"Nothing is easier. In the first days of your illness, when your life
was in danger, I was your _dearest friend_; as you began to get
better, I was your _good Bouvart_; and now I am Mr. Bouvart: depend
upon it you are quite recovered."

In fact, the affection of a patient for his physician is very like the
love a candidate for a borough has for an individual elector--he is
very grateful to him, till he has got all he wants out of him. The
medical practitioner is unwise not to recognize this fact. Common
prudence enjoins him to act as much as possible on the maxim of
"accipe dum dolet"--"take your fee while your patient is in pain."

But though physicians have always held themselves open to take as much
as they can get, their ordinary remuneration has been fixed in divers
times by custom, according to the locality of their practice, the rank
of their patients, the nature of the particular services rendered, and
such other circumstances. In China the rule is "no cure, no pay," save
at the Imperial court, where the physicians have salaries that are cut
off during the continuance of royal indisposition. For their sakes it
is to be hoped that the Emperor is a temperate man, and does not
follow the example of George the Fourth, who used to drink Maraschino
between midnight and four o'clock in the morning; and then, when he
awoke with a furred tongue, from disturbed sleep, used to put himself
under the hands of his doctors. Formerly the medical officers of the
English monarch were paid by salary, though doubtless they were
offered, and were not too proud to accept, fees as well. Coursus de
Gungeland, Edward the Third's apothecary, had a pension of sixpence
a-day--a considerable sum at that time; and Ricardus Wye, the surgeon
of the same king, had twelve-pence a day, and eight marks per annum.
"Duodecim denarios per diem, et octo marcas per annum, pro vadiis suis
pro vit\xE2." In the royal courts of Wales, also, the fees of surgeons
and physicians were fixed by law--a surgeon receiving, as payment for
curing a slight wound, only the blood-stained garments of the injured
person; but for healing a dangerous wound he had the bloody apparel,
his board and lodging during the time his services were required, and
one hundred and eighty pence.

At a very early period in England a doctor looked for his palm to be
crossed with gold, if his patient happened to be a man of condition.
In Henry VIII.'s reign a Cambridge physician was presented by the Earl
of Cumberland with a fee of \xA31--but this was at least double what a
commoner would then have paid. Stow complains that while in Holland
half-a-crown was looked upon as a proper remuneration for a single
visit paid by a skilled physician, the medical practitioners of London
scorned "to touch any metal but gold."

It is no matter of uncertainty what the physician's ordinary fee was
at the close of the sixteenth and the commencement of the seventeenth
century. It was ten shillings, as is certified by the following
extract from "Physick lies a-bleeding: the Apothecary turned
Doctor"--published in 1697:--

"_Gallipot_--Good sir, be not so unreasonably passionate and I'll tell
you. Sir, the Pearl Julep will be 6_s._ 8_d._, Pearls being dear since
our clipt money was bought. The Specific Bolus, 4_s._ 6_d._, I never
reckon less; my master in Leadenhall Street never set down less, be it
what it would. The Antihysterick Application 3_s._ 6_d._ (a common one
is but 2_s._ 6_d._), and the Anodyne Draught 3_s._ 4_d._--that's all,
sir; a small matter and please you, sir, for your lady. My fee is what
you please, sir. All the bill is _but_ 18_s._

"_Trueman_--Faith, then, d'ye make a _but_ at it? I do suppose, to be
very genteel, I must give you a crown.

"_Gallipot_--If your worship please; I take it to be a fair and an
honest bill.

"_Trueman_--Do you indeed? But I wish you had called a doctor, perhaps
he would have advised her to have forebore taking anything, as yet at
least, so I had saved 13_s._ in my pocket."

"Physick lies a-bleeding" was written during the great Dispensarian
War, which is touched upon in another part of these pages; and its
object was to hold up physicians as models of learning and probity,
and to expose the extortionate practices of the apothecaries. It must
therefore be read with caution, and with due allowance for the license
of satire, and the violence of a party statement. But the statement
that 10_s._ was the _customary_ fee is clearly one that may be
accepted as truthful. Indeed, the unknown and needy doctors were glad
to accept less. The author of "The Dispensarians are the Patriots of
Britain," published in 1708, represents the humbler physicians being
nothing better than the slaves of the opulent apothecaries, accepting
half their right fee, and taking instead 25 or 50 per cent. of the
amount paid for drugs to the apothecary. "They (the powerful
traders)," says the writer, "offered the Physicians 5_s._ and 10_s._
in the pound, to excite their industry to prescribe the larger
abundance to all the disorders."

But physicians daily received more than their ten shillings at a time.
In confirmation of this, a good anecdote may be related of Sir
Theodore Mayerne. Sir Theodore Mayerne, a native of Geneva, was
physician to Henry IV. and Louis XIII. of France, and subsequently to
James I., Charles I., and Charles II. of England. As a physician, who
had the honour of attending many crowned heads, he ranks above Caius,
who was physician to Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth--Ambrose Par\xE9,
the inventor of ligatures for severed arteries, who was physician and
surgeon to Henry II., Francis II., Charles IX., and Henry III. of
France--and Sir Henry Halford, who attended successively George III.,
George IV., William IV., and Victoria. It is told of Sir Theodore,
that when a friend, after consulting him, foolishly put two broad gold
pieces (six-and-thirty shillings each) on the table, he quietly
pocketed them. The patient, who, as a friend, expected to have his fee
refused, and therefore (deeming it well to indulge in the magnificence
of generosity when it would cost him nothing) had absurdly exhibited
so large a sum, did not at all relish the sight of its being netted.
His countenance, if not his tongue, made his mortification manifest.
"Sir," said Sir Theodore, "I made my will this morning; and if it
should appear that I refused a fee, I might be deemed _non compos_."

The "Levamen Infirmi," published in 1700, shows that a century had
not, at that date, made much difference in the scale of remuneration
accorded to surgeons and physicians. "To a graduate in physick," this
authority states, "his due is about ten shillings, though he commonly
expects or demands twenty. Those that are only licensed physicians,
their due is no more than six shillings and eight-pence, though they
commonly demand ten shillings. A surgeon's fee is twelve-pence a mile,
be his journey far or near; ten groats to set a bone broke, or out of
joint; and for letting blood one shilling; the cutting off or
amputation of any limb is five pounds, but there is no settled price
for the cure." These charges are much the same as those made at the
present day by country surgeons to their less wealthy patients, with
the exception of a fee for setting a bone, or reducing a dislocation,
which is absurdly out of proportion to the rest of the sums mentioned.

Mr William Wadd, in his very interesting "Memorabilia," states, that
the physicians who attended Queen Caroline had five hundred guineas,
and the surgeons three hundred guineas each; and that Dr. Willis was
rewarded for his successful attendance on his Majesty King George
III., by \xA31500 per annum for twenty years, and \xA3650 per annum to his
son for life. The other physicians, however, had only thirty guineas
each visit to Windsor, and ten guineas each visit to Kew.

These large fees put us in mind of one that ought to have been paid to
Dr. King for his attendance on Charles the Second. Evelyn
relates--"1685, Feb. 4, I went to London, hearing his Majesty had ben,
the Monday before (2 Feb.), surprised in his bed-chamber with an
apoplectic fit; so that if, by God's providence, Dr King (that
excellent chirurgeon as well as physitian) had not been actually
present, to let his bloud (having his lancet in his pocket), his
Majesty had certainly died that moment, which might have ben of
direful consequence, there being nobody else present with the king
save this doctor and one more, as I am assured. It was a mark of the
extraordinary dexterity, resolution, and presence of mind in the Dr
to let him bloud in the very paroxysm, without staying the coming of
other physicians, which regularly should have ben done, and for want
of which he must have a regular pardon, as they tell me." For this
promptitude and courage the Privy-Council ordered \xA31000 to be given to
Dr. King--but he never obtained the money.

In a more humourous, but not less agreeable manner, Dr. Hunter (John
Hunter's brother), was disappointed of payment for his professional
services. On a certain occasion he was suffering under such severe
indisposition that he was compelled to keep his bed, when a lady
called and implored to be admitted to his chamber for the benefit of
his advice. After considerable resistance on the part of the servants,
she obtained her request; and the sick physician, sitting up in his
bed, attended to her case, and prescribed for it. "What is your fee,
sir?" the lady asked when the work was done. The doctor, with the
prudent delicacy of his order, informed his patient that it was a rule
with him never to fix his fee; and, on repeated entreaty that he would
depart from his custom, refused to do so. On this the lady rose from
her seat, and courteously thanking the doctor, left him--not a little
annoyed at the result of his squeamishness or artifice.

This puts us in mind of the manner in which an eminent surgeon not
long since was defrauded of a fee, under circumstances that must rouse
the indignation of every honourable man against the delinquent. Mr.
---- received, in his consulting room, a gentleman of military and
prepossessing exterior, who, after detailing the history of his
sufferings, implored the professional man he addressed to perform for
him a certain difficult and important operation. The surgeon
consented, and on being asked what remuneration he would require, said
that his fee was a hundred guineas.

"Sir," replied the visitor with some embarrassment, "I am very sorry
to hear you say so. I feel sure my case without you will terminate
fatally; but I am a poor half-pay officer, in pecuniary difficulties,
and I could not, even if it were to save my soul, raise half the sum
you mention."

"My dear sir," responded the surgeon frankly, and with the generosity
which is more frequently found amongst medical practitioners than any
other class of men, "don't then disturb yourself. I cannot take a less
fee than I have stated, for my character demands that I should not
have two charges, but I am at liberty to remit my fee altogether.
Allow me, then, the very great pleasure of attending a retired officer
of the British army gratuitously."

This kindly offer was accepted. Mr. ---- not only performed the
operation, but visited his patient daily for more than three weeks
without ever accepting a guinea--and three months after he had
restored the sick man to health, discovered that, instead of being in
necessitous circumstances, he was a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant
for his county, and owner of a fine landed estate.

"And, by ----!" exclaimed the fine-hearted surgeon--when he narrated
this disgraceful affair, "I'll act exactly in the same way to the next
poor man who gives me his _word of honour_ that he is not rich enough
to pay me."

The success of Sir Astley Cooper was beyond that of any medical
practitioner of modern times; but it came very gradually. His earnings
for the first nine years of his professional career progressed
thus:--In the first year he netted five guineas; in the second,
twenty-six pounds; in the third, sixty-four pounds; in the fourth,
ninety-six pounds; in the fifth, a hundred pounds; in the sixth, two
hundred pounds; in the seventh, four hundred pounds; in the eighth,
six hundred and ten pounds; and in the ninth, the year in which he
secured his hospital appointment, eleven hundred pounds. But the time
came when the patients stood for hours in his ante-rooms waiting to
have an interview with the great surgeon, and after all, their
patients were dismissed without being admitted to the consulting-room.
Sir Astley's man, Charles, with all the dignity that became so eminent
a man's servant, used to say to these disappointed applicants, in a
tone of magnificent patronage, when they reappeared the next morning
after their effectless visit, "I am not at all sure that _we_ shall be
able to attend to-day to you, gentlemen, for _we_ are excessively
busy, and our list is perfectly full for the day; but if you'll wait I
will see what can be done for you!"

The highest amount that Sir Astley received in any one year was
\xA321,000. This splendid income was an exceptional one. For many years,
however, he achieved more than \xA315,000 per annum. As long as he lived
in the City after becoming celebrated he made an enormous, but
fluctuating, revenue, the state of the money-market having an almost
laughable effect on the size of the fees paid him. The capitalists
who visited the surgeon in Broad Street, in three cases out of four,
paid in cheques, and felt it beneath their dignity to put pen to paper
for a smaller sum than five guineas. After Sir Astley moved to the
West End he had a more numerous and at the same time more aristocratic
practice; but his receipts were never so much as they were when he
dwelt within the Lord Mayor's jurisdiction. His more distinguished
patients invariably paid their guineas in cash, and many of them did
not consider it inconsistent with patrician position to give single
fees. The citizens were the fellows to pay. Mr. William Coles, of
Mincing Lane, for a long period paid Sir Astley \xA3600 a year, the
visits of the latter being principally made to Mr. Cole's seat near
Croydon. Another "City man," who consulted the surgeon in Broad
Street, and departed without putting down any honorarium whatever,
sent a cheque for \xA363 10_s._, with the following characteristic

"DEAR SIR--When I had first the pleasure of seeing you, you requested,
as a favour, that I would consider your visit on the occasion as a
friend. I now, sir, must request you will return the compliment by
accepting the enclosed draft as an act of friendship. It is the profit
on \xA32000 of the ensuing loan, out of a small sum Sir F. Baring had
given, of appropriating for your chance."

The largest fee Sir Astley Cooper ever received was paid him by a West
Indian millionaire named Hyatt. This gentleman having occasion to
undergo a painful and perilous operation, was attended by Drs. Lettsom
and Nelson as physicians, and Sir Astley as chirurgeon. The wealthy
patient, his treatment having resulted most successfully, was so
delighted that he fee'd his physicians with 300 guineas each. "But
you, sir," cried the grateful old man, sitting up in his bed, and
speaking to his surgeon, "shall have something better. There,
sir--take _that_." The _that_ was the convalescent's night-cap, which
he flung at the dexterous operator. "Sir," replied Sir Astley, picking
up the cap, "I'll pocket the affront." It was well he did so, for on
reaching home he found in the cap a draft for 1000 guineas. This story
has been told in various ways, but all its tellers agree as to the
amount of the prize.

Catherine, the Empress of Russia, was even more munificent than the
West Indian planter. When Dr. Dimsdale, for many years a Hertford
physician, and subsequently the parliamentary representative of that
borough, went over to Russia and inoculated the Empress and her son,
in the year 1768, he was rewarded with a fee of \xA312,000, a pension for
life of \xA3500 per annum, and the rank of Baron of the Empire. But if
Catherine paid thus handsomely for increased security of life, a
modern emperor of Austria put down a yet more royal fee for his
death-warrant. When on his death-bed the Emperor Joseph asked Quarin
his opinion of his case, the physician told the monarch that he could
not possibly live forty-eight hours. In acknowledgment of this frank
declaration of the truth, the Emperor created Quarin a Baron, and gave
him a pension of more than \xA32000 per annum to support the rank with.

A goodly collection might be made of eccentric fees given to the
practitioners of the healing art. William Butler, who, in his
moroseness of manner, was the prototype of Abernethy, found (_vide_
Fuller's "English Worthies") more pleasure in "presents than money;
loved what was pretty rather than what was costly; and preferred
rarities to riches." The number of physicians is large who have won
the hands of heiresses in the discharge of their professional
avocations. But of them we purpose to speak at length hereafter.
Joshua Ward, the Thames Street drysalter, who made a fortune by his
"Drop and Pill,"

    "Of late, without the least pretence to skill,
    Ward's grown a famed physician by a pill,"

was so successfully puffed by Lord Chief Baron Reynolds and General
Churchill, that he was called in to prescribe for the king. The royal
malady disappeared in consequence, or in spite, of the treatment; and
Ward was rewarded with a solemn vote of the House of Commons,
protecting him from the interdictions of the College of Physicians;
and, as an additional fee, he asked for, and obtained, the privilege
of driving his carriage through St. James's Park.

The pertinacity with which the members of the medical profession cling
to the shilling of "the guinea" is amusing. When Erskine used to order
"The Devil's Own" to _charge_, he would cry out "Six-and-eightpence!"
instead of the ordinary word of command. Had his Lordship been colonel
of a volunteer corps of physicians, he would have roused them to an
onward march by "A guinea!" Sometimes patients object to pay the extra
shilling over the sovereign, not less than their medical advisers
insist on having it. "We surgeons do things by guineas," we recollect
a veteran hospital surgeon saying to a visitor who had put down the
largest current gold piece of our present coinage. The patient (an
irritable old gentleman) made it a question of principle; he hated
humbug--he regarded "that shilling" as sheer humbug, and he would not
pay it. A contest ensued, which terminated in the eccentric patient
paying, not the shilling, but an additional sovereign. And to this day
he is a frequent visitor of our surgical ally, and is well content to
pay his two sovereigns, though he would die rather than countenance "a
sham" by putting down "a guinea."

But of all the stories told of surgeons who have grown fat at the
expense of the public, the best is the following one, for which Mr.
Alexander Kellet, who died at his lodgings in Bath, in the year 1788
is our authority. A certain French surgeon residing in Georgia was
taken prisoner by some Indians, who having acquired from the French
the art of larding their provisions, determined to lard this
particular Frenchman, and then roast him alive. During the culinary
process, when the man was half larded, the operators were surprised by
the enemy, and their victim, making his escape, lived many days in the
woods on the bacon he had in his skin.

If full reliance may be placed on the following humorous verses, it is
not unknown for a physician to be paid in commodities, without the
intervention of the circulating medium, or the receipt of such
creature comforts as Johnson's friendly apothecary was wont to accept
in lieu of cash:--

    "An adept in the sister arts,
      Painter, poet, and musician,
    Employ'd a doctor of all parts,
      Druggist, surgeon, and physician.

    "The artist with M.D. agrees,
      If he'd attend him when he grew sick,
    Fully to liquidate his fees
      With painting, poetry, and music.

    "The druggist, surgeon, and physician,
      So often physick'd, bled, prescribed,
    That painter, poet, and musician
      (Alas! poor artist!) sunk--and died.

    "But ere death's stroke, 'Doctor,' cried he,
      'In honour of your skill and charge,
    Accept from my professions three--
      A _hatchment_, _epitaph_, and _dirge_.'"

A double fee for good news has long been a rule in the profession. A
father just presented with an heir, or a lucky fellow just made one,
is expected to bleed freely for the benefit of the Faculty.

    "Madam scolded one day so long,
    She sudden lost all use of tongue!
    The doctor came--with hum and haw,
    Pronounc'd th' affection a lock'd jaw!

    'What hopes, good sir?'--'Small, small, I see!'
    The husband slips a _double fee_;
    'What, no hopes, doctor?'--'None, I fear;'
    Another fee for issue clear.

    "Madam deceased--'Pray, sir, don't grieve!'
    'My friends, one comfort I receive--
    A _lock'd jaw_ was the only case
    From which my wife could die--in peace.'"



In the church of St. Mary Magdalen, Taunton, is a monumental stone
engraved with the following inscription:--

    "Qui medicus doctus, prudentis nomine clarus,
      Eloquii splendor, Pieridumque decus,
    Virtutis cultor, pietatis vixit amicus;
      Hoc jacet in tumulo, spiritus alta tenet."

It is in memory of John Bond, M.A., the learned commentator on Horace
and Persius. Educated at Winchester school, and then at New College,
Oxford, he was elected master of the Taunton Grammar-school in the
year 1579. For many years he presided over that seminary with great
efficiency, and sent out into the world several eminent scholars. On
arriving, however, at the middle age of life, he relinquished the
mastership of the school, and turned his attention to the practice of
medicine. His reputation and success as a physician were great--the
worthy people of Taunton honouring him as "a wise man." He died August
3, 1612.

More than a century later than John Bond, schoolmaster and physician,
appeared a greater celebrity in the person of James Jurin, who, from
the position of a provincial pedagogue, raised himself to be regarded
as first of the London physicians, and conspicuous amongst the
philosophers of Europe. Jurin was born in 1684, and received his early
education at Christ's Hospital--better known to the public as the
Bluecoat school. After graduating in arts at Cambridge, he obtained
the mastership of the grammar-school of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, January,
1710. In the following year he acquired the high academic distinction
of a fellowship on the foundation of Trinity College; and the year
after (1712) he published through the University press, his edition of
Varenius's Geography, dedicated to Bentley. In 1718 and 1719 he
contributed to the Philosophical Transactions the essays which
involved him in controversies with Keill and Senac, and were, in the
year 1732, reprinted in a collected form, under the title of
"Physico-Mathematical Dissertations." Another of his important
contributions to science was "An Essay on Distinct and Indistinct
Vision," added to Smith's "System of Optics." Voltaire was not without
good reason for styling him, in the _Journal de Savans_, "the famous

Besides working zealously in his school, Jurin delivered lectures at
Newcastle, on Experimental Philosophy. He worked very hard, his
immediate object being to get and save money. As soon as he had laid
by a clear thousand pounds, he left Newcastle, and returning to his
University devoted himself to the study of medicine. From that time
his course was a prosperous one. Having taken his M.D. degree, he
settled in London, became a Fellow of the College of Physicians, a
Fellow of the Royal Society (to which distinguished body he became
secretary on the resignation of Dr. Halley in 1721), and a Physician
of Guy's Hospital, as well as Governor of St. Thomas's. The friend of
Sir Isaac Newton and Bentley did not lack patients. The
consulting-rooms and ante-chambers of his house in Lincoln's Inn
Fields received many visitors; so that he acquired considerable
wealth, and had an estate and an imposing establishment at Clapton.
Nichols speaks of him in one of his volumes as "James Jurin, M.D.,
sometime of Clapton in Hackney." It was, however, at his town
residence that he died, March 22, 1750, of what the _Gentleman's
Magazine_ calls "a dead palsy," leaving by his will a considerable
legacy to Christ's Hospital.

One might make a long list of Doctors Pedagogic, including poor Oliver
Goldsmith, who used to wince and redden with shame and anger when the
cant phrase, "It's all a holiday at Peckham," saluted his ears.
Between Bond and Jurin, however, there were two tutors turned
physicians, who may not be passed over without especial attention.
Only a little prior to Jurin they knew many of his friends, and
doubtless met him often in consultation. They were both authors--one
of rare wit, and the other (as he himself boasted) of no wit; and they
hated each other, as literary men know how to hate. In every respect,
even down to the quarters of town which they inhabited, they were
opposed to each other. One was a brilliant talker and frequented St.
James's; the other was a pompous drone, and haunted the Mansion-house:
a Jacobite the one, a Whig the other. The reader sees that these two
worthies can be none other than Arbuthnot and Blackmore.

A wily, courtly, mirth-loving Scotchman, Arbuthnot had all the best
qualities that are to be ordinarily found in a child of North Britain.
Everybody knew him--nearly every one liked him. His satire, that was
only rarely tinctured with bitterness--his tongue, powerful to mimic,
flatter, or persuade--his polished manners and cordial bearing, would
alone have made him a favourite with the ladies, had he not been what
he was--one of the handsomest men about town. (Of course, in
appearance he did not approach that magnificent gentleman, Beau
Fielding). In conversation he was frank without being noisy; and there
hung about him--tavern-haunting wit though he was--an air of
simplicity, tempering his reckless fun, that was very pleasant and
very winning. Pope, Parnell, Garth, Gay, were society much more to his
taste than the stately big-wigs of Warwick Hall. And next to drinking
wine with such men, the good-humoured doctor enjoyed flirting with the
maids of honour, and taking part in a political intrigue. No wonder
that Swift valued him as a priceless treasure--"loved him," as he
wrote to Stella, "ten times as much" as jolly, tippling Dr. Freind.

It was arm in arm with him that the Dean used to peer about St.
James's, jesting, snarling, laughing, causing dowagers to smile at
"that dear Mr. Dean," and young girls, up for their first year at
Court--green and unsophisticated--to blush with annoyance at his
coarse, shameless badinage; bowing to this great man (from whom he
hoped for countenance), staring insolently at that one (from whom he
was sure of nothing but enmity), quoting Martial to a mitred courtier
(because the prelate couldn't understand Latin), whispering French to
a youthful diplomatist (because the boy knew no tongue but English),
preparing impromptu compliments for "royal Anna" (as our dear worthy
ancestors used to call Mrs. Masham's intimate friend), or with his
glorious blue eyes sending a glance, eloquent of admiration and
homage, at a fair and influential supporter; cringing, fawning,
flattering--in fact, angling for the bishopric he was never to get.
With Arbuthnot it was that Swift tried the dinners and wine of every
hotel round Covent Garden, or in the city. From Arbuthnot it was that
the Dean, during his periods of official exile, received his best and
surest information of the battles of the cliques, the scandals of the
Court, the contentions of parties, the prospects of ministers, and
(most important subject by far) the health of the Queen.

Some of the most pleasant pictures in the "Journal to Stella" are
those in which the kindly presence of the Doctor softens the asperity
of the Dean. Most readers of these pages have accompanied the two
"brothers" in their excursion to the course the day before the
horse-races, when they overtook Miss Forrester, the pretty maid of
honour, and made her accompany them. The lady was taking the air on
her palfrey, habited in the piquant riding-dress of the period--the
natty three-cornered cocked hat, ornamented with gold lace, and
perched on the top of a long flowing periwig, powdered to the
whiteness of snow, the long coat cut like a coachman's, the waistcoat
flapped and faced, and lastly the habit-skirt. One sees the belle at
this time smiling archly, with all the power of beauty, and shaking
the handle of her whip at the divine and the physician. So they took
her with them (and they weren't wrong in doing so). Then the old Queen
came by, gouty and hypochondriac. Off went the hats of the two
courtiers in the presence of her Majesty. The beauty, too, raised her
little three-cornered cock-boat (rising on her stirrup as she did so),
and returned it to the summit of the flowing wig, with a knowing
side-glance, as much as to say, "See, sirs, we women can do that sort
of thing quite as gracefully as the lords of the creation." (Oh, Mr.
Spectator, how could you find it in you to quarrel with that costume?)
Swift was charmed, and described enough of the scene to make that
foolish Stella frantically jealous; and then, prudent, canny
love-tyrant that he was, added with a sneer--"I did not like her,
though she be a toast, and was dressed like a man." And you may be
sure that poor little Stella was both fool enough and wise enough both
to believe and disbelieve this assurance at the same time.

Arbuthnot owed his success in no degree whatever to the influence of
his family, and only in a very slight degree to his professional
knowledge. His father was only a poor episcopalian clergyman, and his
M.D. degree was only an Aberdeen one. He rose by his wit, rare
conversational powers, and fascinating address, achieving eminence at
Court because he was the greatest master of fence with the weapon that
is most used in courts--the tongue. He failed to get a living amongst
rustic boors, who appreciated no effort of the human voice but a
fox-hunter's whoop. Dorchester, where as a young man he endeavoured
to establish himself in practice, refused to give him an income, but
it doubtless maintained more than one dull empiric in opulence. In
London he met with a different reception. For a time he was very poor,
and resorted to the most hateful of all occupations--the personal
instruction of the ignorant. How long he was so engaged is uncertain.
Something of Goldsmith's "Peckham" sensibility made him not care in
after-life to talk of the days when he was a teacher of
mathematics--starving on pupils until he should be permitted to grow
fat on patients.

The patients were not long in coming. The literary reputation he
obtained by his "Examination of Dr Woodward's Account of the Deluge,"
elicited by Woodward's "Essay towards a Natural History of the Earth,"
instead of frightening the sick from him, brought them to him.
Accidentally called in to Prince George of Denmark, when his Royal
Highness was suddenly taken ill at Epsom, he made himself so agreeable
that the casual introduction became a permanent connection. In 1709,
on the illness of Hannes (a physician who also understood the art of
rising in spite of obstacles) he was appointed physician-in-ordinary
to Queen Anne.

To secure the good graces of his royal patient, and rise yet higher in
them, he adopted a tone of affection for her as a person, as well as
loyal devotion to her as a queen. The fall of Radcliffe warned him
that he had need of caution in dealing with the weak-minded,
querulous, crotchety, self-indulgent invalid.

"What's the time?" asked the Queen of him one day.

"Whatever it may please your Majesty," answered the court-physician,
with a graceful bow.

After all, the best testimony of a man's merit is the opinion held of
him by those of his acquaintance who know him intimately--at home as
well as abroad. By all who came within the circle of Arbuthnot's
privacy he was respected as much as loved. And his associates were no
common men. Pope, addressing him as "the friend of his life," says:--

    "Why did I write? what sin, to me unknown,
    Dipp'd me in ink?--my parents' or my own?
    As yet a child, nor yet a fool to fame,
    I lisp'd in numbers, for the numbers came.
    I left no calling for this idle trade,
    No duty broke, no father disobey'd.
    The muse but served to ease some friend, not wife,
    To help me through this long disease, my life,
    To second, Arbuthnot! thy art and care,
    And teach the being you preserved to bear."

Pope's concluding wish--

         "Oh, friend! may each domestic bliss be thine."

was ineffectual. Arbuthnot's health failed under his habits of
intemperance, and during his latter years he was a terrible sufferer
from asthma and melancholy. After the Queen's death he went for the
benefit of his health on the continent, and visited his brother, a
Paris banker. Returning to London he took a house in Dover Street,
from which he moved to the residence in Cork Street, Burlington
Gardens, where he died Feb. 27, 1734-5. He died in straitened
circumstances; for unlike his fellow-countryman, Colonel Chartres, he
had not the faculty of saving. But with failing energies, an
excruciated frame, and the heart-burden of a family unprovided for, he
maintained a philosophic equanimity, and displayed his old unvarying
consideration for all who surrounded him.

Arbuthnot's epitaph on Colonel Chartres (almost as well known as
Martinus Scriblerus) is a good specimen of his humour:--

                    "Here continueth to rot,
                The Body of Francis Chartres.
            Who, with an indefatigable constancy,
              And inimitable Uniformity of life,
                In spite of Age and Infirmities,
              In the practice of every Human Vice,
            Excepting Prodigality and Hypocrisy:
    His insatiable Avarice exempting him from the First,
        His matchless impudence from the Second.
    Nor was he more singular in the Undeviating Pravity
              Of his manners, than successful
                In accumulating Wealth:
            For, without Trade or Profession,
              Without trust of public money,
            And without bribe-worthy service,
          He acquired, or more properly created,
                  A ministerial estate.
            He was the only person of this time
        Who could cheat without the Mask of Honesty,
      Retain his prim\xE6val meanness when possessed of
                      Ten thousand a-year:
    And having duly deserved the Gibbet for what he did,
    Was at last condemned to it for what he could not do.
                      Oh, indignant reader!
            Think not his life useless to mankind:
          Providence connived at his execrable designs,
              To give to After-age a conspicuous
                      Proof and Example
          Of how small estimation is exorbitant Wealth
          In the sight of God, by His bestowing it on
                The most unworthy of Mortals."

The history of the worthy person whose reputation is here embalmed is
interesting. Beginning life as an ensign in the army, he was drummed
out of his regiment, banished Brussels, and ignominiously expelled
from Ghent, for cheating. As a miser he saved, and as a usurer he
increased, the money which he won as a blackleg and card-sharper.
Twice was he condemned to death for heinous offences, but contrived to
purchase pardon; and, after all, he was fortunate enough to die in his
own bed, in his native country, Scotland, A. D. 1731, aged sixty-two.
At his funeral the indignant mob, feeling that justice had not been
done to the dear departed, raised a riot, insulted the mourners, and,
when the coffin was lowered into the grave, threw upon it a
magnificent collection of dead dogs!

In a similar and scarcely less magnificent vein of humour, Arbuthnot
wrote another epitaph--on a greyhound:--

                         "To the memory of
                            Signor Fido,
                An Italian of Good Extraction:
                    Who came into England,
            Not to bite us, like most of his countrymen,
                  But to gain an honest livelihood:
                    He hunted not after fame,
                          Yet acquired it:
              Regardless of the Praise of his Friends,
                  But most sensible of their love:
                  Tho' he liv'd amongst the great,
              He neither learn'd nor flatter'd any vice:
                        He was no Bigot,
        Tho' he doubted of none of the thirty-nine articles;
                    And if to follow Nature,
                And to respect the laws of Society,
                          Be Philosophy,
                  He was a perfect Phi losopher,
                        A faithful Friend,
                      An agreeable Companion,
                        A loving Husband,
              Distinguished by a numerous Offspring,
          All of which he lived to see take good _courses_;
                  In his old age he retired
          To the House of a Clergyman in the Country,
                Where he finished his earthly Race,
    And died an Honour and an Example to the whole Species.
                This stone is guiltless of Flattery,
                  For he to whom it is inscribed
                           Was not a man,
                                But a

In the concluding lines there is a touch of Sterne. They also call to
mind Byron's epitaph on his dog.

These epitaphs put the writer in mind of the literary ambition of the
eminent Dr. James Gregory of Edinburgh. His great aim was to be _the_
Inscriptor (as he styled it) of his age. No distinguished person died
without the doctor promptly striking off his characteristics in a
mural legend. For every statue erected to heroes, real or sham, he
composed an inscription, and interested himself warmly to have it
adopted. Amongst the public monuments on which his compositions may be
found are the Nelson Monument at Edinburgh, and the Duke of
Wellington's shield at Gibraltar. On King Robert Bruce, Charles Edward
Stuart, his mother, Sir James Foulis de Collington, and Robertson the
historian, he also produced commemorative inscriptions of great
excellence. As a very fair specimen of his style the inscription on
the Seott Flagon is transcribed:--

            "Gualterum Scott,
              De Abbotsford,
            Virum summi Ingenii
            Scriptorem Elegantem
    Poetarum sui seculi facile Principem
              Patri\xE6 Decus
          Ob varia ergo ipsam merita
        In civium suorum numerum
    Grata adscripsit Civitas Edinburgensis
        Et hoc Cantharo donavit
            A. D. MDCCCXIII."

Sir Richard Blackmore, the other pedagogue physician, was one of those
good, injudicious mortals who always either praise or blame too
much--usually the latter. The son of a Wiltshire attorney, he was
educated at Westminster School and Oxford, taking his degree of M.A.
June, 1676, and residing, in all, thirteen years in the university,
during a portion of which protracted period of residence he was
(though Dr. Johnson erroneously supposed the reverse) a laborious
student. On leaving Oxford he passed through a course of searching
poverty, and became a schoolmaster. In this earlier part of his life
he travelled in France, Germany, the Low Countries, and Italy, and
took his doctor's degree in the University of Padua. On turning his
attention to medicine, he consulted Sydenham as to what authors he
ought to read. "Don Quixote," replied the veteran. A similar answer
has been attributed to Lord Erskine on being asked by a law student
the best literary sources for acquiring legal knowledge and success.
The scepticism of the reply reminds one of Garth, who, to an anxious
patient inquiring what physician he had best call in in case of his
(Garth's) death, responded, "One is e'en as good as t'other, and
surgeons are not less knowing."

As a poet, Blackmore failed, but as a physician he was for many years
one of the most successful men in his profession. Living at Sadler's
Hall, Cheapside, he was the oracle of all the wealthiest citizens, and
was blessed with an affluence that allowed him to drive about town in
a handsome equipage, and make an imposing figure to the world.
Industrious, honourable, and cordially liked by his personal friends,
he was by no means the paltry fellow that Dryden and Pope represented
him. Johnson, in his brilliant memoir, treated him very unfairly, and
clearly was annoyed that his conscience would not allow him to treat
him worse. On altogether insufficient grounds the doctor argued that
his knowledge of ancient authors was superficial, and for the most
part derived from secondary sources. Passages indeed are introduced to
show that the ridicule and contempt showered on the poet by his
adversaries, and re-echoed by the laughing world, were unjust; but the
effect of these admissions, complete in themselves, is more than
counterbalanced by the sarcasms (and some of them vulgar sarcasms too)
which the biographer, in imitation of Colonel Codrington, Sir Charles
Sedley, and Colonel Blount, directs against the city knight.

A sincerely religious man, Blackmore was offended with the gross
licentiousness of the drama, and all those productions of the poets
which constituted the light literature of the eighteenth century. To
his eternal honour, Blackmore was the first man who had the courage to
raise his voice against the evil, and give utterance to a manly
indignation at the insults offered nightly in every theatre to public
decency. Unskilled in the use of the pen, of an age when he could not
hope to perfect himself in an art to which he had not in youth
systematically trained himself, and immersed in the cares of an
extensive practice, he set himself to work on the production of a
poem, which should elevate and instruct, not vitiate and deprave
youthful readers. In this spirit "Prince Arthur" was composed and
published in 1695, when the author was between forty and fifty years
of age. It was written, as he frankly acknowledged, "by such catches
and starts, and in such occasional uncertain hours as his profession
afforded, and for the greatest part in coffee-houses, or in passing up
and down streets." The wits laughed at him for writing "to the
rumbling of his chariot-wheels," but at this date, ridicule thrown on
a man for doing good at odd scraps of a busy day, has a close
similarity to the laughter of fools. Let any reader compare the
healthy gentlemanlike tone of the preface to "Prince Arthur," with the
mean animosity of all the virulent criticisms and sarcasms that were
directed against the author and his works, and then decide on which
side truth and good taste lie.

Blackmore made the fatal error of writing too much. His long poems
wearied the patience of those who sympathized with his goodness of
intention. What a list there is of them, in Swift's inscription, "to
be put under Sir Richard's picture!"

    "See, who ne'er was, or will be half read,
    Who first sung Arthur, then sung Alfred,[7]
    Praised great Eliza[8] in God's anger,
    Till all true Englishmen cried, hang her!
          .      .      .      .      .
    Then hiss'd from earth, grown heavenly quite,
    Made every reader curse the light.[9]
    Mauled human wit in one thick satire;[10]
    Next, in three books, spoil'd human nature;[11]
    Ended Creation[12] at a jerk,
    And of Redemption[13] made damn'd work:
    Then took his muse at once, and dipp'd her
    Full in the middle of the Scripture.
    What wonders there the man grown old did!
    Sternhold himself he out-sternholded;
    Made David[14] seem so mad and freakish,
    All thought him just what thought king Achish.
    No mortal read his Solomon,[15]
    But judged R'oboam his own son.
    Moses[16] he served, as Moses Pharaoh,
    And Deborah as she Sisera:
    Made Jeremy[17] full sore to cry,
    And Job[18] himself curse God and die."

  [7] Two heroic Poems, folio, twenty books.

  [8] An heroic Poem, in twelve books.

  [9] Hymn to Light.

  [10] Satire against Wit.

  [11] Of the Nature of Man.

  [12] Creation, in seven books.

  [13] Redemption, in six books.

  [14] Translation of all the Psalms.

  [15] Canticles and Ecclesiastes.

  [16] Canticles of Moses, Deborah, &c.

  [17] The Lamentations.

  [18] The Whole Book of Job, in folio.

Nor is this by any means a complete list of Sir Richard's works; for
he was also a voluminous medical writer, and author of a "History of
the Conspiracy against the Person and Government of King William the
Third, of glorious memory, in the year 1695."

Dryden, unable to clear himself of the charge of pandering for gain to
the licentious tastes of the age, responded to his accuser by calling
him an "ass," a "pedant," a "quack," and a "canting preacher."

    "Quack Maurus, though he never took degrees
    In either of our universities,
    Yet to be shown by some kind wit he looks,
    Because he play'd the fool, and writ three books.
    But if he would be worth a poet's pen,
    He must be more a fool, and write again;
    For all the former fustian stuff he wrote
    Was dead-born doggerel, or is quite forgot:
    His man of Uz, stript of his Hebrew robe,
    Is just the proverb, and 'as poor as Job.'
    One would have thought he could no longer jog;
    But Arthur was a level, Job's a bog.
    There though he crept, yet still he kept in sight;
    But here he founders in, and sinks downright.
          .      .      .      .      .
    At leisure hours in epic song he deals,
    Writes to the rumbling of his coach's wheels.
          .      .      .      .      .
    Well, let him go--'tis yet too early day
    To get himself a place in farce or play;
    We know not by what name we should arraign him,
    For no one category can contain him.
    A pedant, canting preacher, and a quack,
    Are load enough to break an ass's back.
    At last, grown wanton, he presumed to write,
    Traduced two kings, their kindness to requite;
    One made the doctor, and one dubbed the knight."

The former of the kings alluded to is James the Second, Blackmore
having obtained his fellowship of the College of Physicians, April 12,
1687, under the new charter granted to the college by that monarch;
the latter being William the Third, who, in recognition of the
doctor's zeal and influence as a Whig, not less than of his eminence
in his profession, made him a physician of the household, and knighted

Pope says:--

    "The hero William, and the martyr Charles,
    One knighted Blackmore, and one pension'd Quarles."

The bard of Twickenham had of course a few ill words for Blackmore. In
the Dunciad he says:--

    "Ye critics, in whose heads, as equal scales,
    I weigh what author's heaviness prevails;
    Which most conduce to soothe the soul in slumbers,
    My H----ley's periods, or my Blackmore's numbers."

Elsewhere, in the same poem, the little wasp of poetry continues his
hissing song:--

    "But far o'er all, sonorous Blackmore's strain,
    Walls, steeples, skies, bray back to him again.
    In Tot'nham fields, the brethren, with amaze,
    Prick all their ears up, and forget to graze;
    'Long Chancery Lane retentive rolls the sound,
    And courts to courts return it round and round;
    Thames wafts it thence to Rufus' roaring hall,
    And Hungerford re-echoes bawl for bawl;
    All hail him victor in both gifts and song,
    Who sings so loudly, and who sings so long."

Such being the tone of the generals, the reader can imagine that of
the petty scribblers, the professional libellers, the coffee-house
rakes, and literary amateurs of the Temple, who formed the rabble of
the vast army against which the doctor had pitted himself, in defence
of public decency and domestic morality. Under the title of
"Commendatory Verses, on the author of the two Arthurs, and the Satyr
against Wit, by some of his particular friends," were collected, in
the year 1700, upwards of forty sets of ribald verses, taunting Sir
Richard with his early poverty, with his having been a school-master,
with the unspeakable baseness of--living in the city. The writers of
these wretched dirty lampoons, that no kitchen-maid could in our day
read without blushing, little thought what they were doing. Their
obscene stupidity has secured for them the lasting ignominy to which
they imagined they were consigning their antagonist. What a crew they
are!--with chivalric Steel and kindly Garth, forgetting their better
natures, and joining in the miserable riot! To "The City Quack"; "The
Cheapside Knight"; "The Illustrious Quack, Pedant, Bard"; "The Merry
Poetaster of Sadler's Hall"--such are the titles by which they address
the doctor, who had presumed to say that authors and men of wit ought
to find a worthier exercise for their intellects than the manufacture
of impure jests.

Colonel Codrington makes his shot thus--

    "By Nature meant, by Want a Pedant made,
    Blackmore at first profess'd the whipping trade;
          .      .      .      .      .
    In vain his drugs as well as Birch he try'd--
    His boys grew blockheads, and his patients dy'd.
    Next he turn'd Bard, and, mounted on a cart,
    Whose hideous rumbling made Apollo start,
    Burlesqued the Bravest, Wisest son of Mars,
    In ballad rhymes, and all the pomp of Farce.
          .      .      .      .      .

The same dull sarcasms about killing patients and whipping boys into
blockheads are repeated over and over again. As if to show, with the
greatest possible force, the pitch to which the evil of the times had
risen, the coarsest and most disgusting of all these lampoon-writers
was a lady of rank--the Countess of Sandwich. By the side of her
Ladyship, Afra Behn and Mistress Manley become timid blushing maidens.
A better defence of Sir Richard than the Countess's attack on him it
would be impossible to imagine.

And after all--the slander and the maledictions--Sir Richard Blackmore
gained the victory, and the wits who never wearied of calling him "a
fool" were defeated. The preface to "Prince Arthur" provoked
discussion; the good sense and better taste of the country were
roused, and took the reformer's side of the controversy. Pope and his
myrmidons, it was true, were still able to make the _beau monde_ merry
about the city knight's presumption--but they could not refute the
city knight's arguments; and they themselves were compelled to shape
their conduct, as writers, in deference to a new public feeling which
he was an important instrument in calling into existence. "Prince
Arthur" appeared in 1695, and to the commotion caused by its preface
may be attributed much of the success of Jeremy Collier's "Short View
of the Immorality and Profaneness of the Stage," which was published
some three years afterwards.

As a poet Sir Richard Blackmore can command only that praise which the
charitable bestow on goodness of intention. His muse was a pleasant,
well-looking, right-minded young lady, but nothing more. But it must
be remembered, before we measure out our criticisms on his
productions, that he never arrogated to himself the highest honours of
poesy. "I am a gentleman of taste and culture, and though I cannot
ever hope to build up the nervous lines of Dryden, or attain the
polish and brilliance of Congreve, I believe I can write what the
generation sorely needs--works that intelligent men may study with
improvement, devout Christians may read without being offended, and
pure-minded girls may peruse without blushing from shame. 'Tis true I
am a hard-worked doctor, spending my days in coffee-houses, receiving
apothecaries, or driving over the stones in my carriage, visiting my
patients. Of course a man so circumstanced must fail to achieve
artistic excellence, but still I'll do my best." Such was the language
with which he introduced himself to the public.

His best poem, _The Creation_, had such merit that his carping
biographer, Johnson, says, "This poem, if he had written nothing else,
would have transmitted him to posterity one of the first favourites of
the English muse"; and Addison designated the same poem "one of the
most useful and noble productions in our English verse."

Of Sir Richard's private character Johnson remarks--"In some part of
his life, it is not known when, his indigence compelled him to teach a
school--a humiliation with which, though it certainly lasted but a
little while, his enemies did not forget to reproach him when he
became conspicuous enough to excite malevolence; and let it be
remembered, for his honour, that to have been a schoolmaster is the
only reproach which all the perspicacity of malice, animated by wit,
has ever fixed upon his private life."



Of the generosity of physicians one _need_ say nothing, for there are
few who have not experienced or witnessed it; and one _had better_ say
nothing, as no words could do justice to such a subject. This writer
can speak for at least one poor scholar, to whose sick-bed physicians
have come from distant quarters of the town, day after day, never
taking a coin for their precious services, and always in their
graceful benevolence seeming to find positive enjoyment in their
unpaid labour. In gratitude for kindness shown to himself, and yet
more for beneficence exhibited to those whom he loves, that man of the
goose-quill and thumbed books would like to put on record the names of
certain members of "the Faculty" to whom he is so deeply indebted. Ah,
dear Dr. ---- and Dr. ---- and Dr. ----, do not start!--your names
shall not be put down on this cheap common page. Where they are
engraved, you know!

Cynics have been found in plenty to rail at physicians for loving
their fees; and one might justly retort on the Cynics, that they love
_nothing but_ their fees. Who doesn't love the sweet money earned by
his labour--be it labour of hand or brain, or both? One thing is
sure--that doctors are underpaid. The most successful of them in our
own time get far less than their predecessors of any reign, from Harry
the Eighth downwards. And for honours, though the present age has seen
an author raised to the peerage, no precedent has as yet been
established for ennobling eminent physicians and surgeons.

Queen Elizabeth gave her physician-in-ordinary \xA3100 per annum, besides
diet, wine, wax, and other perquisites. Her apothecary, Hugo Morgan,
must too have made a good thing out of her. For a quarter's bill that
gentleman was paid \xA383 7_s._ 8_d._, a large sum in those days; but
then it was for such good things. What Queen of England could grudge
eleven shillings for "a confection made like a manus Christi, with
bezoar stone and unicorn's horn"?--sixteen pence for "a royal
sweetmeat with incised rhubarb"?--twelve pence for "Rosewater for the
King of Navarre's ambassador"?--six shillings for "a conserve of
barberries, with preserved damascene plums, and other things for Mr.
Raleigh"?--two shillings and sixpence for "sweet scent to be used at
the christening of Sir Richard Knightley's son"?

Coytier, the physician of Charles the XI. of France, was better paid
by far. The extent to which he fleeced that monarch is incredible.
Favour after favour he wrung from him. When the royal patient resisted
the modest demands of his physician, the latter threatened him with
speedy dissolution. On this menace the king, succumbing to that fear
of death which characterized more than one other of his family, was
sure to make the required concession. Theodore Hook's valet, who was a
good servant in the first year of his service, a sympathizing friend
in the second, and a hard tyrant in the third, was a timid slave
compared with Coytier. Charles, in order to be freed from his
despotism, ordered him to be dispatched. The officer, intrusted with
the task of carrying out the royal wishes, waited on Coytier, and
said, in a most gentlemanlike and considerate manner, "I am very
sorry, my dear fellow, but I must kill you. The king can't stand you
any longer." "All right," said Coytier, with perfect unconcern,
"whenever you like. What time would it be most convenient for you to
kill me? But still, I am deuced sorry for his Majesty, for I know by
occult science that he can't outlive me more than four days." The
officer was so struck with the announcement, that he went away and
forthwith imparted it to the king. "Liberate him instantly--don't hurt
a hair of his head!" cried the terrified monarch. And Coytier was once
again restored to his place in the king's confidence and pocket.

Henry Atkins managed James the First with some dexterity. Atkins was
sent for to Scotland, to attend Charles the First (then an infant),
who was dangerously ill of a fever. The king gave him the handsome fee
of \xA36000. Atkins invested the money in the purchase of the manor of

Radcliffe, with a rare effort of generosity, attended a friend for a
twelvemonth gratuitously. On making his last visit his friend said,
"Doctor, here is a purse in which I have put every day's fee; and your
goodness must not get the better of my gratitude. Take your money."
Radcliffe looked, made a resolve to persevere in benevolence, just
touched the purse to reject it, heard the chink of the gold pieces in
it, and put the bag into his pocket. "Singly, sir, I could have
refused them for a twelvemonth; but, all together, _they are
irresistible_," said the doctor, walking off with a heavy prize and a
light heart.

Louis XIV. gave his physician and his surgeon 75,000 crowns each,
after successfully undergoing a painful and at that time novel
operation. By the side of such munificence, the fees paid by Napoleon
I. to the Faculty who attended Marie Louise in March, 1811, when the
Emperor's son was born, seem insufficient. Dubois, Corvisart,
Bourdier, and Ivan were the professional authorities employed, and
they had among them a remuneration of \xA34000, \xA32000 being the portion
assigned to Dubois.

Even more than fee gratefully paid does a humorous physician enjoy an
extra fee adroitly drawn from the hand of a reluctant payer. Sir
Richard Jebb was once paid three guineas by a nobleman from whom he
had a right to expect five. Sir Richard dropped the coins on the
carpet, when a servant picked them up and restored them--three, and
only three. Instead of walking off Sir Richard continued his search on
the carpet. "Are all the guineas found?" asked his Lordship looking
round. "There must be two still on the floor," was the answer, "for I
have only three." The hint of course was taken and the right sum put
down. An eminent Bristol doctor accomplished a greater feat than this,
and took a fee from--a dead commoner, not a live lord. Coming into his
patient's bed-room immediately after death had taken place, he found
the right hand of the deceased tightly clenched. Opening the fingers
he discovered within them a guinea. "Ah, that was for me--clearly,"
said the doctor putting the piece into his pocket.

Reminding the reader, in its commencement, of Sir Richard Jebb's
disappointment at the three-guinea fee, the following story may here
be appropriately inserted. A physician on receiving two guineas, when
he expected three, from an old lady patient, who was accustomed to
give him the latter fee, had recourse to one part of Sir Richard's
artifice, and assuming that the third guinea had been dropt through
his carelessness on the floor, looked about for it. "Nay, nay," said
the lady with a smile, "you are not in fault. It is I who dropt it."

There is an abundance of good stories of physicians fleecing their
lambs. To those that are true the comment may be made--"Doubtless the
lambs were all the better for being shorn." For the following anecdote
we are indebted to Dr. Moore, the author of "Zeluco." A wealthy
tradesman, after drinking the Bath waters, took a fancy to try the
effect of the Bristol hot wells. Armed with an introduction from a
Bath physician to a professional brother at Bristol, the invalid set
out on his journey. On the road he gave way to his curiosity to read
the doctor's letter of introduction, and cautiously prying into it
read these instructive words: "Dear sir, the bearer is a fat Wiltshire
clothier--make the most of him."

Benevolence was not a virtue in old Monsey's line; but he could be
generous at another's expense, when the enjoyment his malignity
experienced in paining one person counterbalanced his discomfort at
giving pleasure to another. Strolling through Oxford market he heard
a poor woman ask the price of a piece of meat that lay on a butcher's

"A penny a pound!" growled the man to whom the question was put,
disdaining to give a serious answer to such a poverty-stricken

"Just weigh that piece of beef, my friend," said Monsey, stepping up.

"Ten pounds and a half, sir," observed the butcher, after adjusting
the scales and weights.

"Here, my good woman," said Monsey, "out with your apron, and put the
beef into it, and make haste home to your family."

Blessing the benevolent heart of the eccentric old gentleman, the
woman did as she was bid, took possession of her meat, and was
speedily out of sight.

"And there, my man," said Monsey, turning to the butcher, "is tenpence
halfpenny, the price of your beef."

"What do you mean?" demanded the man.

"Simply that that's all I'll pay you. You said the meat was a penny a
pound. At that price I bought it of you--to give to the poor woman.
Good morning!"

A fee that Dr. Fothergill took of Mr. Grenville was earned without
much trouble. Fothergill, like Lettsom, was a Quaker, and was warmly
supported by his brother sectarians. In the same way Mead was brought
into practice by the Nonconformists, to whom his father ministered
spiritually. Indeed, Mead's satirists affirmed that when his servant
(acting on instructions) had called him out from divine service, the
parson took his part in the "dodge" by asking the congregation to
pray for the bodily and ghostly welfare of the patient to whom his son
had just been summoned. Dissenters are remarkable for giving staunch
support, and thorough confidence, to a doctor of their own persuasion.
At the outbreak of the American war, therefore Grenville knew that he
could not consult a better authority than the Quaker doctor,
Fothergill, on the state of feeling amongst the Quaker colonists.
Fothergill was consequently summoned to prescribe for the politician.
The visit took the form of an animated discussion on American affairs,
which was brought to a conclusion by Grenville's putting five guineas
into the physician's hand, saying--"Really, doctor, I am so much
better, that I don't want you to prescribe for me." With a canny
significant smile Fothergill, keeping, like a true Quaker, firm hold
of the money, answered, "At this rate, friend, I will spare thee an
hour now and then."

Dr. Glynn, of Cambridge, was as benevolent as he was eccentric. His
reputation in the fen districts as an ague doctor was great, and for
some years he made a large professional income. On one occasion a poor
peasant woman, the widowed mother of an only son, trudged from the
heart of the fens into Cambridge, to consult the doctor about her boy,
who was ill of an ague. Her manner so interested the physician, that
though it was during an inclement winter, and the roads were almost
impassable to carriages, he ordered horses, and went out to see the
sick lad. After a tedious attendance, and the exhibition of much port
wine and bark (bought at the doctor's expense), the patient recovered,
and Glynn took his leave. A few days after the farewell visit, the
poor woman again presented herself in the consulting room.

"I hope, my good woman," said Glynn, "your son is not ill again?"

"No, sir, he was never better," answered the woman, gratefully; "but
we can't get no rest for thinking of all the trouble that you have
had, and so my boy resolved this morning on sending you his favourite

In the woman's hand was a large wicker basket, which she opened at the
conclusion of the speech, affording means of egress to an enormous
magpie, that hopped out into the room, demure as a saint and bold as a
lord. It was a fee to be proud of!

The free-will offerings of the poor to their doctors are sometimes
very droll, and yet more touching. They are presented with such
fervour and simplicity, and such a sincere anxiety that they should be
taken as an expression of gratitude for favours past, not for favours
to come. The writer of these pages has known the humble toilers of
agricultural districts retain for a score of years the memory of kind
services done to them in sickness. He could tell of several who, at
the anniversary of a particular day (when a wife died, or child was
saved from fever, or an accident crushed a finger or lacerated a
limb), trudge for miles over the country to the doctor's house, and
leave there a little present--a pot of honey, a basket of apples, a
dish of the currants from the bush which "the doctor" once praised,
and said was fit for a gentleman's garden.

Of eminent physicians Dr. Gregory of Edinburgh was as remarkable for
his amiability as for his learning. It was his custom to receive from
new pupils at his own house the fees for the privilege of attending
his lectures. Whilst thus engaged one day, he left a student in his
consulting-room, and went into an adjoining apartment for a fresh
supply of admission tickets. In a mirror the doctor saw the student
rise from his seat, and sweep into his pocket some guineas from a heap
of gold (the fees of other students) that lay on the consulting-room
table. Without saying a word at the moment, Dr. Gregory returned,
dated the admission ticket, and gave it to the thief. He then politely
attended him to the door, and on the threshold said to the young man,
with deep emotion, "I saw what you did just now. Keep the money. I
know what distress you must be in. But for God's sake never do it
again--it can never succeed." The pupil implored Gregory to take back
the money, but the doctor said, "Your punishment is this, you must
keep it--now you have taken it." The reproof had a salutary effect.
The youth turned out a good and honest man.

An even better anecdote can be told of this good physician's
benevolence. A poor medical student, ill of typhus fever, sent for
him. The summons was attended to, and the visit paid, when the invalid
proffered the customary guinea fee. Dr. Gregory turned away, insulted
and angry. "I beg your pardon, Dr. Gregory," exclaimed the student,
apologetically, "I didn't know your rule. Dr. ---- has always taken
one." "Oh," answered Gregory, "he has--has he? Look you, then, my
young friend; ask him to meet me in consultation, and then offer him a
fee; or stay--offer me the fee first." The directions were duly acted
upon. The consultation took place, and the fee was offered. "Sir,"
exclaimed the benevolent doctor, "do you mean to insult me? Is there a
professor who would in this University degrade himself so far as to
take payment from one of his brotherhood--and a junior?" The confusion
of the man on whom this reproof was really conferred can be imagined.
He had the decency, ere the day closed, to send back to the student
all the fees he had taken of him.

Amongst charitable physicians a high place must be assigned to
Brocklesby, of whom mention is made in another part of these pages. An
ardent Whig, he was the friend of enthusiastic Tories as well as of
the members of his own body. Burke on the one hand, and Johnson on the
other, were amongst his intimate associates, and experienced his
beneficence. To the latter he offered a hundred-a-year for life. And
when the Tory writer was struggling with the heavy burden of
increasing disease, he attended him with affectionate solicitude,
taking no fee for his services--Dr. Heberden, Dr. Warren, Dr. Butler,
and Mr. Cruikshank the surgeon, displaying a similar liberality. It
was Brocklesby who endeavored to soothe the mental agitation of the
aged scholar's death-bed, by repeating the passage from the Roman
satirist, in which occurs the line:--

       "Fortem posce animum et mortis terrore carentem."

Burke's pun on Brocklesby's name is a good instance of the elaborate
ingenuity with which the great Whig orator adorned his conversation
and his speeches. Pre-eminent amongst the advertising quacks of the
day was Dr. Rock. It was therefore natural that Brocklesby should
express some surprise at being accosted by Burke as Dr. Rock, a title
at once infamous and ridiculous. "Don't be offended. Your name is
Rock," said Burke, with a laugh; "I'll prove it algebraically:
_Brock--b = Rock_; or, Brock less _b_ makes Rock." Dr. Brocklesby, on
the occasion of giving evidence in a trial, had the ill fortune to
offend the presiding judge, who, amongst other prejudices not uncommon
in the legal profession, cherished a lively contempt for medical
evidence. "Well, gentlemen of the jury," said the noble lawyer in his
summing up, "what's the medical testimony? First we have a Dr.
Rocklesby or--Brocklesby. What does he say? _First of all he_
swears--_he's a physician_."

Abernethy is a by-word for rudeness and even brutality of manner; but
he was as tender and generous as a man ought to be, as a man of great
intelligence usually is. The stories current about him are nearly all
fictions of the imagination; or, where they have any foundation in
fact, relate to events that occurred long before the hero to whom they
are tacked by anecdote-mongers had appeared on the stage. He was
eccentric--but his eccentricities always took the direction of common
sense; whereas the extravagances attributed to him by popular gossip
are frequently those of a heartless buffoon. His time was precious,
and he rightly considered that his business was to set his patients in
the way of recovering their lost health--not to listen to their
fatuous prosings about their maladies. He was therefore prompt and
decided in checking the egotistic garrulity of valetudinarians. This
candid expression of his dislike to unnecessary talk had one good
result. People who came to consult him took care not to offend him by
bootless prating. A lady on one occasion entered his consulting-room,
and put before him an injured finger, without saying a word. In
silence Abernethy dressed the wound, when instantly and silently the
lady put the usual fee on the table, and retired. In a few days she
called again, and offered the finger for inspection. "Better?" asked
the surgeon. "Better," answered the lady, speaking to him for the
first time. Not another word followed during the rest of the
interview. Three or four similar visits were made, at the last of
which the patient held out her finger free from bandages and perfectly
healed. "Well?" was Abernethy's monosyllabic inquiry. "Well," was the
lady's equally brief answer. "Upon my soul, madam," exclaimed the
delighted surgeon, "_you are the most rational woman I ever met

To curb his tongue, however, out of respect to Abernethy's humour, was
an impossibility to John Philpot Curran. Eight times Curran
(personally unknown to Abernethy) had called on the great surgeon; and
eight times Abernethy had looked at the orator's tongue (telling him,
by-the-by, that it was the most unclean and utterly abominable tongue
in the world), had curtly advised him to drink less, and not abuse his
stomach with gormandizing, had taken a guinea, and had bowed him out
of the room. On the ninth visit, just as he was about to be dismissed
in the same summary fashion, Curran, with a flash of his dark eye,
fixed the surgeon, and said--"Mr. Abernethy, I have been here on eight
different days, and I have paid you eight different guineas; but you
have never yet listened to the symptoms of my complaint. I am
resolved, sir, not to leave the room till you satisfy me by doing
so." With a good-natured laugh, Abernethy, half suspecting that he had
to deal with a madman, fell back in his chair and said--"Oh! very
well, sir; I am ready to hear you out. Go on, give me the whole--your
birth, parentage, and education. I wait your pleasure. Pray be as
minute and tedious as you can." With perfect gravity Curran
began--"Sir, my name is John Philpot Curran. My parents were poor, but
I believe honest people, of the province of Munster, where also I was
born, at Newmarket, in the county of Cork, in the year one thousand
seven hundred and fifty. My father being employed to collect the rents
of a Protestant gentleman of small fortune, in that neighbourhood,
procured my admission into one of the Protestant free-schools, where I
obtained the first rudiments of my education. I was next enabled to
enter Trinity College, Dublin, in the humble sphere of a sizar--" And
so he went steadily on, till he had thrown his auditor into
convulsions of laughter.

Abernethy was very careful not to take fees from patients if he
suspected them to be in indigent circumstances. Mr. George Macilwain,
in his instructive and agreeable "Memoirs of John Abernethy," mentions
a case where an old officer of parsimonious habits, but not of
impoverished condition, could not induce Abernethy to accept his fee,
and consequently forbore from again consulting him. On another
occasion, when a half-pay lieutenant wished to pay him for a long and
laborious attendance, Abernethy replied, "Wait till you're a general;
then come and see me, and we'll talk about fees." To a gentleman of
small means who consulted him, after having in vain had recourse to
other surgeons, he said--"Your recovery will be slow. If you don't
feel much pain, depend upon it you are gradually getting round; if you
do feel much pain, then come again, _but not else_. I don't want your
money." To a hospital student (of great promise and industry, but in
narrow circumstances), who became his dresser, he returned the
customary fee of sixty guineas, and requested him to expend them in
the purchase of books and securing other means of improvement. To a
poor widow lady (who consulted him about her child), he, on saying
good-bye in a friendly letter, returned all the fees he had taken from
her under the impression that she was in good circumstances, and added
\xA350 to the sum, begging her to expend it in giving her child a daily
ride in the fresh air. He was often brusque and harsh, and more than
once was properly reproved for his hastiness and want of

"I have heard of your rudeness before I came, sir," one lady said,
taking his prescription, "but I was not prepared for such treatment.
What am I to do with this?"

"Anything you like," the surgeon roughly answered. "Put it on the fire
if you please."

Taking him at his word, the lady put her fee on the table, and the
prescription on the fire; and making a bow, left the room. Abernethy
followed her into the hall, apologizing, and begging her to take back
the fee or let him write another prescription; but the lady would not
yield her vantage-ground.

Of operations Abernethy had a most un-surgeon-like horror--"like
Cheselden and Hunter, regarding them as the reproach of the
profession." "I hope, sir, it will not be long," said a poor woman,
suffering under the knife. "No, indeed," earnestly answered Abernethy,
"that would be too horrible." This humanity, on a point on which
surgeons are popularly regarded as being devoid of feeling, is very
general in the profession. William Cooper (Sir Astley's uncle) was,
like Abernethy, a most tender-hearted man. He was about to amputate a
man's leg, in the hospital theatre, when the poor fellow, terrified at
the display of instruments and apparatus, suddenly jumped off the
table, and hobbled away. The students burst out laughing; and the
surgeon, much pleased at being excused from the performance of a
painful duty, exclaimed, "By God, I am glad he's gone!"

The treatment which one poor fellow received from Abernethy may at
first sight seem to militate against our high estimate of the
surgeon's humanity, and dislike of inflicting physical pain. Dr. ----,
an eminent physician still living and conferring lustre on his
profession, sent a favourite man-servant with a brief note,
running--"Dear Abernethy, Will you do me the kindness to put a seton
in this poor fellow's neck? Yours sincerely, ----." The man, who was
accustomed and encouraged to indulge in considerable freedom of speech
with his master's friends, not only delivered the note to Abernethy,
but added, in an explanatory and confiding tone, "You see, sir, I
don't get better, and as master thinks I ought to have a seton in my
neck, I should be thankful if you'd put it in for me." It is not at
all improbable that Abernethy resented the directions of master and
man. Anyhow he inquired into the invalid's case, and then taking out
his needles did as he was requested. The operation was attended with a
little pain, and the man howled, as only a coward can howl, under the
temporary inconvenience. "Oh! Lor' bless you! Oh, have mercy on me!
Yarra--yarra--yarr! Oh, doctor--doctor--you'll kill me!" In another
minute the surgeon's work was accomplished, and the acute pain having
passed away, the man recovered his self-possession and impudence.

"Oh, well, sir, I do hope, now that it's done, it'll do me good. I do
hope that."

"But it won't do you a bit of good."

"What, sir, no good?" cried the fellow.

"No more good," replied Abernethy, "than if I had spat upon it."

"Then, sir--why--oh, yarr! here's the pain again--why did you do it?"

"Confound you, man!" answered the surgeon testily. "Why did I do
it?--why, _didn't you ask me to put a seton in your neck_?"

Of course the surgical treatment employed by Abernethy in this case
was the right one; but he was so nettled with the fellow's impudence
and unmanly lamentations, that he could not forbear playing off upon
him a barbarous jest.

If for this outbreak of vindictive humour the reader is inclined to
call Abernethy a savage, let his gift of \xA350 to the widow lady, to pay
for her sick child's carriage exercise, be remembered. _Apropos_ of
\xA350, Dr. Wilson of Bath sent a present of that sum to an indigent
clergyman, against whom he had come in the course of practice. The
gentleman who had engaged to convey the gift to the unfortunate
priest said, "Well, then, I'll take the money to him to-morrow." "Oh,
my dear sir," said the doctor, "take it to him to-night. Only think of
the importance to a sick man of one good night's rest!"

Side by side with stories of the benevolence of "the Faculty," piquant
anecdotes of their stinginess might be told. This writer knew formerly
a grab-all-you-can-get surgeon, who was entertaining a few
professional brethren at a Sunday morning's breakfast, when a patient
was ushered into the ante-room of the surgeon's bachelor chambers, and
the surgeon himself was called away to the visitor. Unfortunately he
left the folding-doors between the breakfast-room and the ante-room
ajar, and his friends sitting in the former apartment overheard the
following conversation:

"Well, my friend, what's the matter?"--the surgeon's voice.

The visitor's voice--"Plaze, yer honner, I'm a pore Hirish labourer,
but I can spill a bit, and I read o' yer honner's moighty foine cure
in the midical jarnal--the _Lancet_. And I've walked up twilve miles
to have yer honner cure me. My complaint is ----"

Surgeon's voice, contemptuously--"Oh, my good man, you've made a
mistake. You'd better go to the druggist's shop nearest your home, and
he'll do for you all you want. You couldn't pay me as I require to be

Visitor's voice, proudly and triumphantly--"Och, an' little ye know an
Irish gintleman, dochter, if ye think he'd be beholden to the best of
you for a feavor. Here's a bit o' gould--nocht liss nor a tin shillin'
piece, but I've saved it up for ye, and ye'll heve the whole, tho' its
every blissed farthing I hev."

The surgeon's voice altered. The case was gone into. The prescription
was written. The poor Irish drudge rose to go, when the surgeon, with
that delicate quantity of conscience that rogues always have to make
themselves comfortable upon, said, "Now, you say you have no more
money, my friend. Well, the druggist will charge you eighteenpence for
the medicine I have ordered there. So there's eighteenpence for you
out of your half-sovereign."

We may add that this surgeon was then, at a moderate computation,
making three thousand a year. We have heard of an Old Bailey barrister
boasting how he wrung the shillings (to convert the sovereigns already
paid with his brief into guineas) from the grimed hands of a prisoner
actually standing in the dock for trial, ere he would engage to defend
him. But compared with this surgeon the man of the long robe was a
disinterested friend of the oppressed.

A better story yet of a surgeon who seized on his fee like a hawk. A
clergyman of ----shire, fell from a branch of a high pear-tree to the
grass-plot of the little garden that surrounded his vicarage-house,
and sustained, besides being stunned, a compound fracture of the right
arm. His wife, a young and lovely creature, of a noble but poor
family, to whom he had been married only three or four years, was
terribly alarmed, and without regulating her conduct by considerations
of her pecuniary means, dispatched a telegraphic message to an eminent
London surgeon. In the course of three or four hours the surgeon made
his appearance, and set the broken limb.

"And what, sir," the young wife timidly asked of the surgeon, when he
had come down-stairs into her little drawing-room, "is your fee?"

"Oh, let's see--distance from town, hundred miles. Yes. Then my fee is
a hundred guineas!"

Turning deadly pale with fright (for the sum was ten times the highest
amount the poor girl had thought of as a likely fee) she rose, and
left the room, saying, "Will you be kind enough to wait for a few

Luckily her brother (like her husband, a clergyman, with very moderate
preferment) was in the house, and he soon made his appearance in the
drawing-room. "Sir," said he, addressing the operator, "my sister has
just now been telling me the embarrassment she is in, and I think it
best to repeat her story frankly. She is quite inexperienced in money
matters, and sent for you without ever asking what the ordinary fee to
so distinguished a surgeon as yourself, for coming so far from London,
might be. Well, sir, it is right you should know her circumstances. My
brother-in-law has no property but his small living, which does not
yield him more than \xA3400 per annum, and he has already two children.
My sister has no private fortune whatever, at present, and all she has
in prospect is the reversion of a trifling sum--at a distant period.
Poverty is the only stigma that time has fixed upon my family. Now,
sir, under the circumstances, if professional etiquette would allow of
your reducing your fee to the straitened finances of my sister, it
really would--would be--"

"Oh, my dear sir," returned the surgeon, in a rich, unctuous voice of
benevolence, "pray don't think I'm a shark. I am really deeply
concerned for your poor sister. As for my demand of _a hundred
guineas_, since it would be beyond her means to satisfy it, why, my
dear sir, I shall be only too delighted to be allowed--_to take a
hundred pounds_!"

The fee-loving propensities of doctors are well illustrated by the
admirable touches of Froissart's notice of Guyllyam of Harseley, who
was appointed physician to Charles the Sixth, King of France, during
his derangement. The writer's attention was first called to
Friossart's sketch of the renowned mad-doctor by his friend Mr.
Edgar--a gentleman whose valuable contributions to historical
literature have endeared his name to both young and old. Of the
measures adopted by Guyllyam for the king's cure the readers of
Froissart are not particularly informed; but it would appear, from the
physician's parting address to the "dukes of Orlyance, Berrey,
Burgoyne, and Burbone," that his system was, in its enlightened
humanity, not far behind that adopted at the present day by Dr.
Conolly and Dr. Forbes Winslow. But, however this may be, Guyllyam's
labours must be regarded as not less consonant with sound nosological
views than those of the afflicted monarch's courtiers, until it can be
shown that his treatment was worse than leaving Nature to herself.
"They," says Froissart, "that were about the kynge sente the kynge's
offrynge to a town called Aresneche, in the countie of Heynaulte,
between Cambrey and Valancennes, in the whiche towne there was a
churche parteyning to an Abbey of Saynt Waste in Arrasce wherein there
lyeth a saynte, called Saynt Acquayre, of whom there is a shrine of
sylver, which pylgrimage is sought farre and nere for the malady of
the fransey; thyder was sent a man of waxe, representynge the Frenche
Kynge, and was humbly offred to the Saynt, that he might be meane to
God, to asswage the kynge's malady, and to sende him helthe. In
lykewise the kynge's offrynge was sent to Saynt Hermyer in Romayes,
which saynt had meryte to heal the fransey. And in lykewise offrynges
were sent into other places for ye same entent."

The conclusion of Guyllyam's attendance is thus described:--"Trewe it
is this sycknesse that the kyng took in the voyage towards Bretagne
greatly abated the ioye of the realme of France, and good cause why,
for when the heed is sicke the body canne have no ioye. No man durste
openly speke thereof, but kepte it privy as moche as might be, and it
was couertly kept fro the queene, for tyll she was delyuered and
churched she knewe nothynge thereof, which tyme she had a doughter.
The physician, myster Guyllyam, who had the chefe charge of healynge
of the kynge, was styll aboute hym, and was ryght dyligent and well
acquyted hymselfe, whereby he gate bothe honour and profyte; for
lytell and lytell he brought the kynge in good estate, and toke away
the feuer and the heate, and made hym to haue taste and appetyte to
eate and drinke, slepe and rest, and knowledge of every thynge;
howebeit, he was very feble, and lytell and lytell he made the kynge
to ryde a huntynge and on hawkynge; and whanne tydynges was knowen
through France howe the kynge was well mended, and had his memory
again, every man was ioyfull and thanked God. The kynge thus beyng at
Crayell, desyred to se the quene his wyfe and the dolphyn his sonne;
so the quene came thyder to hym, and the chylde was brought thyder,
the kynge made them good chere, and so lytell and lytell, through the
helpe of God, the kynge recouered his helthe. And when mayster
Guyllyam sawe the kynge in so good case he was ryght ioyfull, as
reasone was, for he hade done a fayre cure, and so delyuered him to
the dukes of Orlyance, Berrey, Burgoyne, and Burbone, and sayd: 'My
lordes, thanked be God, the kynge is nowe in good state and helth, so
I delyuer him, but beware lette no mane dysplease hym, for as yet his
spyrytes be no fully ferme nor stable, but lytell and lytell he shall
waxe stronge; reasonable dysporte, rest, and myrthe shall be moste
profytable for hym; and trouble hym as lytell as may be with any
counsayles, for he hath been sharpely handeled with a hote malady.'
Than it was consydred to retaygne this mayster Guyllyam, and to gyve
hym that he shulde be content with all, _whiche is the ende that all
physicians requyre, to haue gyftes and rewardes_; he was desyred to
abyde styll about the kynge, but he excused hymselfe, and sayd howe he
was an olde impotent man, and coulde note endure the maner of courte,
wherfore he desyred to returne into his owne countrey. Whan the
counsayle sawe he wolde none otherwyse do, they gaue him leaue, and at
his departing _gave him a thousand crownes, and retayned hym in wages
with four horses whansover he wolde resorte to the courte_; howbeit, I
beleve he never came there after, for whan he retournd to the cytie of
Laon, there he contynued and dyed a ryche man: he left behynde him a
xxx thousand frankes. All his dayes he was one of the greatest
nygardes that ever was: all his pleasure was to get good and to spende
nothynge, for in his howse he neuer spente past two souses of Parys
in a day, but wolde eate and drinke in other mennes howses, where as
he myght get it. _With this rodde lyghtly all physicyons are

  [19] Froissart's Chronicles, translated by John Bouchier, Lord

The humane advice given by Guyllym countenances the tradition that
cards were invented for the amusement of his royal patient.



Fashion, capricious everywhere, is especially so in surgery and
medicine. Smoking we are now taught to regard as a pernicious
practice, to be abhorred as James the First abhorred it. Yet Dr.
Archer, and Dr. Everard in his "Panacea, or a Universal Medicine,
being a discovery of the wonderful virtues of Tobacco" (1659), warmly
defended the habit, and for long it was held by the highest
authorities to be an efficacious preservative against disease. What
would schoolboys now say to being flogged for _not_ smoking? Yet
Thomas Hearne, in his diary (1720-21) writes--"Jan. 21, I have been
told that in the last great plague in London none that kept
tobacconists' shops had the plague. It is certain that smoking was
looked upon as a most excellent preservative. In so much, that even
children were obliged to smoak. And I remember that I heard formerly
Tom Rogers, who was yeoman beadle, say, that when he was that year,
when the plague raged, a school-boy at Eton, all the boys of that
school were obliged to smoak in the school every morning, and that he
was never whipped so much in his life as he was one morning for not

Blood-letting, so long a popular remedy with physicians, has, like
tobacco-smoking for medicinal purposes, fallen into disuse and
contempt. From Hippocrates to Paracelsus, who, with characteristic
daring, raised some objections to the practice of venesection, doctors
were in the habit of drawing disease from the body as vintners extract
claret from a cask, in a ruddy stream. In the feudal ages bleeding was
in high favour. Most of the abbeys had a "flebotomaria" or
"bleeding-house," in which the sacred inmates underwent bleedings (or
"minutions" as they were termed) at stated periods of the year, to the
strains of psalmody. The brethren of the order of St. Victor underwent
five munitions annually--in September, before Advent, before Lent,
after Easter, and at Pentecost.

There is a good general view of the superstitions and customs
connected with venesection, in "The Salerne Schoole," a poem of which
mention continually occurs in the writings of our old physicians. The
poem commences with the following stanza:--

    "The 'Salerne Schoole' doth by these lines impart
      All health to England's king, and doth advise
    From care his head to keepe, from wrath his hart.
      Drink not much wine, sup light and soon arise,
    When meat is gone long sitting breedeth smart;
      And afternoon still waking keep your eies.
          .      .      .      .      .
    Use three physicians still--first Doctor _Quiet_,
    Next Doctor _Merriman_ and Doctor _Dyet_.

    "Of bleeding many profits grow and great
      The spirits and sences are renew'd thereby,
    Thogh these mend slowly by the strength of meate,
      But these with wine restor'd are by-and-by;
    By bleeding to the marrow commeth heate,
      It maketh cleane your braine, releeves your eie,
    It mends your appetite, restoreth sleepe,
    Correcting humors that do waking keep:
    All inward parts and sences also clearing,
    It mends the voice, touch, smell, and taste, and hearing.

    "_Three special months_, _September_, _Aprill_, _May_,
      There are in which 'tis good to ope a vein--
    In these three months the moon beares greatest sway,
      Then old or young, that store of blood containe,
    May bleed now, though some elder wizards say,
      Some daies are ill in these, I hold it vaine;
    September, Aprill, May have daies apeece,
    That bleeding do forbid and eating geese,
    And those are they, forsooth, of May the first,
    Of t'other two, the last of each are worst.

    "But yet those daies I graunt, and all the rest,
      Haue in some cases just impediment,
    As first, if nature be with cold opprest,
      Or if the Region, Ile, or Continent,
    Do scorch or freez, if stomach meat detest,
      If Baths you lately did frequent,
    Nor old, nor young, nor drinkers great are fit,
    Nor in long sickness, nor in raging fit,
    Or in this case, if you will venture bleeding,
    The quantity must then be most exceeding.

    "When you to bleed intend, you must prepare
      Some needful things both after and before:
    Warm water and sweet oyle both needfull are,
      And wine the fainting spirits to restore;
    Fine binding cloths of linnen, and beware
      That all the morning you do sleepe no more;
    Some gentle motion helpeth after bleeding,
    And on light meals a spare and temperate feeding
    To bleed doth cheare the pensive, and remove
    The raging furies bred by burning love.

    "Make your incision large and not too deep,
      That blood have speedy yssue with the fume;
    So that from sinnews you all hurt do keep.
      Nor may you (as I toucht before) presume
    In six ensuing houres at all to sleep,
      Lest some slight bruise in sleepe cause an apostume;
    Eat not of milke, or aught of milke compounded,
    Nor let your brain with much drinke be confounded;
    Eat no cold meats, for such the strength impayre,
    And shun all misty and unwholesome ayre.

    "Besides the former rules for such as pleases
      Of letting bloud to take more observation;
          .      .      .      .      .
    To old, to young, both letting blood displeases.
      By yeares and sickness make your computation.
    First in the spring for quantity you shall
    Of bloud take twice as much as in the fall;
    In spring and summer let the right arme bloud,
    The fall and winter for the left are good."

Wadd mentions an old surgical writer who divides his chapter on
bleeding under such heads as the following:--1. What is to limit
bleeding? 2. Qualities of an able phlebotomist; 3. Of the choice of
instruments; 4. Of the band and bolster; 5. Of porringers; 6.
_Circumstances to be considered at the bleeding of a Prince._

Simon Harward's "Phlebotomy, or Treatise of Letting of Bloud; fitly
serving, as well for an advertisement and remembrance to all
well-minded chirurgians, as well also to give a caveat generally to
all men to beware of the manifold dangers which may ensue upon rash
and unadvised letting of bloud," published in the year 1601, contains
much interesting matter on the subject of which it treats. But a yet
more amusing work is one that Nicholas Gyer wrote and published in
1592, under the following title:--

"The English Phlebotomy; or, Method and Way of Healing by Letting of

On the title-page is a motto taken from the book of Proverbs--"The
horse-leach hath two daughters, which crye, 'give, give.'"


The work affords some valuable insight into the social status of the
profession in the sixteenth century.

In his dedicatory letter to Master Reginald Scot, Esquire, the author
says that phlebotomy "is greatly abused by vagabund horse-leaches
and travailing tinkers, who find work almost in every village through
whom it comes (having in truth neither knowledge, nor witte, nor
honesty), the sober practitioner and cunning chirurgian liveth basely,
is despised, and accounted a very abject amongst the vulgar sort." Of
the medical skill of Sir Thomas Eliot, and Drs. Bulleyn, Turner,
Peni\xE9, and Coldwel, the author speaks in terms of warm eulogy; but as
for the tinkers aforementioned, he would regard them as murderers, and
"truss them up at Tyborne."

Gyer, who indulges in continual reference to the "Schola Salerni,"
makes the following contribution to the printed metrical literature on

     "_Certaine very old English verses, concerning the veines
     and letting of bloud, taken out of a very auncient paper
     book of Phisicke  notes_:--

    "Ye maisters that usen bloud-letting,
    And therewith getten your living;
    Here may you learn wisdome good,
    In what place ye shall let bloud.
    For man, in woman, or in child,
    For evils that he wood and wild.
    There beene veynes thirty-and-two,
    For wile is many, that must he undo.
    Sixteene in the head full right,
    And sixteene beneath I you plight.
    In what place they shall be found,
    I shall you tell in what stound.
    Beside the eares there beene two,
    That on a child mote beene undoe;
    To keep his head from evil turning
    And from the scale withouten letting.
    And two at the temples must bleede,
    For stopping and aking I reede;
    And one is in the mid forehead,
    For Lepry or for sawcefleme that mote bleede.
    Above the nose forsooth is one,
    That for the frensie mote be undone.
    Also when the eien been sore,
    For the red gowt evermore.
    And two other be at the eien end.
    If thy bleeden them to amend.
    And the arch that comes thorow smoking,
    I you tell withouten leasing.
    And at the whole of the throat, there beene two,
    That Lepry and straight breath will undoo.
    In the lips foure there beene,
    Able to bleede I tell it be deene,
    Two beneath, and above also
    I tell thee there beene two.
    For soreness of the mouth to bleede,
    When it is flawne as I thee reede.
    And two in the tongue withouten lie,
    Mote bleede for the quinancie.
    And when the tongue is aught aking,
    For all manner of swelling.
    Now have I tolde of certaine,
    That longer for the head I weene,
    And of as many I will say,
    That else where there beene in fay.
    In every arme there beene fife,
    Full good to blede for man and wife,
    _Cephalica_ is one I wis,
    The head veyne he cleaped is,
    The body above and the head;
    He cleanseth for evil and qued.
    In the bought of the arme also,
    An order there must he undoo;
    Basilica his name is,
    Lowest he sitteth there y wis;
    Forsooth he cleanseth the liver aright,
    And all other members beneath I twight.
    The middle is between the two,
    Corall he is clipped also
    That veine cleanseth withouten doubt;
    Above and beneath, within and without.
    For Basilica that I of told,
    One braunched veine ety up full bold,
    To the thomb goeth that one braunch;
    The cardiacle he wil staunch,
    That there braunch full right goeth,
    To the little finger withouten oth;
    _Saluatell_ is his name,
    He is a veine of noble fame;
    There is no veine that cleanseth so clene,
    The stopping of the liver and splene.
    Above the knuckles of the feet,
    With two veines may thou meet,
    Within sitteth _Domestica_,
    And without _Saluatica_.
          .      .      .      .      .
    All the veines thee have I told,
    That cleanseth man both yong and old.
    If thou use them at thy need,
    These foresaid evils they dare not dread;
    So that our Lord be them helping,
    That all hath in his governing.
    So mote it be, so say all wee,
    Amen, amen, for charitee."

To bleed on May-day is still the custom with ignorant people in a few
remote districts. The system of vernal minutions probably arose from
that tendency in most men to repeat an act (simply because they have
done it once) until it has become a habit, and then superstitiously to
persevere in the habit, simply because it is a habit. How many aged
people read certain antiquated journals, as they wear exploded
garments, for no other reason than that they read the same sort of
literature, and wore the same sort of habiliments, when young. To miss
for once the performance of a periodically recurring duty, and so to
break a series of achievements, would worry many persons, as the
intermitted post caused Dr. Johnson discomfort till he had returned
and touched it. As early as the sixteenth century, we have Gyer
combating the folly of people having recourse to periodic
venesections. "There cometh to my minde," he says, "a common opinion
among the ignorant people, which do certainly beleeve that, if any
person be let bloud one yere, he must be let bloud every yere, or else
he is (I cannot tell, nor they neither) in how great danger. Which
fonde opinion of theirs, whereof soever the same sprong first, it is
no more like to be true, than if I should say: when a man hath
received a great wound by chaunce in any part of his body, whereby he
loseth much bloud; yet after it is healed, he must needs have the like
wounde againe there the next yeare, to avoid as much bloud, or els he
is in daunger of great sickness, yea, and also in hazard to lose his

The practitioners of phlebotomy, and the fees paid for the operation,
have differed widely. In the middle of the last century a woman used
the lancet with great benefit to her own pocket, if not to her
patients, in Marshland, in the county of Norfolk. What her charge was
is unknown, probably, however, only a few pence. A distinguished
personage of the same period (Lord Radnor) had a great fondness for
letting the blood (at the point of an amicable lancet--not a hostile
sword) of his friends. But his Lordship, far from accepting a fee, was
willing to remunerate those who had the courage to submit to his
surgical care. Lord Chesterfield, wanting an additional vote for a
coming division in the House of Peers, called on Lord Radnor, and,
after a little introductory conversation, complained of a distressing

"You ought to lose blood then," said Lord Radnor.

"Gad--do you indeed think so? Then, my dear lord, do add to the
service of your advice by performing the operation. I know you are a
most skilful surgeon."

Delighted at the compliment, Lord Radnor in a trice pulled out his
lancet-case, and opened a vein in his friend's arm.

"By-the-by," asked the patient, as his arm was being adroitly bound
up, "do you go down to the House to-day?"

"I had not intended going," answered the noble operator, "not being
sufficiently informed on the question which is to be debated; but you,
that have considered it, which side will you vote on?"

In reply, Lord Chesterfield unfolded his view of the case; and Lord
Radnor was so delighted with the reasoning of the man (who held his
surgical powers in such high estimation), that he forthwith promised
to support the wily earl's side in the division.

"I have shed my blood for the good of my country," said Lord
Chesterfield that evening to a party of friends, who, on hearing the
story, were convulsed with laughter.

Steele tells of a phlebotomist who advertised, for the good of
mankind, to bleed at "threepence per head." Trade competition has,
however, induced practitioners to perform the operation even without
"the threepence." In the _Stamford Mercury_ for March 28, 1716, the
following announcement was made:--"Whereas the majority of
apothecaries in Boston have agreed to pull down the price of bleeding
to sixpence, let these certifie that Mr Clarke, apothecary, will bleed
anybody at his shop _gratis_."

The readers of Smollett may remember in one of his novels the story of
a gentleman, who, falling down in his club in an apoplectic fit, was
immediately made the subject of a bet between two friendly bystanders.
The odds were given and accepted against the sick man's recovery, and
the wager was duly registered, when a suggestion was made by a more
humane spectator that a surgeon ought to be sent for. "Stay,"
exclaimed the good fellow interested in having a fatal result to the
attack, "if he is let blood, or interfered with in any way, the bet
doesn't hold good." This humorous anecdote may be found related as an
actual occurrence in Horace Walpole's works. It was doubtless one of
the "good stories" current in society, and was so completely public
property, that the novelist deemed himself entitled to use it as he
liked. In certain recent books of "ana" the incident is fixed on
Sheridan and the Prince Regent, who are represented as the parties to
the bet.

Elsewhere mention has been made of a thousand pounds _ordered_ to be
paid Sir Edmund King for promptly bleeding Charles the Second. A
nobler fee was given by a French lady to a surgeon, who used his
lancet so clumsily that he cut an artery instead of a vein, in
consequence of which the lady died. On her death-bed she, with
charming humanity and irony, made a will, bequeathing the operator a
life annuity of eight hundred livres, on condition "that he never
again bled anybody so long as he lived." In the _Journal
Encylop\xE9dique_ of Jan. 15, 1773, a somewhat similar story is told of a
Polish princess, who lost her life in the same way. In her will, made
_in extremis_, there was the following clause:--"Convinced of the
injury that my unfortunate accident will occasion to the unhappy
surgeon who is the cause of my death, I bequeath to him a life annuity
of two hundred ducats, secured by my estate, and forgive his mistake
from my heart: I wish this may indemnify him for the discredit which
my sorrowful catastrophe will bring upon him."

A famous French Mar\xE9chal reproved the clumsiness of a phlebotomist in
a less gratifying manner. Drawing himself away from the bungling
operator, just as the incision was about to be made, he displayed an
unwillingness to put himself further in the power of a practitioner,
who, in affixing the fillet, had given him a blow with the elbow in
the face.

"My Lord," said the surgeon, "it seems that you are afraid of the

"No," returned the Mar\xE9chal, "not of the bleeding--but the bleeder."

Monsieur, brother of Louis XIV., had an insuperable aversion to the
operation, however dexterous might be the operator. At Marly, while at
table with the King, he was visited with such ominous symptoms, that
Fochon, the first physician of the court, said--"You are threatened
with apoplexy, and you cannot be too soon blooded."

But the advice was not acted on, though the King entreated that it
might be complied with.

"You will find," said Louis, "what your obstinacy will cost you. We
shall be awoke some of these nights to be told that you are dead."

The royal prediction, though not fulfilled to the letter, soon proved
substantially true. After a gay supper at St. Cloud, Monsieur, just as
he was about to retire to bed, quitted the world. He was asking M. de
Ventadour for a glass of liqueur sent him by the Duke of Savoy, when
he dropped down dead. Anyhow Monsieur went out of this life thinking
of something nice. The Marquis of Hertford, with all his
deliberation, could not do more.

The excess to which the practice of venesection was carried in the
last century is almost beyond belief. The _Mercure de France_ (April,
1728, and December, 1729) gives the particulars of the illness of a
woman named Gignault. She was aged 24 years, was the wife of an
hussar, and resided at St. Sauge, a town of the Nivernois. Under the
direction of Monsieur Theveneau, Seigneur de Palmery, M.D., of St.
Sauge, she was bled three thousand nine hundred and four times in nine
months (_i. e._ from the 6th of September, 1726, to the 3rd of June,
1727). By the 15th of July, in the same year, the bleedings numbered
four thousand five hundred and fifty-five. From the 6th of September,
1726, to the 1st of December, 1729, the blood-lettings amounted to
twenty-six thousand two hundred and thirty. Did this really occur? Or
was the editor of the _Mercure de France_ the original Baron

Such an account as the above ranges us on the side of the German
physician, who petitioned that the use of the lancet might be made
penal. Garth's epigram runs:--

    "Like a pert skuller, one physician plies,
    And all his art and all his skill he tries;
    But two physicians, like a pair of oars,
    Conduct you faster to the Stygian shores."

It would, however, be difficult to imagine a quicker method to destroy
human life than that pursued by Monsieur Theveneau. A second adviser
could hardly have accelerated his movements, or increased his
determination not to leave his reduced patient a chance of recovery.

"A rascal," exclaimed a stout, asthmatic old gentleman, to a
well-dressed stranger on Holborn Hill--"a rascal has stolen my hat. I
tried to overtake him--and I'm--so--out of breath--I can't stir
another inch." The stranger eyed the old gentleman, who was panting
and gasping for hard life, and then pleasantly observing, "Then I'm
hanged, old boy, if I don't have your wig," scampered off, leaving his
victim bald as a baby. M. Theveneau was the two thieves in one. He
first brought his victim to a state of helplessness, and then "carried
out his little system." It would be difficult to assign a proper
punishment to such a stupid destroyer of human life. Formerly, in the
duchy of Wurtemberg, the public executioner, after having sent out of
the world a certain number of his fellow-creatures, was dignified with
the degree of doctor of physic. It would not be otherwise than well to
confer on such murderous physicians as M. Theveneau the honorary rank
of hangman extraordinary.

The incomes that have been realized by blood-letting alone are not
less than those which, in the present day, are realized by the
administration of chloroform. An eminent phlebotomist, not very many
years since, made a thousand per annum by the lancet.

About blood-letting--by the lancet, leeches, and cupping (or _boxing_,
as it was called in Elizabeth's days, and much later)--the curious can
obtain many interesting particulars in our old friend Bulleyn's works.

To open a vein has for several generations been looked on as beneath
the dignity of the leading professors of medicine or surgery. In some
cases phlebotomy was practised as a sort of specialty by surgeons of
recognised character: but generally, at the close of the last century,
it was left, as a branch of practice, in the hands of the apothecary.
The occasions on which physicians have of late years used the lancet
are so few, that it is almost a contribution to medical gossip to
bring up a new instance. One of the more recent cases of a notability
being let blood by a physician, was when Sir Lucas Pepys, on Oct. 2,
1806, bled the Princess of Wales. On that day, as her Royal Highness
was proceeding to Norbury Park, to visit Mr. Locke, in a barouche
drawn by four horses, the carriage was upset at Leatherhead. Of the
two ladies who accompanied the Princess, one (Lady Sheffield) escaped
without a bruise, but the other (Miss Cholmondley) was thrown to the
ground and killed on the spot. The injuries sustained by the Princess
were very slight, but Sir Lucas Pepys, who luckily happened to be in
the neighbourhood at the time of the accident, bled her on his own
responsibility, and with his own hand.



"Dr. Mead," observed Samuel Johnson, "lived more in the broad sunshine
of life than almost any man."

Unquestionably the lot of Richard Mead was an enviable one. Without
any high advantages of birth or fortune, or aristocratic connection,
he achieved a European popularity; and in the capital of his own
country had a social position that has been surpassed by no member of
his profession. To the sunshine in which Mead basked, the
lexicographer contributed a few rays; for when James published his
Medicinal Dictionary, the prefatory letter to Mead, affixed to the
work, was composed by Johnson in his most felicitous style.

"Sir,--That the Medicinal Dictionary is dedicated to you, is to be
imputed only to your reputation for superior skill in those sciences
which I have endeavoured to explain and to facilitate; and you are,
therefore, to consider the address, if it be agreeable to you, as one
of the rewards of merit; and, if otherwise, as one of the
inconveniences of eminence.

"However you shall receive it, my design cannot be disappointed;
because this public appeal to your judgment will show that I do not
found my hopes of approbation upon the ignorance of my readers, and
that I fear his censure least whose knowledge is the most extensive. I
am, sir, your most obedient humble servant,--R. JAMES."

But the sunshine did not come to Mead. He attracted it. Polished,
courtly, adroit, and of an equable temper, he seemed pleased with
everybody, and so made everybody pleased with him. Throughout life he
was a Whig--staunch and unswerving, notwithstanding the charges
brought against him by obscure enemies of being a luke-warm supporter
of the constitutional, and a subservient worshipper of the
monarchical, party. And yet his intimate friends were of the adverse
faction. The overbearing, insolent, prejudiced Radcliffe forgave him
his scholarship and politics, and did his utmost to advance his

Mead's family was a respectable one in Buckinghamshire. His father was
a theological writer, and one of the two ministers of Stepney, but was
ejected from his preferment for non-conformity on the 24th of August,
1662. Fortunately the dispossessed clerk had a private fortune on
which to maintain his fifteen children, of whom Richard, the eleventh,
was born on the eleventh of August, 1673. The first years of Richard's
life were spent at Stepney, where the Rev. Matthew Mead continued to
minister to a noncomformist congregation, keeping in house Mr. John
Nesbitt, afterwards a conspicuous nonconformist minister, as tutor to
his children. In 1683 or 1684, it being suspected that Mr. Mead was
concerned in certain designs against the government, the worthy man
had to quit his flock and escape from the emissaries of power to
Holland. During the father's residence abroad, Richard was sent to a
classical school kept in Clerkenwell Close, by the nonconformist,
Thomas Singleton, who had formerly been second master of Eton. It was
under this gentleman's tuition that the boy acquired a sound and
extensive knowledge of Latin and Greek. In 1690 he went to Utrecht;
and after studying there for three years, proceeded to Leyden, where
he studied botany and physic. His academical studies concluded, he
travelled with David Polhill and Dr. Thomas Pellet, afterwards
President of the College of Physicians, through Italy, stopping at
Florence, Padua, Naples, and Rome. In the middle of 1696 he returned
to London, with stores of information, refined manners, and a degree
of Doctor of Philosophy and Physic, conferred on him at Padua, on the
sixteenth of August, 1695. Settling at Stepney, and uniting himself
closely with the nonconformists, he commenced the practice of his
profession, in which he rapidly advanced to success. On the ninth of
May, 1703, before he was thirty years of age, he was chosen physician
of St. Thomas's Hospital, in Southwark. On obtaining this preferment
he took a house in Crutched Friars, and year by year increased the
sphere of his operations. In 1711 he moved to Austin Friars, to the
house just vacated by the death of Dr. Howe. The consequences of this
step taught him the value, to a rising doctor, of a house with a good
reputation. Many of Howe's patients had got into a habit of coming to
the house as much as to the physician, and Mead was only too glad to
feel their pulses and flatter them into good humour, sound health, and
the laudable custom of paying double fees. He was appointed Lecturer
on Anatomy to the Company of Barbers and Surgeons.

He kept himself well before the public, as an author, with his
"Mechanical Account of Poisons," published in 1702; and his treatise
(1704), "De Imperio Solis et Lun\xE6 in Corpora humana, et Morbis inde
oriundis." He became a member of the Royal Society; and, in 1707, he
received his M.D. diploma from Oxford, and his admission to the
fellowship of the College of Physicians.

It has already been stated how Radcliffe engaged to introduce Mead to
his patients. When Queen Anne was on her death-bed, the young
physician was of importance enough to be summoned to the couch of
dying royalty. The physicians who surrounded the expiring queen were
afraid to say what they all knew. The Jacobites wanted to gain time,
to push off the announcement of the queen's state to the last possible
moment, so that the Hanoverians should not be able to take steps for
quietly securing the succession which they desired. Mead, however, was
too earnest a Whig to sacrifice what he believed to be the true
interests of the country to any considerations of the private
advantage that might be derived by currying favour with the Tory
magnates, who, hovering about the Court, were debating how they could
best make their game. Possibly his hopes emboldened him to speak the
truth. Anyhow, he declared, on his first visit, that the queen would
not live an hour. Charles Ford, writing to Swift, said, "This morning
when I went there before nine, they told me she was just expiring.
That account continued above three hours, and a report was carried to
town that she was actually dead. She was not prayed for even in her
own chapel at St. James's; and, _what is more infamous (!)_ stocks
arose three _per cent._ upon it in the city. Before I came away, she
had recovered a warmth in her breast and one of her arms; and all the
doctors agreed she would, in all probability, hold out till
to-morrow--_except Mead, who pronounced, several hours before, she
could not live two minutes, and seems uneasy it did not happen so_."
This was the tone universally adopted by the Jacobites. According to
them, poor Queen Anne had hard measure dealt out to her by her
physicians;--the Tory Radcliffe negatively murdered her by not saving
her; the Whig Mead earnestly desired her death. Certainly the
Jacobites had no reason to speak well of Mead, for the ready courage
with which he stated the queen's demise to be at hand gave a
disastrous blow to their case, and did much to seat George I. quietly
on the throne. Miss Strickland observes, "It has always been
considered that the prompt boldness of this political physician (_i.
e._ Mead) occasioned the peaceable proclamation of George I. The
queen's demise in one hour was confidently predicted by her Whig
doctor. He was often taunted afterwards with the chagrin his
countenance expressed when the royal patient, on being again blooded,
recovered her speech and senses."

On the death of Radcliffe, the best part of his empire descended to
Mead, who, having already reaped the benefit of occupying the nest
which Howe vacated at the summons of death, wisely resolved to take
possession of Radcliffe's vacated mansion in Bloomsbury Square. This
removal from Austin Friars to the more fashionable quarter of town was
effected without delay. Indeed, Radcliffe was not buried when Mead
entered his house. As his practice lay now more in the West than the
East end of town, the prosperous physician resigned his appointment at
St. Thomas's, and, receiving the thanks of the grand committee for his
services, was presented with the staff of a governor of the charity.
Radcliffe's practice and house were not the only possessions of that
sagacious practitioner which Mead contrived to acquire. Into his hands
also passed the doctor's gold-headed cane of office. This wand became
the property successively of Radcliffe, Askew, Pitcairn, and Baillie,
the arms of all which celebrated physicians are engraved on its head.
On the death of Dr. Baillie, Mrs. Baillie presented the cane, as an
interesting professional relic, to the College of Physicians, in the
library of which august and learned body it is now preserved. Some
years since the late respected Dr. Macmichael made the adventures of
this stick the subject of an agreeable little book, which was
published under the title of "The Gold-Headed Cane."

The largest income Mead ever made in one year was \xA37000. For several
years he received between \xA35000 and \xA36000 per annum. When the great
depreciation of the currency is taken into account, one may affirm,
with little fear of contradiction, that no living physician is at the
present time earning as much. Mead, however, made his income without
any avaricious or stingy practices. In every respect he displayed
that generosity which has for generations been the glorious
distinction of his profession. At home his fee was a guinea. When he
visited a patient of good rank and condition, in consultation or
otherwise, he expected to have two guineas, or even more. But to the
apothecaries who waited on him at his coffee-houses, he charged (like
Radcliffe) only half-a-guinea for prescriptions, written without
seeing the patient. His evening coffee-house was Batson's, frequented
by the profession even down to Sir William Blizard; and in the
forenoons he received apothecaries at Tom's, near Covent Garden. In
Mead's time the clergy, as a body, were unable to pay the demands
which professional etiquette would have required the physician to make
on them if he had any. It is still the humane custom of physicians and
eminent surgeons not to accept fees from curates, half-pay officers in
the army and navy, and men of letters; and no one has more reason than
the writer of these pages to feel grateful for the delicacy with which
they act on this rule, and the benevolent zeal with which they seem
anxious to drown the sense of obligation (which a gratuitous patient
necessarily experiences) in increased attention and kindness, as if
their good deeds were a peculiar source of pleasure to themselves.

But in the last century the beneficed clergy were in a very different
pecuniary condition from that which they at present enjoy. Till the
Tithe Communication Act passed, the parson (unless he was a sharp man
of business, shrewd and unscrupulous as a horse-jobber, and ready to
have an unintermittent war with his parishioners) never received
anything like what he was entitled to of the produce of the land.
Often he did not get half his dues; and even when he did obtain a fair
tithe, his receipts were small compared with what his successor in the
present generation has from the same source. Agriculture was then in
such a backward state, and land was so ill-cultivated, that the rector
of a large parish of good land was justly entitled only to a sum that
a modern rent-charge holder would regard with painful surprise if told
that he might take nothing more for his share in the fruits of the
earth. The beneficed clergy were a comparatively poor body. The curate
perhaps was not in a worse state than he is in now, for the simple
reason that a worse can hardly be. To add to the impoverished
appearance of the clerical profession, there existed in every capital
and country town the luckless nonconforming clergy, bereft of the
emoluments of their vocation, and often reduced to a condition
scarcely--if at all--removed from begging. The title of _Reverend_ was
still affixed to their names--their costume was still that of their
order--and by large masses of the people they were regarded with more
reverence and affection than the well-fed Vicars of Bray, who, with
mealy mouths and elastic consciences, saw only the butter on one side
of their bread, and not the dirt on the other. Archbishop Sancroft
died on his little farm in Suffolk, having for years subsisted on
about fifty pounds a-year. When such was the fate of an Archbishop of
Canterbury, the straits to which the ejected vicars or disabled
curates were brought can be imagined--but scarcely described. In the
great towns these unfortunate gentlemen swarmed, gaining a wretched
subsistence as ushers in schools, tutors, secretaries--not
unfrequently as domestic servants.

In such a condition of the established church, the rule of never
taking money from "the cloth" was almost invariably observed by the
members of the medical profession.

Mead once--and only once--departed from this rule. Mr. Robert Leake, a
fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, called on the doctor and
sought his advice. The patient's ill-health had been in a great degree
effected by doctoring himself--that is, exhibiting, according to his
own notions of medical practice, some of Dr. Cheyne's prescriptions.

"Do as I tell you," said Mead, "and I'll set you up again."

For a time Leake cheerfully obeyed; but soon--although his case was
progressing most favourably--he had the bad taste to suggest that a
recurrence to some of Cheyne's prescriptions would be advisable. Mead,
of course, was not pleased with such folly, but continued his
attendance till his patient's health was restored. Leake then went
through the form of asking to what amount he was in the physician's

"Sir," answered Mead, "I have never yet, in the whole course of my
practice, taken or demanded the least fee from any clergyman; but,
since you have been pleased, contrary to what I have met with in any
other gentleman of your profession, to prescribe to me rather than
follow my prescriptions, when you had committed the care of your
recovery to my skill and trust, you must not take it amiss, nor will,
I hope, think it unfair, if I demand ten guineas of you."

With much reluctance, and a wry face, Leake paid the money, but the
doctor subsequently returned him more than half of it.

Of course Mead did not gain the prize of his profession without a few
rough contests with competitors in the race of honour. Woodward, the
Professor of Physic at the Gresham College, attacked him with
bitterness in his "State of Physic and Diseases," and made himself
even more obnoxious in his personal demeanour to him in public. Some
insult offered to him by Woodward so infuriated Mead, that the latter
drew his sword and ordered his adversary to defend himself. The duel
terminated in Mead's favour, as far as martial prowess was concerned,
for he disarmed Woodward and ordered him to beg for his life.

"Never, till I am your patient," answered Woodward, happily.

The memory of this \xC6sculapian battle is preserved in an engraving in
Ward's "Lives of the Gresham Professors." The picture is a view of
Gresham Street College, with a gateway entering from Broad Street,
marked 25, within which Woodward is represented as kneeling and
submissively yielding his sword to Mead. Ward was one of Mead's
warmest friends, and certainly on this occasion displayed his
friendship in a very graceful and effective manner.

The doctor would gladly have never had to deal with a more dangerous
antagonist than Woodward; but the time came when he had to run for
safety, and that too from a woman. He was in attendance by the
bed-side of the Duke of Marlborough, who was suffering from
indisposition, when her Grace--the celebrated Sarah--flew into a
violent rage at some remark which the physician had dared to make. She
even threatened him with personal chastisement, and was proceeding to
carry out her menaces, when Mead, recognizing the peril of his
position, turned and fled from the room. The duchess ran after him,
and, pursuing him down the grand staircase, vowed she would pull off
his wig, and dash it in his face. The doctor luckily was a better
runner than her Grace, and escaped.

Envy is the shadow of success, and detraction is the echo of its
voice. A host of pamphleteers, with just courage enough to print lies,
to which they had not the spirit to affix their obscure names, hissed
their malignity at the fortunate doctor. The members of the Faculty,
accustomed though they are to the jealousies and animosities which are
important undercurrents in every fraternity, would in these days
scarcely credit the accounts which could be given of the coarseness
and baseness of the anonymous rascals who lampooned Mead. It is
painful to know that some of the worst offenders were themselves
physicians. In 1722, appeared "The Art of getting into Practice in
Physick, here at present in London. In a letter to that very ingenious
and most learned Physician (Lately come to Town), Dr Timothy
Vanbustle, M.D.--A.B.C.," the writer of this satire attributes to the
dead Radcliffe the practices to which Hannes was accused of having
resorted. "Thus the famous R----fe, 'tis said, on his first arrival,
had half the porters in town employed to call for him at all the
coffee-houses and public places, so that his name might be known." The
sting of the publication, the authorship of which by a strange error
has been attributed _to_ Mead, is throughout directed _at_ him. It is
more than suggested that he, to creep up into practice, had associated
in early life with "women, midwives, nurses, and apothecaries," and
that he had interested motives for being very gentle "in taking fees
of the clergy, of whatsoever sect or opinion." Here is a stab that the
reader of the foregoing pages can appreciate: "As to _Nostrums_, I
cannot much encourage you to trade in these if you would propose to
get universal business; for though they may serve to make you known at
first, particularly in such a way, yet it will not promote general
business, but on the contrary. _I rather therefore would advise you to
court, flatter, and chime in with the chief in Play, and luckily a
noted practitioner should drop, do you be as sure and ready to get
into his house as he is into his coffin._"

More scandal of this sort may be found in "An account of a Strange and
Wonderful Dream. Dedicated to Doctor M----d," published 1719. It is
insinuated in the dream that his Latin writings were not his own
composition. The troubles of his domestic life are dragged before the
public. "It unluckily happen'd that, just as Mulso discovered his
wife's intrigues, his effects were seized on by his creditors, his
chariot and horses were sold, and he himself reduced to the state of a
foot-quack. In this condition he had continued to this day, had he not
been retrieved from poverty and contempt by the recommendation of a
physician of great note. Upon this he spruced up, looked gay, roll'd
about in a chariot. At this time he fell ill of the _scribendi
cacoethes_, and, by the help of two mathematicians and an usher, was
delivered of a book in a learned language."

Mead did not long occupy Radcliffe's house in Bloomsbury Square. In
1719 he moved to the imposing residence in Ormond Street, to which in
1732 he added a gallery for the accommodation of his library and

Of Mead's various contributions to medical literature it is of course
not the province of this work to speak critically. The _Medica Sacra_
is a literary curiosity, and so is the doctor's paper published in
1735, in which he recommends a compound of pepper and _lichen cinereus
terrestris_ as a specific against the bite of a mad dog. Dampier, the
traveller, used this lichen for the same purpose. The reader need not
be reminded of the popularity attained by this antidote, dividing the
public favour, as it did, with Dr. James's _Turpeth Mineral_, and the
_Musk_ and _Cinnabar_.

Mead was married twice. His first wife was Ruth Marsh, the daughter of
a pious London tradesman. She died in 1719, twenty years after her
marriage, leaving behind her four children--three daughters, who all
married well, and one son, William Mead. If any reliance is to be
placed on the statements of the lampoon writers, the doctor was by no
means fortunate in this union. He married, however, a second
time--taking for his bride, when he was more than fifty years old,
Anne, the daughter of Sir Rowland Alston, of Odell, a Bedfordshire

One of the pleasant episodes in Mead's life is his conduct towards his
dear friend and political antagonist, Freind--the Jacobite physician,
and Member of Parliament for Launceston. On suspicion of being
concerned in the Atterbury plot, Freind was committed to the Tower.
During his confinement, that lasted some months, he employed himself
calmly on the composition of a Latin letter, "On certain kinds of
Small-Pox," and the "History of Physic, from the time of Galen to the
Commencement of the Sixteenth Century." Mead busied himself to obtain
his friend's release; and, being called to attend Sir Robert Walpole,
pleaded so forcibly for the prisoner, that the minister allowed him to
be discharged on bail--his sureties being Dr. Mead, Dr. Hulse, Dr.
Levet, and Dr. Hale. To celebrate the termination of Freind's
captivity, Mead called together on a sudden a large party in Ormond
Street, composed of men of all shades of opinion. Just as Freind was
about to take his leave for his own residence in Albemarle Street,
accompanied by Arbuthnot, who resided in Cork Street, Burlington
Gardens, Mead took him aside into a private room, and presented him
with a case containing the fees he had received from the Tory doctor's
patients during his imprisonment. They amounted to no less than five
thousand guineas.

Mead's style of living was very liberal. From the outset to the close
of his career he was the companion of men whom it was an honour to
treat hospitably. He was the friend of Pope, Newton, and Bentley. His
doors were always open to every visitor who came from a foreign
country to these shores, with any claim whatever on the goodwill of
society. To be at the same time a patron of the arts, and a liberal
entertainer of many guests, demands no ordinary expenditure. Mead died
comparatively poor. The sale of his library, pictures, statues, and
curiosities, realized about \xA316,000, and he had other property
amounting to about \xA335,000; but, after the payment of his debts, not
more than \xA320,000 remained to be divided amongst his four children.
His only son, however, was amply provided for, having entered into the
possession of \xA330,000 under will of Dr. Mead's unmarried brother
Samuel, an eminent barrister, and a Commissioner of the Customs.

Fortunate beyond fortunate men, Mead had the great misfortune of
living too long. His sight failed, and his powers underwent that
gradual decay which is the saddest of all possible conclusions to a
vigorous and dignified existence. Stories might be ferreted up of the
indignities to which he submitted at the hands of a domineering valet.
Long, however, before he sunk into second childhood, he excited the
ridicule of the town by his vanity, and absurd pretensions to be a
lady-killer. The extravagances of his amorous senility were whispered
about; and, eventually, some hateful fellow seized hold of the
unpleasant rumours, and published them in a scandalous novelette,
called "The Cornutor of Seventy-five; being a genuine narrative of the
Life, Adventures, and Amours of _Don Ricardo Honeywater_, Fellow of
the Royal College of Physicians at Madrid, Salamanca, and Toledo, and
President of the Academy of Sciences in Lapland; containing, amongst
other most diverting particulars, his intrigue with Donna Maria
W----s, of Via Vinculosa--_anglice_, Fetter Lane--in the city of
Madrid. Written, originally, in Spanish, by the Author of Don Quixot,
and translated into English by a Graduate of the College of Mecca, in
Arabia." The "Puella fabri," as Greenfield designates the damsel who
warmed the doctor's aged heart, was the daughter of a blacksmith in
Fetter Lane; and to please her, Mead--long past threescore years and
ten--went to Paris, and learnt dancing, under Dupr\xE9, giving as an
excuse that his health needed active muscular exercise.

Dr. Mead died on February 16, 1754, in his eighty-first year. He was
buried in the Temple Church, by the side of his brother Samuel. His
memory has been honoured with busts and inscriptions--in Westminster
Abbey, and the College of Physicians.

Mead was not the first of his name to enter the medical profession.
William George Meade was an eminent physician at Tunbridge Wells; and
dying there on the 4th of November, 1652, was buried at Ware, in
Hertfordshire. This gentleman left \xA35 a-year for ever to the poor; but
he is more remarkable for longevity than generosity. He died at the
extraordinary age of 148 years and nine months. This is one of the
most astonishing instances of longevity on record. Old Parr, dying at
152 years of age, exceeded it only by 4 years. The celebrated Countess
Desmond was some years more than 140 at the time of her death. Henry
Read, minister of Hardwicke, Co. Northampton, numbered only 132 years;
and the Lancashire woman (the _Cricket of the Hedge_) did not outlive
the 141st year. But all these ages become insignificant when put by
the side of the 169 years to which Henry Jenkins protracted his
earthly sojourn.



Astrology, alchemy, the once general belief in the healing effects of
the royal touch, the use of charms and amulets, and mesmerism, are
only various exhibitions of one superstition, having for their essence
the same little grain of truth, and for their outward expression
different forms of error. Disconnected as they appear at first sight,
a brief examination discovers the common features which prove them to
be of one family. By turns they have--each of them--given humiliating
evidence of the irrational extravagances that reasoning creatures are
capable of committing; and each of them, also, has conferred some
benefits on mankind. The gibberish of Geber, and the alchemists who
preceded and followed him, led to the study of chemistry, the utility
and importance of which science we have only begun rightly to
appreciate; and a curiosity about the foolishness of astrology led Sir
Isaac Newton to his astronomical inquiries. Lord Bacon says--"The sons
of chemistry, while they are busy seeking the hidden gold--whether
real or not--have by turning over and trying, brought much profit and
convenience to mankind." And if the delusions of talismans, amulets,
and charms, and the impostures of Mesmer, have had no greater
consequences, they have at least afforded, to the observant and
reflective, much valuable instruction with regard to the constitution
of the human mind.

In the history of these superstitions we have to consider the
universal faith which men in all ages have entertained in planetary
influence, and which, so long as day and night, and the moon and tides
endure, few will be found so ignorant or so insensible as to question.
The grand end of alchemy was to transmute the base metals into gold;
and it proposed to achieve this by obtaining possession of the
different fires transmitted by the heavenly bodies to our planet, and
subjecting, according to a mysterious system, the comparatively
worthless substances of the mineral world to the forces of these

"Now," says Paracelsus, in his "Secrets of Alchemy," "we come to
speake of a manifold spirit or fire, which is the cause of variety and
diversity of creatures, so that there cannot one be found right like
another, and the same in every part; as it may be seen in metals, of
which there is none which hath another like itself; the _Sun_
produceth his gold; the _Moon_ produceth another metal far different,
to wit, silver; _Mars_ another, that is to say, iron; _Jupiter_
produceth another kind of metal to wit, tin; _Venus_ another, which is
copper; and _Saturn_ another kind, that is to say, lead: so that they
are all unlike, and several one from another; the same appeareth to be
as well amongst men as all other creatures, the cause whereof is the
multiplicity of fire.... Where there is no great mixture of the
elements, the Sun bringeth forth; where it is a little more thick, the
Moon; where more gross, Venus; and thus, according to the diversity of
mixtures, are produced divers metals; so that no metal appeared in the
same mine like another."

This, which is an extract from Turner's translation of Paracelsus's
"Secrets of Alchemy" (published in 1655), may be taken as a fair
sample of the jargon of alchemy.

The same faith in planetary influence was the grand feature of
astrology, which regarded all natural phenomena as the effects of the
stars acting upon the earth. Diseases of all kinds were referable to
the heavenly bodies; and so, also, were the properties of those herbs
or other objects which were believed in as remedial agents. In ancient
medicine, pharmacy was at one period only the application of the
dreams of astrology to the vegetable world. The herb which put an ague
or madness to flight, did so by reason of a mystic power imparted to
it by a particular constellation, the outward signs of which quality
were to be found in its colour or aspect. Indeed, it was not enough
that "a simple," impregnated with curative power by heavenly beams,
should be culled; but it had to be culled at a particular period of
the year, at a particular day of the month, even at a particular hour,
when the irradiating source of its efficacy was supposed to be
affecting it with a peculiar force; and, moreover, it had to be
removed from the ground or the stem on which it grew with a particular
instrument or gesture of the body--a disregard of which forms would
have obviated the kindly influence of the particular star, without
whose benignant aid the physician and the drug were alike powerless.

Medical practitioners smile now at the mention of these absurdities.
But many of them are ignorant that they, in their daily practice, help
to perpetuate the observance of one of these ridiculed forms. The sign
which every member of the Faculty puts before his prescriptions, and
which is very generally interpreted as an abbreviation for _Recipe_,
is but the astrological symbol of Jupiter.

[Illustration: _AN ACCIDENT_]

It was on this principle that a belief became prevalent that certain
objects, either of natural formation or constructed by the instruments
of art, had the power of counteracting noxious agents. An intimate
connection was supposed to exist between the form or colour of an
external substance and the use to which it ought to be put. Red
objects had a mysterious influence on inflammatory diseases; and
yellow ones had a similar power on those who were discoloured with
jaundice. Edward II.'s physician, John of Gaddesden, informs us, "When
the son of the renowned King of England lay sick of the small-pox, I
took care that everything round the bed should be of a red colour,
which succeeded so completely that the Prince was restored to perfect
health without a vestige of a pustule remaining." Even as late as
1765, this was put in practice to the Emperor Francis I. The earliest
talismans were natural objects, with a more or less striking external
character, imagined to have been impressed upon them by the planets of
whose influence they were especially susceptible, and of whose virtues
they were beyond all other substances the recipients. The amulet
(which differs little from the talisman, save in that it must be
worn suspended upon the person it is to protect, whereas the talisman
might be kept by its fortunate possessor locked up in his
treasure-house) had a like origin.

But when once a superstitious regard was paid to the external marks of
a natural object, it was a short and easy step to produce the
semblances of the revered characters by an artificial process, and
then bestow on them the reverential feelings which had previously been
directed to their originals. The ordinary course taken by a
superstition in its degradation is one where its first sentiment
becomes lost to sight, and its form is dogmatically insisted on. It
was so in that phase of feticism which consisted in the blind reliance
put on artificial talismans and amulets. The original significance of
the talisman--the truth which was embodied in it as the emblem of the
unseen powers that had produced it, in accordance with natural
operations--was forgotten. The rows of lines and scratches, and the
variegations of its colour, were only thought of; and the cunning of
man--ever ready to make a god for himself--was exerted to improve upon
them. In the multitude of new devices came inscriptions of mystic
numbers, strange signs, agglomerations of figures, and scraps from
sacred rituals--Abraxas and Abracadabra, and the Fi-fo-fum nonsense of
the later charms.

Creatures that were capable of detecting the influence of the
planetary system on that portion of Nature which is unquestionably
affected by it, and of imagining its presence in inanimate objects,
which, to use cautious language, have never been proved by science to
be sensible of such a power, of course magnified its consequences in
all that related to the human intellect and character. The instant in
which a man entered the world was regarded as the one when he was most
susceptible. Indeed, a babe was looked upon as a piece of warm and
pliant wax: and the particular planet which was in the ascendant when
the nurse placed the new child of Adam amongst the people of earth
stamped upon it a distinctive charactery. To be born under a
particular star was then an expression that meant something. On the
nature of the star it depended whether homunculus, squealing out its
first agonies, was to be morose or gentle, patient or choleric, lively
or saturnine, amorous or vindictive--a warrior or a poet--a dreamer or
a man of action.

Laughing at the refinements of absurdity at which astrology had
arrived in his day, the author of "Hudibras" says:--

    "There's but the twinkling of a star
    Between a man of peace and war;
    A thief and justice, fool and knave,
    A huffing officer and slave;
    A crafty lawyer and a pickpocket,
    A great philosopher and a blockhead;
    A formal preacher and a player,
    A learned physician and manslayer.
    As if men from stars did suck
    Old age, diseases, and ill-luck,
    Wit, folly, honour, virtue, vice,
    Travel and women, trade and dice;
    And draw, with the first air they breathe,
    Battle and murder, sudden death.
    Are not these fine commodities
    To be imported from the skies,
    And vended here amongst the rabble
    For staple goods and warrantable?"

Involved in this view of the universe was the doctrine that some
exceptional individuals were born far superior to the mass of their
fellow-creatures. Absurd as astrology was, still, its postulates
having once been granted, the logic was unassailable which argued that
those few on whose birth lucky stars had shone benignantly, had a
destiny and an organization distinct from those of ordinary mortals.
The dicta of modern liberalism, and the Transatlantic dogma that "all
men are by nature born equal," would have appeared to an orthodox
believer in this planetary religion nothing better than the ravings of
madness or impiety. Monarchs of men, whatever lowly station they at
first occupied in life, were exalted above others because they
possessed a distinctive excellence imparted to them at the hour of
birth by the silent rulers of the night. It was useless to strive
against such authority. To contend with it would have been to wrestle
with the Almighty--ever present in his peculiarly favoured creatures.

Rulers being such, it was but natural for their servile worshippers to
believe them capable of imparting to others, by a glance of the eye or
a touch of the hand, an infinitesimal portion of the virtue that dwelt
within them. To be favoured with their smiles was to bask in sunshine
amid perfumes. To be visited with their frowns was to be chilled to
the marrow, and feel the hail come down like keen arrows from an angry
sky. To be touched by their robes was to receive new vigour. Hence
came credence in the miraculous power of the imposition of royal, or
otherwise sacred hands. Pyrrhus and Vespasian cured maladies by the
touch of their fingers; and, long before and after them, earthly
potentates and spiritual directors had, both in the East and the West,
to prove their title to authority by displaying the same faculty.

In our own country more than in any other region of Christendom this
superstition found supporters. From Edward the Confessor down to Queen
Anne, who laid her healing hands on Samuel Johnson, it flourished; and
it was a rash man who, trusting to the blind guidance of human reason
dared to question that manifestation of the divinity which encircles
kingship. Doubtless the gift of money made to each person who was
touched did not tend to bring the cure into dis-esteem. It can be
easily credited that, out of the multitude who flocked to the presence
of Elizabeth and the Stuart kings for the benefit of their miraculous
manipulations, there were many shrewd vagabonds who had more faith in
the coin than in the touch bestowed upon them. The majority, however,
it cannot be doubted, were as sincere victims of delusion as those
who, at the close of the last century, believed in the efficacy of
metallic tractors, and those who now unconsciously expose their
intellectual infirmity as advocates of electro-biology and
spirit-rapping. The populace, as a body, unhesitatingly believed that
their sovereigns possessed this faculty as the anointed of the Lord. A
story is told of a Papist, who, much to his astonishment, was cured of
the king's evil by Elizabeth, after her final rupture with the court
of Rome.

"Now I perceive," cried the man, "by plain experience that the
excommunication against the Queen is of no effect, since God hath
blessed her with such a gift."

Nor would it be wise to suppose that none were benefited by the
treatment. The eagerness with which the vulgar crowd to a sight, and
the intense excitement with which London mobs witness a royal
procession to the houses of Parliament, or a Lord Mayor's pageant on
its way from the City to Westminster, may afford us some idea of the
inspiriting sensations experienced by a troop of wretches taken from
their kennels to Whitehall, and brought into personal contact with
their sovereign--their ideal of grandeur! Such a trip was a stimulus
to the nervous system, compared with which the shock of a galvanic
battery would have been but the tickling of a feather. And, over and
above this, was the influence of imagination, which in many ways may
become an agent for restoring the tone of the nervous system, and so
enabling Nature to overcome the obstacles of her healthy action.

Montaigne admirably treated this subject in his essay, "Of the Force
of Imagination"; and his anecdote of the happy results derived by an
unfortunate nobleman from the use of a flat gold plate, graven with
celestial figures, must have occurred to many of his readers who have
witnessed the beneficial effects which are frequently produced by the
practices of quackery.

"These apes' tricks," says Montaigne, "are the main cause of the
effect, our fancy being so far seduced as to believe that such strange
and uncouth formalities must of necessity proceed from some abstruse
science. Their very inanity gives them reverence and weight."

And old Burton, touching, in his "Anatomy of Melancholy," on the
power of imagination, says, quaintly:--

"How can otherwise blear eyes in one man cause the like affection in
another? Why doth one man's yawning make another man yawn? Why do
witches and old women fascinate and bewitch children; but, as Wierus,
Paracelsus, Cardan, Migaldus, Valleriola, C\xE6sar Vanninus, Campanella,
and many philosophers think, the forcible imagination of one party
moves and alters the spirits of the other. Nay more, they cause and
cure, not only diseases, maladies, and several infirmities by this
means, as 'Avicenna de Anim. 1. 4, sect. 4,' supposeth in parties
remote, but move bodies from their places, cause thunder, lightning,
tempests; which opinion Alkindus, Paracelsus, and some others approve

In this passage Burton touches not only on the effects of the
imagination, but also on the impression which the nervous energy of
one person may create upon the nervous sensibility of another. That
such an impression can be produced, no one can question who observes
the conduct of men in their ordinary relations to each other. By
whatever term we christen it--endeavouring to define either the cause
or its effect--we all concur in admitting that decision of character,
earnestness of manner, enthusiasm, a commanding aspect, a piercing
eye, or a strong will, exercise a manifest control over common
natures, whether they be acting separately or in masses.

Of the men who, without learning, or an ennobling passion for truth,
or a high purpose of any kind, have, unaided by physical force,
commanded the attention and directed the actions of large numbers of
their fellow creatures, Mesmer is perhaps the most remarkable in
modern history. But we will not speak of him till we have paid a few
minutes' attention to one of his predecessors.

The most notable forerunner of Mesmer in this country was Valentine
Greatrakes, who, in Charles the Second's reign, performed "severall
marvaillous cures by the stroaking of the hands." He was a gentleman
of condition, and, at first, the dupe of his own imagination rather
than a deliberate charlatan. He was born on the 14th of February,
1628, on his father's estate of Affane, in the County of Waterford,
and was, on both sides, of more than merely respectable extraction,
his father being a gentleman of good repute and property, and his
mother being a daughter of Sir Edward Harris, Knt, a Justice of the
King's Bench in Ireland. The first years of his school-life were
passed in the once famous Academy of Lismore; but when he had arrived
at thirteen years of age his mother (who had become a widow), on the
outbreak of the rebellion, fled with him and his little brothers and
sisters to England, where the fugitive family were hospitably
entertained by Mr. Edmund Harris, a gentleman of considerable
property, and one of the justice's sons. After concluding his
education in the family of one John Daniel Getseus, a High-German
minister of Stock Gabriel, in the County of Devon, Valentine returned
to Ireland, then distracted with tumult and armed rebellion; and, by
prudently joining the victorious side, re-entered on the possession of
his father's estate of Affane. He served for six years in Cromwell's
forces (from 1650 to 1656) as a lieutenant of the Munster Cavalry,
under the command of the Earl of Orrery. Valentine's commission was
in the earl's regiment; and, from the time of entering the army till
the close of his career is lost sight of, he seems to have enjoyed the
patronage and friendship of that nobleman's family.

When the Munster horse was disbanded in 1656, Valentine retired to
Affane, and for a period occupied himself as an active and influential
country gentleman. He was made Clerk of the Peace for the County of
Cork, a Register for Transplantation, and a Justice of the Peace. In
the performance of the onerous duties which, in the then disturbed
state of Ireland, these offices brought upon him, he gained deserved
popularity and universal esteem. He was a frank and commanding
personage, of pleasant manners, gallant bearing, fine figure, and
singularly handsome face. With a hearty and musical voice, and a
national stock of high animal spirits, he was the delight of all
festive assemblies, taking his pleasure freely, but never to excess.
Indeed, Valentine was a devout man, not ashamed, in his own household,
and in his bearing to the outer world, to avow that it was his
intention to serve the Lord. But, though he had all the purity of
Puritanism, there was in him no taint of sectarian rancour or
uncharitableness. When an anonymous writer aspersed his reputation, he
responded--and no one could gainsay his words--with regard to his
public career:--"I studied so to acquit myself before God and man in
singleness and integrity of heart, that, to the comfort of my soul,
and praise of God that directed me, I can with confidence say I never
took bribe nor reward from any man, though I had many and great ones
before me (when I was Register for Transplantation); nor did I ever
connive at or suffer a malefactor to go unpunished, if the person were
guilty of any notorious crime (when I had power), nor did I ever take
the fee belonging to my office, if I found the person were injured, or
in want; nor did I ever commit any one for his judgment and conscience
barely, so it led him not to do anything to the disturbance of the
civil peace of the nation; nor did I take anything for my fee when he
was discharged--for I bless God he has taken away a persecuting spirit
from me, who would persuade all men to be Protestants, those
principles being most consonant to Truth and the Word of God, in my
judgment, and that profession which I have ever been of, and still
am.... Yet (though there were orders from the power that then was, to
all Justices of the Peace, for Transplanting all Papists that would
not go to church), I never molested any one that was known or esteemed
to be innocent, but suffered them to continue in the English quarters,
and that without prejudice. So that I can truly say, I never injured
any man for his conscience, conceiving that ought to be informed and
not enforced."

On the Restoration, Valentine Greatrakes lost his offices, and was
reduced to the position of a mere private gentleman. His estate at
Affane was a small one; but he laboured on it with good results,
introducing into his neighbourhood a more scientific system of
agriculture than had previously been known there, and giving an
unprecedented quantity of employment to the poor. Perhaps he missed
the excitement of public business, and his energies, deprived of the
vent they had for many years enjoyed, preyed upon his sensitive
nature. Anyhow, he became the victim of his imagination, which, acting
on a mind that had been educated in a school of spiritual earnestness
and superstitious introspection, led him into a series of remarkable
hallucinations. He first had fits of pensiveness and dejection,
similar to those which tormented Cromwell ere his genius found for
itself a more fit field of display than the management of a brewery
and a few acres of marsh-land. Ere long he had an impulse, or a
strange persuasion in his own mind (of which he was not able to give
any rational account to another), which did very frequently suggest to
him that there was bestowed on him the gift of curing the King's Evil,
which for the extraordinariness of it, he thought fit to conceal for
some time, but, at length communicated to his wife, and told her,
"That he did verily believe that God had given him the blessing of
curing the King's Evil; for, whether he were in private or publick,
sleeping or waking, still he had the same impulse; but her reply was
to him, that she conceived this was a strange imagination." Such is
his statement.

Patients either afflicted with King's Evil, or presumed to be so, were
in due course brought before him; and, on his touching them, they
recovered. It may be here remarked that in the days when the Royal
Touch was believed in as a cure for scrofula, the distinctions between
strumous and other swellings were by no means ascertained even by
physicians of repute; and numbers of those who underwent the
manipulation of Anointed Rulers were suffering only from aggravated
boils and common festering sores, from which, as a matter of course,
nature would in the space of a few weeks have relieved them.
Doubtless many of Valentine's patients were suffering, not under
scrofulous affections, but comparatively innocent tumours; for his
cures were rapid, complete, and numerous. A second impulse gave him
the power of curing ague; and a third inspiration of celestial aura
imparted to him command, under certain conditions, over all human
diseases. His modes of operation were various. When an afflicted
person was laid before him, he usually offered up a prayer to God to
help him, to make him the humble instrument of divine mercy. And
invariably when a patient derived benefit from his treatment, he
exhorted him to offer up his thanks to his Heavenly Father. After the
initiatory supplication the operator passed his hands over the
affected part of the sick person's body, sometimes over the skin
itself and sometimes over the clothes. The manipulations varied in
muscular force from delicate tickling to violent rubbing, according to
the nature of the evil spirits by which the diseased people were
tormented. Greatrakes's theory of disease was the scriptural one: the
morbific power was a devil, which had to be expelled from the frame in
which it had taken shelter. Sometimes the demon was exorcised by a few
gentle passes; occasionally it fled at the verbal command of the
physician, or retreated on being gazed at through the eyes of the
mortal it tormented; but frequently the victory was not gained till
the healer rubbed himself--like the rubber who in our own day makes
such a large income at Brighton--into a red face and a copious
perspiration. Henry Stubbe, a famous physician in Stratford-upon-Avon,
in his "Miraculous Conformist," published in 1666, gives the
following testimony:--

"_Proofs that he revives the Ferment of the Blood._--Mr Bromley's
brother, of Upton upon Severne, after a long quartane Ague, had by a
Metastasis of the Disease such a chilnesse in the habit of the body,
that no clothes could possibly warme him; he wore upon his head many
spiced caps, and tenne pounds weight of linen on his head. Mr
Greatarick stripped him, and rubbed him all over, and immediately he
sweat, and was hot all over, so that the bath never heated up as did
the hand of Mr Greatarick's; this was his own expression. But Mr
Greatarick causing him to cast off all that multitude of caps and
cloaths, it was supposed that it frustrated the happy effect, for he
felt the recourse of his disease in some parts rendered the cure
suspicious. But as often as Mr Greatarick came and rubbed him he would
be all in a flame againe for half-an-hour: the experiment whereof was
frequently practised for five or six dayes at Ragly."

Greatrakes himself also speaks of his more violent curative exertions
making him very hot. But it was only occasionally that he had to
labour so vehemently. His eye, the glance of which had a fascinating
effect on people of a nervous organization, and his fantastic
ticklings, usually produced all the results required by his mode of

The fame of the healer spread far and wide. Not only from the most
secluded parts of Ireland, but from civilized England, the lame and
blind, the deaf, dumb, and diseased, made pilgrimages to the Squire of
Affane. His stable, barn, and malt-house were crowded with wretches
imploring his aid. The demands upon his time were so very many and
great, that he set apart three days in the week for the reception of
patients; and on those days, from six in the morning till six in the
evening, he ministered to his wretched clients. He took no fee but
gratitude on the part of those he benefited, and a cheering sense that
he was fulfilling the commands of the founder of his religion. The
Dean of Lismore cited him to appear before the ecclesiastical court,
and render an account of his proceedings. He went, and on being asked
if he had worked any cures, replied to the court that they might come
to his house and see. The judge asked if he had a licence to practise
from the ordinary of the diocese; and he replied that he knew of no
law which prohibited any man from doing what good he could to others.
He was, however, commanded by the court not to lay his hands again on
the sick, until he had obtained the Ordinary's licence to do so. He
obeyed for two days only, and went on again more earnestly than ever.

Let a charlatan or an enthusiast spread his sails, the breeze of
fashion is always present, and ready to swell them. The Earl of Orrery
took his quondam lieutenant by the hand, and persuaded him to go over
to England to cure the Viscountess Conway of a violent headache,
which, in spite of the ablest physicians of England and France, she
had suffered from for many years. Lord Conway sent him an urgent
invitation to do so. He complied, and made his way to Rugby, in
Warwickshire, where he was unable to give relief to his hostess, but
was hospitably entertained for a month. His inability to benefit Lady
Conway did not injure his reputation, for he did not profess to be
able to cure every one. An adverse influence--such as the sins of a
patient, or his want of faith--was enough to counteract the healing
power. In the jargon of modern mesmerism, which _practically_ was only
a revival of Greatrakes's extravagances, the physician could affect
only those who were susceptible. But though Lady Conway was beyond the
reach of his mysterious agency, the reverse was the case with others.
The gentry and commonalty of Warwickshire crowded by thousands to him;
and he touched, prayed over, and blessed them, and sent them away
rejoicing. From Rugby he went to Worcester, at the request of the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen of that city; and from Worcester he was carried up
to London. Lord Arlington commanded him to appear at Whitehall, and
mumble in his particular fashion for the amusement of Charles II. A
man who could cure gout by a touch would have been an acquisition to
such a court as then presided over English manners.

In London he immediately became a star. The fashion of the West, and
the wary opulence of the East, laid their offerings at his feet. For a
time he ruled from Soho to Wapping. Mr. Justice Godfrey gave him rooms
for the reception of patients in his mansion in Lincoln's-inn-Fields;
and thither flocked the mob of the indigent and the mob of the wealthy
to pay him homage. Mr. Boyle (the brother of the Earl of Orrery), Sir
William Smith, Dr. Denton, Dr. Fairclough, Dr. Faber, Sir Nathaniel
Hobart, Sir John Godolphin, Dr. Wilkins, Dr. Whichcot, and Dr.
Cudworth, were amongst his most vehement supporters of the sterner
sex. But the majority of his admirers were ladies. The Countess of
Devonshire entertained him in her palace; and Lady Ranelagh frequently
amused the guests at her routs with Mr. Valentine Greatrakes, who, in
the character of _the lion_ of the season, performed with wondrous
results on the prettiest or most hysterical of the ladies present. It
was held as certain by his intimate friends that the curative property
that came from him was a subtle aura, effulgent, and of an exquisitely
sweet smell, that could only be termed the divine breath. "God," says
Dr. Henry Stubbe, "had bestowed upon Mr. Greaterick a peculiar
temperament, or composed his body of some particular ferments, the
effluvia whereof, being introduced sometimes by a light, sometimes by
a violent friction, should restore the temperament of the debilitated
parts, re-invigorate the blood, and dissipate all heterogeneous
ferments out of the bodies of the diseased by the eyes, nose, mouth,
hands, and feet. I place the gift of healing in the temperament or
composure of his body, because I see it is necessary that he touch
them. Besides, the Right Honourable the Lord Conway observed one
morning, as he came into his Lordship's chamber, a smell strangely
pleasant, as if it had been of sundry flowers; and demanding of his
man what sweet water he had brought into the room, he answered,
_None_; whereupon his Lordship smelled upon the hand of Mr.
Greaterick, and found the fragrancy to issue thence; and examining his
bosom, he found the like scent there also." Dean Rust gave similar
testimony; and "Sir Amos Meredith, who had been Mr. Greaterick's
bed-fellow," did the like.

Amongst the certificates of cures performed, which Greatrakes
published, are two to which the name of Andrew Marvell is affixed, as
a spectator of the stroking. One of them is the following:--

                   "MR NICHOLSON'S CERTIFICATE.

     "I, Anthony Nicholson, of Cambridge, Bookseller, have been
     affected sore with pains all over my body, for
     three-and-twenty years last past, have had advice and best
     directions of all the doctors there; have been at the bath
     in Somersetshire, and been at above one hundred pounds
     expense to procure ease, or a cure of these pains; and have
     found all the means I could be advised or directed to
     ineffectual for either, till, by the advice of Dr Benjamin
     Whichcot and Dean Rust, I applyed myself to Mr Greatrake's
     for help upon Saturday was sevenight, being the latter end
     of March, and who then stroked me; upon which I was very
     much worse, and enforced to keep my bed for five or six
     days; but then being stroked twice since, by the blessing of
     God upon Mr Greatrake's endeavours, I am perfectly eas'd of
     all pains, and very healthy and strong, insomuch as I intend
     (God willing) to return home towards Cambridge to-morrow
     morning, though I was so weak as to be necessitated to be
     brought up in men's arms, on Saturday last about 11 of the
     clock, to Mr Greatrake's. Attested by me this tenth day of
     April, 1666. I had also an hard swelling in my left arm,
     whereby I was disabled from using it; which being taken out
     by the said Mr Greatrake's, I am perfectly freed of all
     pain, and the use thereof greatly restored.

                                           "ANTHONY NICHOLSON.

     "In the presence of Andrew Marvell, Jas. Fairclough, Tho.
     Alured, Tho. Pooley, W. Popple."

There were worse features of life in Charles the Second's London than
the popularity of Valentine Greatrakes; but his triumph was of short
duration. His professions were made the butts of ridicule, to which
his presence of mind and volubility were unable to respond with
effect. It was asserted by his enemies that his system was only a
cloak under which he offended the delicacy of virtuous women, and
roused the passions of the unchaste. His tone of conversation was
represented as compounded of the blasphemy of the religious enthusiast
and the blasphemy of the profligate. His boast that he never received
a fee for his remedial services was met by flat contradiction, and a
statement that he received presents to the amount of \xA3100 at a time
from a single individual. This last accusation was never clearly
disposed of; but it is probable that the reward he sought (if he
looked for any) was restoration, through Court influence, to the
commission of magistrates for his county, and the lost clerkship of
the peace. The tide of slander was anyhow too strong for him, and he
retired to his native country a less honoured though perhaps a not
less honest man than he left it. Of his sincerity at the outset of his
career as a healer there can be little doubt.

Valentine Greatrakes did unconsciously what many years after him
Mesmer did by design. He in his remarkable career illustrated the
power which a determined man may exercise over the will and nervous
life of another.

As soon as the singular properties of the loadstone were discovered,
they were presumed to have a strong medicinal effect; and in this
belief physicians for centuries--and indeed almost down to present
times--were in the habit of administering pulverized magnet in salves,
plaisters, pills, and potions. It was not till the year 1660 that it
was for the first time distinctly recorded in the archives of science,
by Dr. Gilbert, of Colchester, that in a state of pulverization the
loadstone no longer possessed any magnetic powers. But it was not till
some generations after this that medical practitioners universally
recognized the fact that powder of magnet, externally or internally
administered, was capable of producing no other results than the
presence of any ordinary ferruginous substance would account for. But
long after this error had been driven from the domains of science, an
unreasonable belief in the power of magnets applied externally to the
body held its ground. In 1779-80, the Royal Society of Medicine in
Paris made numerous experiments with a view to arrive at a just
appreciation of the influence of magnets on the human system, and came
to the conclusion that they were medicinal agents of no ordinary

Such was the state of medical opinion at the close of the last
century, when Perkins's tractors, which were supposed to act
magnetically, became the fashion. Mr. Perkins was a citizen of
Connecticut, and certainly his celebrated invention was worthy of the
'cutest people on the 'varsal earth. Barnum's swindles were modest
ventures by comparison. The entire world, old and new, went
tractor-mad. Every valetudinarian bought the painted nails, composed
of an alloy of various metals (which none but Perkins could make, and
none but Perkins sell), and tickled with their sharp ends those parts
of his frame which were regarded as centres of disease.

The phenomena apparently produced by these instruments were
astounding, and misled every observer of them; until Dr. Haygarth of
Bath proved by a process to which objections was impossible, that they
were referable not to metal points, but to the mental condition of
those who used them. "Robert Thomas," says Dr. Haygarth in his
interesting work, "aged forty-three, who had been for some time under
the care of Dr. Lovell, in the Bristol Infirmary, with a rheumatic
affection of the shoulder, which rendered his arm perfectly useless,
was pointed out as a proper object of trial by Mr. J. W. Dyer,
apothecary to the house. Tuesday, April 19th, having everything in
readiness, I passed through the ward, and, in a way that he might
suspect nothing, questioned him respecting his complaint. I then told
him that I had an instrument in my pocket which had been very
serviceable to many in his state; and when I had explained to him how
simple it was, he consented to undergo the operation. In six minutes
no other effect was produced than a warmth upon the skin, and I feared
that this _coup d'essai_ had failed. The next day, however, he told me
that 'he had received so much benefit that it had enabled him to lift
his hand from his knee, which he had in vain several times attempted
on Monday evening, as the whole ward witnessed.' The tractors I used
being made of lead, I thought it advisable to lay them aside, lest,
being metallic points, the proof against the fraud might be less
complete. Thus much, however, was proved, that the patent tractors
possessed no specific power independent of simple metals. Two pieces
of wood, properly shaped and painted, were next made use of; and in
order to add solemnity to the farce, Mr. Barton held in his hand a
stop-watch, whilst Mr. Lax minuted the effects produced. In four
minutes the man raised his hand several inches; and he had lost also
the pain in his shoulder, usually experienced when attempting to lift
anything. He continued to undergo the operation daily, and with
progressive good effect; for on the twenty-fifth he could touch the
mantel-piece. On the twenty-seventh, in the presence of Dr. Lovell and
Mr. J. P. Noble, two common iron nails, disguised with sealing-wax,
were substituted for the pieces of mahogany before used. In three
minutes he felt something moving from his arm to his hand, and soon
after he touched the board of rules which hung a foot above the
fire-place. This patient at length so far recovered that he could
carry coals and use his arm sufficiently to help the nurse; yet,
previous to the use of the spurious tractors, he could no more lift
his hand from his knee than if a hundredweight were upon it, or a nail
driven through it--as he declared in the presence of several
gentlemen, whose names I shall have frequent occasion to mention. The
fame of this case brought applications in abundance; indeed, it must
be confessed that it was more than sufficient to act upon weak minds,
and induce a belief that these pieces of wood and iron were endowed
with some peculiar virtues."

The result of Dr. Haygarth's experiments was the overthrow of Perkins,
and the enlightenment of the public as to the real worth of the
celebrated metallic tractors. In achieving this the worthy physician
added some interesting facts to the science of psychology. But of
course his influence upon the ignorant and foolish persons he
illuminated was only transient. Ere a few short years or even months
were over, they had embraced another delusion--not less ridiculous,
but more pernicious.



At a very early date the effects of magnetic influences, and the
ordinary phenomena of nervous excitement, were the source of much
confusion and perplexity to medical speculators, who, with an unsound
logic that is perhaps more frequent than any other form of bad
reasoning, accounted for what they could not understand by pointing to
what they were only imperfectly acquainted with. The power of the
loadstone was a mystery; the nervous phenomena produced by a strong
will over a weak one were a mystery:--clearly the mysterious phenomena
were to be attributed to the mysterious power. In its outset animal
magnetism committed no other error than this. Its wilder extravagances
were all subsequent to this assumption, that two sets of phenomena,
which it has never yet been proved are nearly allied, were connected,
the one with the other, in the relation of cause and effect, or as
being the offspring of one immediate and common cause.

To support this theory, Mesmerism called into its service the old
astrological views regarding planetary influence. But it held also
that the subtle fluid, so transmitted to the animal life of our
planet, was capable of being passed on in greater or less volumes of
quantity and intensity. Nervous energy was only that subtle fluid
which was continually passing and repassing in impalpable currents
between the earth and the celestial bodies; and when, by reason of the
nervous energy within him, any one exercised control over another, he
was deemed only to have infused him with some of his own stock of
spiritual aura. Here was a new statement of the old dream which had
charmed the poets and philosophers of buried centuries; and as it was
a view which did not admit of positive disproof, it was believed by
its excited advocates to be proved.

One of the first British writers on animal magnetism was William
Maxwell, a Scotch physician, who enunciated his opinions with a
boldness and perspicacity which do him much credit. The first four of
his twelve conclusions are a very good specimen of his work:--

"_Conclusio 1._--Anima non solum in corpore proprio visibili, sed
etiam extra corpus est, nec corpore organico circumscribitur.

"_Conclusio 2._--Anima extra corpus proprium, communiter sic dictum,

"_Conclusio 3._--Ab omni corpore radii corporales fluunt, in quibus
anima sua pr\xE6sentia, operatur; hisque energiam et potentiam operandi
largitur. Sunt vero radii hi non solum corporales, sed et diversarum

"_Conclusio 4._--Radii hi, qui ex animalium corporibus emittuntur,
spiritu vitali gaudent, per quem anim\xE6 mutationes dispensantur."

The sixty-fifth of the aphorisms with which Maxwell concludes his book
is an amusing one, as giving the orthodox animal-magnetic view of that
condition of the affections which we term love, and also as
illustrating the connection between astrology and charms.

"_Aphorism 65._--Imaginatione vero producitur amor, quando imaginatio
exaltata unius imaginationi alterius dominatur, eamque fingit
sigillatque; atque hoc propter miram imaginationis volubilitatem
vicissim fieri potest. Hinc incantationes effectum nanciscuntur, licet
aliqualem forsan in se virtutem possideant, sine imaginatione tamen
h\xE6c virtus propter universalitatem distribui nequit."

Long before animal magnetism was a stock subject of conversation at
dinner-parties, there was a vague knowledge of its pretensions
floating about society; and a curiosity to know how far its principles
were reconcilable with facts, animated men of science and lovers of
the marvellous. Had not this been the state of public feeling, the
sensations created by Sir Kenelm Digby's sympathetic cures,
Greatrake's administrations, Leverett's manual exercises, and
Loutherbourg's manipulations, would not have been so great and

But the person who turned the credulity of the public on this point to
the best account was Frederick Anthony Mesmer. This man did not
originate a single idea. He only traded on the old day-dreams and
vagaries of departed ages; and yet he managed to fix his name upon a
science (?), in the origination or development of which he had no part
whatever; and, by daring charlatanry, he made it a means of grasping
enormous wealth. Where this man was born is uncertain. Vienna,
Werseburg in Swabia, and Switzerland, contend for the honour of having
given him to the world. At Vienna he took his M.D. degree, having
given an inaugural dissertation on "The Influence of the Planets upon
the Human Body." His course of self-delusion began with using magnets
as a means of cure, when applied externally; and he had resolutely
advanced on the road of positive knavery, when, after his quarrel with
his old instructor, Maximilian Hel, he threw aside the use of steel
magnets, and produced, by the employment of his fingers and eyes,
greater marvels than had ever followed the application of the
loadstone or Perkins's tractors. As his prosperity and reputation
increased, so did his audacity--which was always laughable, when it
did not disgust by its impiety.

On one occasion, Dr. Egg Von Ellekon asked him why he ordered his
patients to bathe in river, and not in spring water? "Because," was
the answer, "river water is exposed to the sun's rays." "True," was
the reply, "the water is sometimes warmed by the sun, but not so much
so that you have not sometimes to warm it still more. Why then should
not spring water be preferable?" Not at all posed, Mesmer answered,
with charming candour, "Dear doctor, the cause why all the water which
is exposed to the rays of the sun is superior to all other water is
because it is magnetized. I myself magnetized the sun some twenty
years ago."

But a better story of him is told by Madame Campan. That lady's
husband was attacked with pulmonary inflammation. Mesmer was sent for,
and found himself called upon to stem a violent malady, not to gull
the frivolous Parisians, who were then raving about the marvels of the
new system. He felt his patient's pulse, made certain inquiries, and
then, turning to Madame Campan, gravely assured her that the only way
to restore her husband to health was to lay in his bed, by his side
one of three things--a young woman of brown complexion, a black hen,
or an old bottle. "Sir," replied Madame Campan, "if the choice be a
matter of indifference, pray try the empty bottle." The bottle was
tried, but Mons. Campan grew worse. Madame Campan left the room,
alarmed and anxious, and, during her absence, Mesmer bled and
blistered his patient. This latter treatment was more efficacious. But
imagine Madame Campan's astonishment, when on her husband's recovery,
Mesmer asked for and obtained from him a written certificate that he
had been cured by Mesmerism!

It is instructive to reflect that the Paris which made for a short day
Mesmer its idol, was not far distant from the Paris of the Reign of
Terror. In one year the man received 400,000 francs in fees; and
positively the French government, at the instigation of Maurepas,
offered him an annual stipend of 20,000 francs, together with an
additional 10,000 to support an establishment for patients and pupils,
if he would stay in France. One unpleasant condition was attached to
this offer: he was required to allow three nominees of the Crown to
watch his proceedings. So inordinately high did Mesmer rate his
claims, that he stood out for better terms, and like the dog of the
fable, by endeavoring to get too much, lost what he might have
secured. Ere long the Parisians recovered something of common sense.
The enthusiasm of the hour subsided: and the Royal Commission,
composed of some of the best men of science to be found in the entire
world, were enabled to explain to the public how they had been fooled
by a trickster, and betrayed into practices scarcely less offensive to
modesty than to reason. In addition to the public report, another
private one was issued by the commissioners, urging the authorities,
in the name of morality, to put a stop to the mesmeric mania.

Mesmer died in obscurity on the 5th of March, in the year 1815.

Animal magnetism, under the name of mesmerism, has been made familiar
of late years to the ears of English people, if not to their
understandings, by the zealous and indiscreet advocacy which its
absurdities have met with in London and our other great cities. It is
true that the disciples have outrun their master--that Mesmer has been
out-mesmerized; but the same criticisms which have been here made on
the system of the arch-charlatan may be applied to the vagaries of his
successors, whether they be dupes or rogues. To electro-biologists,
spirit-rappers, and table-turners the same arguments must be used as
we employ to mesmerists. They must be instructed that phenomena are
not to be referred to magnetic influence, simply because it is
difficult to account for them; that it is especially foolish to set
them down to such a cause, when they are manifestly the product of
another power; and that all the wonders which form the stock of their
conversation, and fill the pages of the _Zoist_, are to be attributed,
not to a lately discovered agency, but to nervous susceptibility,
imagination, and bodily temperament, aroused by certain well-known

They will doubtless be disinclined to embrace this explanation of
their marvels, and will argue that it is much more likely that a table
is made by ten or twelve gentlemen and ladies to turn rapidly round,
without the application of muscular force, than that these ladies and
gentlemen should delude themselves into an erroneous belief that such
a phenomenon has been produced. To disabuse them of such an opinion,
they must be instructed in the wondrous and strangely delicate
mechanism of the human intellect and affections. And after such
enlightenment they must be hopelessly dull or perverse if they do not
see that the metaphysical explanation of "their cases" is not only the
true one, but that it opens up to view far more astonishing features
in the constitution of man than any that are dreamt of in the vain
philosophy of mesmerism. It is humiliating to think that these remarks
should be an appropriate comment on the silliness of the so-called
educated classes of the nineteenth century. That they are out of
place, none can advance, when one of the most popular pulpit orators
of London has not hesitated to commit to print, in a work of religious
pretensions, the almost blasphemous suggestion that table-turning is a
phenomenon consequent upon the first out-poured drops of "the seventh
vial" having reached the earth.



     "For in all times, in the opinion of the multitude, witches
     and old women and impostors have had a competition with
     physicians. And what followeth? Even this, that physicians
     say to themselves, as Solomon expresseth it upon a higher
     occasion, 'If it befall to me as befalleth to the fools, why
     should I labour to be more wise?'"--Lord Bacon's
     _Advancement of Learning_.

It is time to say something about the ladies as physicians. Once they
were the chief practitioners of medicine; and even to recent times had
a monopoly of that branch of art over which Dr. Locock presides. The
question has lately been agitated whether certain divisions of
remedial industry ought not again to be set aside for them; and the
patronage afforded to the lady who (in spite of the ridicule thrown on
her, and the rejection of her advances by various medical schools to
which she applied for admission as a student), managed to obtain a
course of medical instruction at one of the London schools, and
practised for a brief time in London previous to her departure for a
locality more suited to her operations, would seem to indicate that
public feeling is not averse to the thought of employing--under
certain conditions and for certain purposes--female physicians.

Of the many doctresses who have flourished in England during the last
200 years, only a few have left any memorial of their actions behind
them. Of _the wise women_ (a class of practitioners, by-the-by, still
to be found in many rural villages and in certain parts of London) in
whom our ancestors had as much confidence as we of the present
generation have in the members of the College of Physicians, we
question if twoscore, including Margaret Kennix and Mrs. Woodhouse, of
the Elizabethan era, could be rescued from oblivion. Some of them
wrote books, and so, by putting their names "in print," have a slight
hold on posthumous reputation. Two of them are immortalized by mention
in the records of the "Philosophical Transactions for 1694." These
ladies were Mrs. Sarah Hastings and Mrs. French. The curious may refer
to the account there given of the ladies' skill; and also, for further
particulars relative to Sarah Hastings, a glance may be given to M. de
la Cross's "Memoirs for the Ingenious," published in the month of
July, 1693. We do not care to transcribe the passages into our own
pages; though, now that it is the fashion to treat all the unpleasant
details of nursing as matters of romance, we presume there is nothing
in the cases mentioned calculated to shock public delicacy.

A most successful "wise woman" was Joanna Stephens, an ignorant and
vulgar creature, who, just before the middle of the last century,
proclaimed that she had discovered a sovereign remedy for a painful
malady, which, like the smallpox, has become in the hands of modern
surgery so manageable that ere long it will rank as little more than
"a temporary discomfort." Joanna was a courageous woman. She went
straightway to temporal peers, bishops, duchesses, and told them she
was the woman for their money. They believed her, testified to the
marvellous cures which she had effected, and allowed her to make use
of their titles to awe sceptics into respect for her powers. Availing
herself of this permission, she published books containing lists of
her cures, backed up by letters from influential members of the
nobility and gentry.

In the April number of the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for the year 1738,
one reads--"Mrs. Stephens has proposed to make her medicine publick,
on consideration of \xA35000 to be raised by contribution and lodged with
Mr. Drummond, banker; he has received since the 11th of this month
about \xA3500 on that account." By the end of the month the banker had in
his hands \xA3720 8_s._ 6_d._

This generous offer was not made until the inventor of the nostrums
had enriched herself by enormous fees drawn from the credulity of the
rich of every sect and rank. The subscription to pay her the amount
she demanded for her secret was taken up enthusiastically. Letters
appeared in the Journals and Magazines, arguing that no humane or
patriotic man could do otherwise than contribute to it. The movement
was well whipped up by the press. The Bishop of Oxford gave \xA310
10_s._; Bishop of Gloucester, \xA310 10_s._; The Earl of Pembroke, \xA350;
Countess of Deloraine, \xA35 5_s._; Lady Betty Jermaine, \xA321; Lady Vere
Beauclerc, \xA310 10_s._; Earl of Godolphin, \xA3100; Duchess of Gordon, \xA35
5_s._: Viscount Lonsdale, \xA352 10_s._; Duke of Rutland, \xA350; the
Bishop of Salisbury, \xA325; Sir James Lowther, Bart., \xA325; Lord Cadogan,
\xA32 2_s._; Lord Cornwallis, \xA320; Duchess of Portland, \xA321; Earl of
Clarendon, \xA325; Lord Lymington, \xA35; Duke of Leeds, \xA321; Lord Galloway,
\xA330; General Churchill (Spot Ward's friend), \xA310 10_s._; Countess of
Huntingdon, \xA310 10_s._; Hon. Frances Woodhouse, \xA310 10_s._; Sir Thomas
Lowther, Bart., \xA35 5_s._; Duke of Richmond, \xA330; Sir George Saville,
Bart., \xA35 5_s._

These were only a few of the noble and distinguished dupes of Joanna
Stephens. Mrs. Crowe, in her profound and philosophic work,
"Spiritualism, and the Age we live in," informs us that "the
solicitude" about the subject of table-turning "displayed by many
persons in high places, is the best possible sign of the times; and it
is one from which she herself hopes that the period is arrived when we
shall receive further help from God." Hadn't Joanna Stephens reason to
think that the period had arrived when she and her remedial system
would receive further help from God? What would not Read (we do not
mean the empiric oculist knighted by Queen Anne, but the cancer quack
of our own time) give to have such a list of aristocratic supporters?
What would not Mrs. Doctor Goss (who in this year, 1861, boasts of the
patronage of "ladies of the highest distinction") give for a similar
roll of adherents?

The agitation, however, for a public subscription for Joanna Stephens
was not so successful as her patrician supporters anticipated. They
succeeded in collecting \xA31356 3_s._ But Joanna stood out: her secret
should not go for less than \xA35000. "No pay, no cure!" was her cry. The
next thing her friends did was to apply to Parliament for the
required sum--and, positively, their request was granted. The nation,
out of its taxes, paid what the individuals of its wealthy classes
refused to subscribe. A commission was appointed by Parliament, that
gravely inquired into the particulars of the cures alleged to be
performed by Joanna Stephens; and, finding the evidence in favour of
the lady unexceptionable, they awarded her the following certificate,
which ought to be preserved to all ages as a valuable example of
senatorial wisdom:--


                                              March 5, 1739.

     "We, whose names are underwritten, being the major part of
     the Justices appointed by an Act of Parliament, entitled,
     '_An Act for providing a Reward to Joanna Stephens, upon
     proper discovery to be made by her, for the use of the
     Publick, of the Medicines prepared by her_-- --' --do
     certify, that the said Joanna Stephens did, with all
     convenient speed after the passing of the said Act, make a
     discovery to our satisfaction, for the use of the publick,
     of the said medicines, and of her method of preparing the
     same; and that we have examined the said medicines, and of
     her method of preparing of the same, and are convinced by
     experiment of the _Utility_, _Efficacy_, and _Dissolving
     Power_ thereof.

  "JO. CANT,                 THO. OXFORD,
  HARDWICKE, C.,             STE. POYNTZ,
  DORSET,                    SIM BURTON,
  MONTAGUE,                  PETER SHAW,
  PEMBROKE,                  D. HARTLEY,
  BALTIMORE,                 W. CHESELDEN,
  CORNBURY,                  C. HAWKINS,
  M. GLOUCESTER,             SAM. SHARP."

When such men as Cheselden, Hawkins, and Sharp could sign such a
certificate, we need feel no surprise at the conduct of Dr. Nesbit and
Dr. Pellet (Mead's early friend, who rose to be president of the
College of Physicians). These two gentlemen, who were on the
commission, having some scruples about the words "dissolving power,"
gave separate testimonials in favour of the medicines. St. John Long's
cause, it may be remembered, was advocated by Dr. Ramadge, a Fellow of
the College.

The country paid its money, and obtained Joanna's prescriptions. Here
is a portion of the lady's statement:--

     "_A full Discovery of the Medicines given by me, Joanna
     Stephens, and a particular account of my method of preparing
     and giving the same._

"My medicines are a Powder, a Decoction, and Pills.

"The Powder consists of egg-shells and snails--both calcined.

"The Decoction is made by boiling some herbs (together with a ball
which consists of soap, swine's-cresses burnt to a blackness, and
honey) in water.

"The Pills consist of snails calcined, wild carrot seeds, burdock
seeds, ashen keys, hips and hawes--all burnt to a blackness--soap and

"The powder is thus prepared:--Take hen's egg-shells, well drained
from the whites, dry and clean; crush them small with the hands, and
fill a crucible of the twelfth size (which contains nearly three
pints) with them lightly, place it on the fire till the egg-shells be
calcined to a greyish white, and acquire an acrid, salt taste: this
will take up eight hours, at least. After they are thus calcined, put
them in a dry, clean earthen pan, which must not be above three parts
full, that there may be room for the swelling of the egg-shells in
stacking. Let the pan stand uncovered in a dry room for two months,
and no longer; in this time the egg-shells will become of a milder
taste, and that part which is sufficiently calcined will fall into a
powder of such a fineness, as to pass through a common hairsieve,
which is to be done accordingly.

"In like manner, take garden snails, with their shells, cleaned from
the dirt; fill a crucible of the same size with them whole, cover it,
and place it on the fire as before, till the snails have done
smoaking, which will be in about an hour--taking care that they do not
continue in the fire after that. They are then to be taken out of the
crucible, and immediately rubbed in a mortar to a fine powder, which
ought to be of a very dark-grey colour.

     "_Note._--If pit-coal be made use of, it will be proper--in
     order that the fire may the sooner burn clear on the
     top--that large cinders, and not fresh coals, be placed upon
     the tiles which cover the crucibles.

"These powders being thus prepared, take the egg-shell powder of six
crucibles, and the snail-powder of one; mix them together, and rub
them in a mortar, and pass them through a cypress sieve. This mixture
is immediately to be put up into bottles, which must be close stopped,
and kept in a dry place for use. I have generally added a small
quantity of swine's-cresses, burnt to a blackness, and rubbed fine;
but this was only with a view to disguise it.

"The egg-shells may be prepared at any time of the year, but it is
best to do them in summer. The snails ought only to be prepared in
May, June, July, and August; and I esteem those best which are done in
the first of these months.

"The decoction is thus prepared:--Take four ounces and a half of the
best Alicant soap, beat it in a mortar with a large spoonful of
swine's-cresses burnt to a blackness, and as much honey as will make
the whole of the consistence of paste. Let this be formed into a ball.
Take this ball, and green camomile, or camomile flowers, sweet fennel,
parsley, and burdock leaves, of each an ounce (when there are not
greens, take the same quantity of roots); slice the ball, and boil
them in two quarts of soft water half an hour, then strain it off, and
sweeten it with honey.

"The pills are thus prepared:--Take equal quantities by measure of
snails calcined as before, of wild carrot seeds, burdock seeds, ashen
keys, hips and hawes, all burnt to a blackness, or, which is the same
thing, till they have done smoaking; mix them together, rub them in a
mortar, and pass them through a cypress sieve. Then take a large
spoonful of this mixture, and four ounces of the best Alicant soap,
and beat them in a mortar with as much honey as will make the whole of
a proper consistence for pills; sixty of which are to be made out of
every ounce of the composition."

Five thousand pounds for such stuff as this!--and the time was coming
when the nation grudged an inadequate reward to Jenner, and haggled
about the purchase of Hunter's Museum!

But a more remarkable case of feminine success in the doctoring line
was that of Mrs. Mapp, who was a contemporary of Mrs. Stephens. Under
the patronage of the Court, "Drop and Pill" Ward (or "Spot" Ward, as
he was also called, from a mole on his cheek) was astonishing London
with his cures, and his gorgeous equipage which he had the royal
permission to drive through St. James Park, when the attention of the
fashionable world was suddenly diverted to the proceeding of "Crazy
Sally of Epsom." She was an enormous, fat, ugly, drunken woman, known
as a haunter of fairs, about which she loved to reel, screaming and
abusive, in a state of roaring intoxication. This attractive lady was
a bone-setter; and so much esteemed was she for skill in her art, that
the town of Epsom offered her \xA3100 if she would reside there for a
year. The following passage we take from the _Gentleman's Magazine_
for 1736: "Saturday 31. In the _Daily Advertiser_, July 28, Joshua
Ward, Esq., having the queen's leave, recites seven extraordinary
cases of persons which were cured by him, and examined before her
Majesty, June 7, objections to which had been made in the _Grub Street
Journal_, June 24. But the attention of the public has been taken off
from the wonder-working Mr. Ward to a strolling woman now at Epsom,
who calls herself Crazy Sally; and had performed cures in bone-setting
to admiration, and occasioned so great a resort, that the town
offered her 100 guineas to continue there a year."

"Crazy Sally" awoke one morning and found herself famous. Patients of
rank and wealth flocked in from every quarter. Attracted by her
success, an Epsom swain made an offer of marriage to Sally, which she
like a fool accepted. Her maiden name of Wallin (she was the daughter
of a Wiltshire bone-setter of that name) she exchanged at the altar
for that of Mapp. If her marriage was not in all respects fortunate,
she was not burdened with much of her husband's society. He lived with
her only for a fortnight, during which short space of time he thrashed
her soundly twice or thrice, and then decamped with a hundred guineas
of her earnings. She found consolation for her wounded affections in
the homage of the world. She became a notoriety of the first water,
and every day some interesting fact appeared about her in the prints
and public journals. In one we are told "the cures of the woman
bone-setter of Epsom are too many to be enumerated: her bandages are
extraordinary neat, and her dexterity in reducing dislocations and
setting fractured bones wonderful. She has cured persons who have been
twenty years disabled, and has given incredible relief in the most
difficult cases. The lame come daily to her, and she gets a great deal
of money, persons of quality who attend her operations making her

Poets sounded her praises. Vide _Gentleman's Magazine_, August, 1736:


    "Of late, without the least pretence to skill,
    Ward's grown a fam'd physician by a pill;
    Yet he can but a doubtful honour claim,
    While envious Death oft blasts his rising fame.
    Next travell'd Taylor fills us with surprise,
    Who pours new light upon the blindest eyes;
    Each journal tells his circuit through the land,
    Each journal tells the blessings of his hand;
    And lest some hireling scribbler of the town
    Injure his history, he writes his own.
    We read the long accounts with wonder o'er;
    Had he wrote less, we had believed him more.
    Let these, O Mapp, thou wonder of the age!
    With dubious arts endeavor to engage;
    While you, irregularly strict to rules,
    Teach dull collegiate pedants they are fools;
    By merit, the sure path to fame pursue--
    For all who see thy art must own it true."

Mrs. Mapp continued to reside in Epsom, but she visited London once a
week. Her journeys to and from the metropolis she performed in a
chariot drawn by four horses, with servants wearing splendid liveries.
She used to put up at the Grecian Coffee-House, where Sir Hans Sloane
witnessed her operations, and was so favourably impressed by them,
that he put under her charge his niece, who was suffering from a
spinal affection, or, to use the exact and scientific language of the
newspapers, "whose back had been broke nine years, and stuck out two
inches." The eminent lady went to the playhouse in Lincoln's-Inn-Fields
to see the _Husband's Relief_ acted. Her presence not only produced a
crowded house, but the fact that she sate between Taylor the quack
oculist on one side, and Ward the drysalter on the other, gave
occasion for the production of the following epigram, the point of
which is perhaps almost as remarkable as its polish:--

    "While Mapp to the actors showed a kind regard,
    On one side _Taylor_ sat, on the other _Ward_;
    When their mock persons of the drama came,
    Both _Ward_ and _Taylor_ thought it hurt their fame;
    Wonder'd how Mapp could in good humour be,
    '_Zoons!_' crys the manly dame, 'it hurts not me;
    Quacks without art may either blind or kill,
    But demonstration proves that mine is skill.'"

On the stage, also, a song was sung in honour of Mrs. Mapp, and in
derision of Taylor and Ward. It ran thus:--

    "You surgeons of London, who puzzle your pates,
    To ride in your coaches, and purchase estates,
    Give over for shame, for pride has a fall,
    And the doctress of Epsom has out-done you all.
                                        Derry down, &c.

    "What signifies learning, or going to school,
    When a woman can do, without reason or rule,
    What puts you to nonplus, and baffles your art;
    For petticoat practice has now got the start.
                                        Derry down, &c.

    "In physic, as well as in fashions, we find
    The newest has always its run with mankind;
    Forgot is the bustle 'bout Taylor and Ward,
    And Mapp's all the cry, and her fame's on record.
                                        Derry down, &c.

    "Dame Nature has given a doctor's degree--
    She gets all the patients, and pockets the fee;
    So if you don't instantly prove her a cheat,
    She'll loll in her carriage, whilst you walk the street.
                                        Derry down, &c."

On one occasion, as this lady was proceeding up the Old Kent Road to
the Borough, in her carriage and four, dressed in a loosely-fitting
robe-de-chambre, and manifesting by her manner that she had partaken
somewhat too freely of Geneva water, she found herself in a very
trying position. Her fat frame, indecorous dress, intoxication, and
dazzling equipage, were in the eyes of the mob such sure signs of
royalty, that she was immediately taken for a Court lady, of German
origin and unpopular repute, whose word was omnipotent at St. James's.

Soon a crowd gathered round the carriage, and, with the proper amount
of swearing and yelling, were about to break the windows with stones,
when the spirited occupant of the vehicle, acting very much as Nell
Gwyn did on a similar occasion, rose from her seat, and letting down
the glasses, exclaimed, with an imprecation more emphatic than polite,
"-- --! Don't you know me? I am Mrs. Mapp, the bone-setter!"

This brief address so tickled the humour of the mob, that the lady
proceeded on her way amidst deafening acclamations and laughter.

The Taylor mentioned as sitting on one side of Mrs. Mapp in the
playhouse was a notable character. A cunning, plausible, shameless
blackguard, he was eminently successful in his vocation of quack. Dr.
King, in his "Anecdotes of his own Times," speaks of him with respect.
"I was at Tunbridge," says the Doctor, "with Chevalier Taylor, the
oculist. He seems to understand the anatomy of the eye perfectly well;
he has a fine hand and good instruments, and performs all his
operations with great dexterity; but he undertakes everything (even
impossible cases), and promises everything. No charlatan ever appeared
with fitter and more excellent talents, or to greater advantage; he
has a good person, is a natural orator, and has a faculty of learning
foreign languages. He has travelled over all Europe, and has always
with him an equipage suitable to a man of the first quality; and has
been introduced to most of the sovereign princes, from whom he has
received many marks of their liberality and esteem."

Dr. King, in a Latin inscription to the mountebank, says:--

                  "Hic est, hic vir est,
    Quem docti, indoctique omnes impense mirantur,
                  Johannes Taylor;
          C\x9Ccigenorum, c\x9Ccorum, c\x9Ccitantium,
                Quot quot sunt ubique,
              Spes unica--Solamen--Salus."

The Chevalier Taylor (as he always styled himself), in his travels
about the country, used to give lectures on "The Eye," in whatever
place he tarried. These addresses were never explanatory of the
anatomy of the organ, but mere absurd rhapsodies on it as an ingenious
and wonderful contrivance.

Chevalier's oration to the university of Oxford, which is still
extant, began thus:--

"The eye, most illustrious sons of the muses, most learned Oxonians,
whose fame I have heard celebrated in all parts of the globe--the eye,
that most amazing, that stupendous, that comprehending, that
incomprehensible, that miraculous organ, the eye, is the Proteus of
the passions, the herald of the mind, the interpreter of the heart,
and the window of the soul. The eye has dominion over all things. The
world was made for the eye, and the eye for the world.

"My subject is Light, most illustrious sons of
literature--intellectual light. Ah! my philosophical, metaphysical, my
classical, mathematical, mechanical, my theological, my critical
audience, my subject is the eye. You are the eye of England!

"England has two eyes--Oxford and Cambridge. They are the two eyes of
England, and two intellectual eyes. You are the right eye of England,
the elder sister in science, and the first fountain of learning in all
Europe. What filial joy must exult in my bosom, in my vast circuit, as
copious as that of the sun himself, to shine in my course, upon this
my native soil, and give light even at Oxford!

"The eye is the husband of the soul!

"The eye is indefatigable. The eye is an angelic faculty. The eye in
this respect is a female. The eye is never tired of seeing; that is,
of taking in, assimilating, and enjoying all Nature's vigour."

When the Chevalier was ranting on in this fashion at Cambridge (of
course there terming Oxford the _left_ eye of England), he undertook
to express every passion of the mind by the eye alone.

"Here you have surprise, gentlemen; here you have delight; here you
have terror!"

"Ah!" cried an undergraduate, "there's no merit in that, for you tell
us beforehand what the emotion is. Now next time say nothing--and let
me guess what the feeling is you desire to express."

"Certainly," responded the Doctor, cordially; "nothing can be more
reasonable in the way of a proposition. Now then, sir, what is this?"

"Oh, veneration, I suppose."

"Certainly--quite right--and this?"


"Of course, sir: you see it's impossible for an observant gentleman
like yourself to misunderstand the language of the eye," answered the
oculist, whose plan was only to assent to his young friend's

In the year 1736, when the Chevalier was at the height of his fame,
he received the following humorous letter:--

"DOMINE,--O tu, qui in oculis hominum versaris, et quamcunque tractas
rem, _acu_ tangis, salve! Tu, qui, instar Ph\x9Cbi, lumen orbi, et
orbes luminibus reddis, iterum salve!

"Cum per te Gallia, per te nostr\xE6 academi\xE6, duo regni lumina, clarius
intuentur, cur non ad urbem Edinburgi, cum toties ubique erras, cursum
tendis? nam qu\xE6dam c\x9Ccitas cives illic invasit. Ipsos magistratus
_Gutta Serena_ occupavit, videntur enim videre, sed nihil vident.
Idcirco tu istam _Scoticam Nebulam_ ex oculis remove, et quodcunque
latet in tenebris, in lucem profer. Illi violenter carcerem, tu oculos
leniter reclude; illi lucem Porteio ademerunt, tu illis lucem
restitue, et quamvis fingant se dupliciter videre, fac ut simpliciter
tantum oculo irretorto conspiciant. Peractoque cursu, ad Angliam redi
artis tu\xE6 plenus, Toriosque (ut vulgo vocantur) qui adhuc c\x9Ccutiant
et hallucinantur, illuminato. Ab ipsis clericis, si qui sint c\x9Cci
ductores, nubem discute; immo ipso Sole lunaque, cum laborant eclipsi,
qu\xE6, instar tui ipsius, transit per varias regiones obumbrans, istam
molem caliginis amoveto. Sic eris Sol Mundi, sic eris non solum nomine
Sartor, sed re Oculorum omnium resarcitor; sic omuis Charta Publica
tuam Claritudinem celebrabit, et ubicunque frontem tuam ostendis, nemo
non te, O vir spectatissime, admirabitur. Ipse lippus scriptor hujus
epistol\xE6 maxime gauderet te Medicum Illustrissimum, cum omnibus tuis
oculatis testibus, Vindsori\xE6 videre.--VALE."

The Chevalier had a son and a biographer in the person of John Taylor,
who, under the title of "John Taylor, Junior," succeeded to his
father's trumpet, and blew it with good effect. The title-page of his
biography of his father enumerates some half-hundred crowned or royal
heads, to whose eyes the "Chevalier John Taylor, Opthalmiater
Pontifical, Imperial, and Royal," administered.

But this work was feeble and contemptible compared with the
Chevalier's autobiographic sketch of himself, in his proposal for
publishing which he speaks of his loves and adventures, in the
following modest style:--

"I had the happiness to be also personally known to two of the most
amiable ladies this age has produced--namely, Lady Inverness and Lady
Mackintosh; both powerful figures, of great abilities, and of the most
pleasing address--both the sweetest prattlers, the prettiest
reasoners, and the best judges of the charms of high life that I ever
saw. When I first beheld these wonders I gazed on their beauties, and
my attention was busied in admiring the order and delicacy of their
discourse, &c. For were I commanded to seek the world for a lady
adorned with every accomplishment that man thinks desirable in the
sex, I could only be determined by finding their resemblance....

"I am perfectly acquainted with the history of Persia, as well before
as since the death of Thamas Kouli Khan; well informed of the
adventures of Prince Heraclius; was personally known to a minister he
sent to Moscow in his first attempt to conquer that country; and am
instructed in the cruel manner of putting out the eyes of conquered
princes, and of cutting away the eyelids of soldiers taken in war, to
make them unfit for service.

"I have lived in many convents of friars of different orders, been
present at their creation to various degrees, and have assisted at
numberless entertainments upon those occasions.

"I have been in almost every female nunnery in all Europe (_on account
of my profession_), and could write many volumes on the adventures of
these religious beauties.

"I have been present at the making of nuns of almost every order, and
assisted at the religious feasts given on those occasions.

"I have met with a very great variety of singular religious people
called Pilgrims.

"I have been present at many extraordinary diversions designed for the
amusement of the sovereign, viz. hunting of different sorts of wild
beasts, as in Poland; bull-fighting, as in Spain.

"I am well acquainted with all the various punishments for different
crimes, as practised in every nation--been present at the putting of
criminals to death by various ways, viz. striking off heads, breaking
on the wheel, &c.

"I am also well instructed in the different ways of giving the torture
to extract confession--and am no stranger to other singular
punishments, such as impaling, burying alive with head above ground,

"And lastly, I have assisted, have seen the manner of embalming dead
bodies of great personages, and am well instructed in the manner
practised in some nations for preserving them entire for ages, with
little alteration of figure from what they were when first deprived of

"All must agree that no man ever had a greater variety of matter
worthy to be conveyed to posterity. I shall, therefore, give my best
care to, so to paint my thoughts, and give such a dress of the story
of my life, that tho' I shall talk of the Great, the Least shall not
find cause of offence."

The occasion of this great man issuing so modest a proposal to the
public is involved in some mystery. It would seem that he determined
to publish his own version of his adventures, in consequence of being
dissatisfied with his son's sketch of them. John Taylor, Junior, was
then resident in Hatton Garden, living as an eye-doctor, and entered
into an arrangement with a publisher, without his father's consent, to
write the Chevalier's biography. Affixed to the indecent pamphlet,
which was the result of this agreement, are the following epistolary

"MY SON,--If you should unguardedly have suffered your name at the
head of a work which must make us all contemptible, this must be
printed in it as the best apology for yourself and father:--

                        "TO THE PRINTER.

                                           "Oxford, Jan. 10, 1761.

"My dear and only son having respectfully represented to me that he
has composed a work, intitled _My Life and Adventures_, and requires
my consent for its publication, notwithstanding I am as yet a stranger
to the composition, and consequently can be no judge of its merits, I
am so well persuaded that my son is in every way incapable of saying
aught of his father but what must redound to his honour and
reputation, and so perfectly convinced of the goodness of his heart,
that it does not seem possible I should err in my judgment, by giving
my consent to a publication of the said work. And as I have long been
employed in writing my own Life and Adventures, which will with all
expedition be published, 'twill hereafter be left with all due
attention to the candid reader, whether the Life of the Father written
by the son, or the Life of the Father written by himself, best
deserves approbation.

                                             "THE CHEVALIER TAYLOR,

                    "Opthalmiater, Pontifical, Imperial, and Royal.

     "* * * The above is a true copy of the letter my Father sent
     me. All the answer I can make to the bills he sends about
     the town and country is, that I have maintained my mother
     these eight years, and do this at the present time; and
     that, two years since, I was concerned for him, for which I
     have paid near \xA3200.

                                       "As witness my hand,
                                         "JOHN TAYLOR, _Oculist_."

  "Hatton Garden."

It is impossible to say whether these differences were genuine, or
only feigned by the two quacks, in order to keep silly people
gossiping about them. Certainly the accusations brought against the
Chevalier, that he had sponged on his son, and declined to support his
wife, are rather grave ones to introduce into a make-believe quarrel.
But, on the other hand, when the Chevalier's autobiography appeared it
was prefaced with the following dedicatory letter to his son:--

     "MY DEAR SON,--Can I do ill when I address to you the story
     of your father's life? Whose name can be so proper as your
     own to be prefixed to a work of this kind? You who was born
     to represent me living, when I shall cease to be--born to
     pursue that most excellent and important profession to which
     I have for so many years labored to be useful--born to
     defend my cause and support my fame--may I not _presume_, my
     son, that you will defend your father's cause? May I not
     _affirm_ that you, my son, will support your father's fame?
     After having this said, need I add more than remind
     you--that, to a father, nothing can be so dear as a
     deserving son--nor state so desirable as that of the man who
     holds his successor, and knows him to be worthy. Be
     prosperous. Be happy.

                              "I am, your affectionate Father,
                                  "THE CHEVALIER JOHN TAYLOR."

This unctuous address to "my lion-hearted boy" is equalled in drollery
by many passages of the work itself, which (in the language of the
title-page) "contains all most worthy the attention of a
Traveller--also a dissertation on the Art of Pleasing, with the most
interesting observations on the Force of Prejudice; numberless
adventures, as well amongst nuns and friars as with persons in high
life; with a description of a great variety of the most admirable
relations, which, though told in his well-known peculiar manner, each
one is strictly true, and within the Chevalier's own observations and

Apart from the bombast of his style, the Chevalier's "well-known
peculiar manner" was remarkable for little besides tautology and a
fantastic arrangement of words. In his orations, when he aimed at
sublimity, he indulged in short sentences each of which commenced with
a genitive case followed by an accusative; after which came the verb
succeeded by the nominative. Thus, at such crises of grandiloquence,
instead of saying, "I will lecture on the wonders of the eye," he
would invert the order to, "Of the eye on the wonders lecture will I."
By doing this, he maintained that he surpassed the finest periods of
Tully! There is a letter in Nichols's "Literary Anecdotes," in which a
lecture given by this mountebank at Northampton is excellently
described. "The doctor," says the writer, "appeared dressed in black,
with a long light flowing ty'd wig; ascended a scaffold behind a large
table raised about two feet from the ground, and covered with an old
piece of tapestry, on which was laid a dark-coloured cafoy
chariot-seat with four black bunches (used upon hearses) tyed to the
corners for tassels, four large candles on each side of the cushion,
and a quart decanter of drinking water, with a half-pint glass, to
moisten his mouth."

The fellow boasted that he was the author of forty-five works in
different languages. Once he had the audacity to challenge Johnson to
talk Latin with him. The doctor responded with a quotation from
Horace, which the charlatan took to be the doctor's own composition.
"_He said a few words well enough_," Johnson said magnanimously when
he repeated the story to Boswell. "Taylor," said the doctor, "is the
most ignorant man I ever knew, but sprightly; Ward, the dullest."

John Taylor, Junr., survived his father more than fifteen years, and
to the last had a lucrative business in Hatton Garden. His father had
been oculist to George the Second; but this post, on the death of the
Chevalier, he failed to obtain, it being given to a foreign _prot\xE9g\xE9_
of the Duke of Bedford's. He made a great noise about the sufferings
of the poor, and proposed to the different parishes of London to
attend the paupers labouring under diseases of the eye at two guineas
a-year for each parish. He was an illiterate, vulgar, and licentious
scoundrel; and yet when he died, on the 17th September, 1787, he was
honoured with a long memoir in the _Gentleman's Magazine_, as one
"whose philanthropy was exerted so fully as to class him with a Hanway
or a Howard."

If an apology is needed for giving so much space, in a chapter devoted
to the ladies, to the John Taylors, it must be grounded on the fact
that the Chevalier was the son of an honest widow woman who carried on
a respectable business, as an apothecary and doctress, at Norwich. In
this she resembled Mrs. Blood, the wife of the Colonel of that name,
who for years supported herself and son at Romford, by keeping an
apothecary's shop under the name of Weston. Colonel Blood was also
himself a member of the Faculty. For some time, whilst meditating his
_grand coup_, he practised as a doctor in an obscure part of the City,
under the name of Ayliffe.

Two hundred years since the lady practitioners of medicine in the
provinces not seldom had working for them pupils and assistants of the
opposite sex, and this usage was maintained in secluded districts till
a comparatively recent date. In Houghton's Collection, Nov. 15, 1695,
is the following advertisement,--"If any Apothecary's Widow that keeps
a shop in the country wants a journeyman that has lived 25 years for
himself in London, and has had the conversation of the eminent
physicians of the colledge, I can help to such an one."



Amongst the celebrities of the medical profession, who have left no
memorial behind them more durable or better known than their wills in
Doctors' Commons, was Messenger Monsey, the great-grandfather of our
ex-Chancellor, Lord Cranworth.

We do not know whether his Lordship is aware of his descent from the
eccentric physician. Possibly he is not, for the Monseys, though not
altogether of a plebeian stock, were little calculated to throw \xE9clat
over the genealogy of a patrician house.

Messenger Monsey, who used with a good deal of unnecessary noise to
declare his contempt of the ancestral honours which he in reality
possessed, loved to tell of the humble origin of his family. The first
Duke of Leeds delighted in boasting of his lucky progenitor, Jack
Osborn, the shop lad, who rescued his master's daughter from a watery
grave, in the Thames, and won her hand away from a host of noble
suitors, who wanted--literally, the young lady's _pin_-money. She was
the only child of a wealthy pinmaker carrying on his business on
London Bridge, and the jolly old fellow, instead of disdaining to
bestow his heiress on a 'prentice, exclaimed, "Jack won her, and he
shall wear her!" Dr. Monsey, in the hey-day of his social fame, told
his friends that the first of his ancestors of any note was a baker,
and a retail dealer in hops. At a critical point of this worthy man's
career, when hops were "down" and feathers were "up," to raise a small
sum of money for immediate use he ripped open his beds, sold the
feathers, and stuffed the tick with unsaleable hops. Soon a change in
the market occurred, and once more operating on the couches used by
himself and children, he sold the hops at a profit, and bought back
the feathers. "That's the way, sir, by which my family hopped from
obscurity!" the doctor would conclude.

We have reason for thinking that this ancestor was the physician's
great-grandfather. As is usually found to be the case, where a man
thinks lightly of the advantages of birth, Messenger was by no means
of despicable extraction. His grandfather was a man of considerable
property, and married Elizabeth Messenger, co-heir of Thomas
Messenger, lord of Whitwell Manor, in the county of Norfolk, a
gentleman by birth and position; and his father, the Rev. Robert
Monsey, a Norfolk rector, married Mary, the daughter of Roger Clopton,
rector of Downham. Of the antiquity and importance of the Cloptons
amongst the gentle families of England this is no place to speak; but
further particulars relative to the Monsey pedigree may be found by
the curious in Bloomfield's "History of Norfolk." On such a descent a
Celt would persuade himself that he represented kings and rulers.
Monsey, like Sydney Smith after him, preferred to cover the whole
question with jolly, manly ridicule, and put it out of sight.

Messenger Monsey was born in 1693, and received in early life an
excellent education; for though his father at the Revolution threw his
lot in with the nonjurors, and forfeited his living, the worthy
clergyman had a sufficient paternal estate to enable him to rear his
only child without any painful considerations of cost. After spending
five years at St. Mary's Hall, Cambridge, Messenger studied physic for
some time under Sir Benjamin Wrench, at Norwich. Starting on his own
account, he practised for a while at Bury St. Edmunds, in Suffolk, but
with little success. He worked hard, and yet never managed in that
prosperous and beautiful country town to earn more than three hundred
guineas in the same year. If we examined into the successes of medical
celebrities, we should find in a great majority of cases fortune was
won by the aspirant either annexing himself to, and gliding into the
confidence of, a powerful clique, or else by his being through some
lucky accident thrown in the way of a patron. Monsey's rise was of the
latter sort. He was still at Bury, with nothing before him but the
prospect of working all his days as a country doctor, when Lord
Godolphin, son of Queen Anne's Lord Treasurer, and grandson of the
great Duke of Marlborough, was seized, on the road to Newmarket, with
an attack of apoplexy. Bury was the nearest point where medical
assistance could be obtained. Monsey was summoned, and so fascinated
his patient with his conversational powers that his Lordship invited
him to London, and induced him to relinquish his country practice.

From that time Monsey's fortune was made. He became to the Whigs very
much what, in the previous generation, Radcliffe had been to the
Tories. Sir Robert Walpole genuinely loved him, seizing every
opportunity to enjoy his society, and never doing anything for him;
and Lord Chesterfield was amongst the most zealous trumpeters of his
medical skill. Lively, sagacious, well-read, and brutally sarcastic,
he had for a while a society reputation for wit scarcely inferior to
Swift's; and he lived amongst men well able to judge of wit. Garrick
and he were for many years intimate friends, until, in a contest of
jokes, each of the two brilliant men lost his temper, and they parted
like Roland and Sir Leoline--never to meet again. Garrick probably
would have kept his temper under any other form of ridicule, but he
never ceased to resent Monsey's reflection on his avarice to the
Bishop of Sodor and Man.

"Garrick is going to quit the stage," observed the Bishop.

"That he'll never do," answered Monsey, making use of a Norfolk
proverb, "so long as he knows a guinea is cross on one side and pile
on the other."

This speech was never forgiven. Lord Bath endeavoured to effect a
reconciliation between the divided friends, but his amiable intention
was of no avail.

"I thank you," said Monsey; "but why will your Lordship trouble
yourself with the squabbles of a Merry Andrew and quack doctor?"

When the tragedian was on his death-bed, Monsey composed a satire on
the sick man, renewing the attack on his parsimony. Garrick's illness,
however, terminating fatally, the doctor destroyed his verses, but
some scraps of them still remain to show their spirit and power. A
consultation of physicians was represented as being held over the

    "Seven wise physicians lately met,
      To save a wretched sinner;
    Come, Tom, said Jack, pray let's be quick,
      Or I shall lose my dinner.
          .      .      .      .      .
    "Some roared for rhubarb, jalap some,
      And some cried out for Dover;
    Lets give him something, each man said--
      Why e'en let's give him--over."

After much learned squabbling, one of the sages proposed to revive the
sinking energies of the poor man by jingling guineas in his ears. The
suggestion was acted upon, when--

    "Soon as the fav'rite sound he heard,
      One faint effort he try'd;
    He op'd his eyes, he stretched his hands,
      He made one grasp--and dy'd."

Though, on the grave closing over his antagonist, Monsey suppressed
these lines, he continued to cherish an animosity to the object of
them. The spirit in which, out of respect to death, he drew a period
to their quarrel, was much like that of the Irish peasant in the song,
who tells his ghostly adviser that he forgives Pat Malone with all his
heart (supposing death should get the better of him)--but should he
recover, he means to pay the rascal off roundly. Sir Walter Scott
somewhere tells a story of a Highland chief, in his last moments
declaring that he from the bottom of his heart forgave his old enemy,
the head of a hostile clan--and concluding this Christian avowal with
a final address to his son--"But may all evil light upon ye, Ronald,
if ye e'er forgie the heathen."

Through Lord Godolphin's interest, Monsey was appointed physician to
Chelsea College, on the death of Dr. Smart. For some time he continued
to reside in St. James's: but on the death of his patron he moved to
Chelsea, and spent the last years of his life in retirement--and to a
certain extent banishment--from the great world. The hospital offices
were then filled by a set of low-born scoundrels, or discharged
servants, whom the ministers of various Cabinets had had some reason
of their own for providing for. The surgeon was that Mr. Ranby who
positively died of rage because Henry Fielding's brother (Sir John)
would not punish a hackney coachman who had been guilty of the high
treason of--being injured and abused by the plaintiff. With this man
Monsey had a tremendous quarrel; but though in the right, he had to
submit to Ranby's powerful connections.

This affair did not soften his temper to the other functionaries of
the hospital with whom he had to associate at the hall table. His
encounter with the venal elector who had been nominated to a Chelsea
appointment is well known, though an account of it would hurt the
delicacy of these somewhat prudish pages. Of the doctor's insolence
the following is a good story:--

A clergyman, who used to bore him with pompous and pedantic talk, was
arguing on some point with Monsey, when the latter exclaimed:--

"Sir, if you have faith in your opinion, will you venture a wager upon

"I could--but I won't," was the reply.

"Then," rejoined Monsey, "you have very little wit, or very little
money." The logic of this retort puts one in mind of the eccentric
actor who, under somewhat similar circumstances, asked indignantly,
"Then, sir, how _dare_ you advance a statement in a public room which
you are not prepared to substantiate with a bet!"

Monsey was a Unitarian, and not at all backward to avow his creed. As
he was riding in Hyde Park with a Mr. Robinson, that gentleman, after
deploring the corrupt morals of the age, said, with very bad taste,
"But, Doctor, I talk with one who believes there is no God." "And I,"
retorted Monsey, "with one who believes there are three." Good Mr.
Robinson was so horrified that he clapped spurs to his horse, galloped
off, and never spoke to the doctor again.

Monsey's Whiggism introduced him to high society, but not to lucrative
practice. Sir Robert Walpole always extoled the merits of his "Norfolk
Doctor," but never advanced his interests. Instead of covering the
great minister with adulation, Monsey treated him like an ordinary
individual, telling him when his jokes were poor, and not hesitating
to worst him in argument. "How happens it," asked Sir Robert, over his
wine, "that nobody will beat me at billiards, or contradict me, but
Dr. Monsey!" "Other people," put in the doctor, "get places--I get a
dinner and praise." The Duke of Grafton treated him even worse. His
Grace staved off paying the physician his bill for attending him and
his family at Windsor, with promises of a place. When "the little
place" fell vacant, Monsey called on the duke, and reminded him of his
promise. "Ecod--ecod--ecod," was the answer, "but the Chamberlain has
just been here to tell me he has promised it to Jack ----." When the
disappointed applicant told the lord-chamberlain what had transpired,
his Lordship replied, "Don't, for the world, tell his Grace; but
before he knew I had promised it, here is a letter he sent me,
soliciting for _a third person_."

Amongst the vagaries of this eccentric physician was the way in which
he extracted his own teeth. Round the tooth sentenced to be drawn he
fastened securely a strong piece of catgut, to the opposite end of
which he affixed a bullet. With this bullet and a full measure of
powder a pistol was charged. On the trigger being pulled, the
operation was performed effectually and speedily. The doctor could
only rarely prevail on his friends to permit him to remove their teeth
by this original process. Once a gentleman who had agreed to try the
novelty, and had even allowed the apparatus to be adjusted, at the
last moment exclaimed, "Stop, stop, I've changed my mind!" "But I
haven't, and you're a fool and a coward for your pains," answered the
doctor, pulling the trigger. In another instant the tooth was
extracted, much to the timid patient's delight and astonishment.

At Chelsea, to the last, the doctor saw on friendly terms all the
distinguished medical men of his day. Cheselden, fonder of having his
horses admired than his professional skill extolled, as Pope and
Freind knew, was his frequent visitor. He had also his loves. To Mrs.
Montague, for many years, he presented a copy of verses on the
anniversary of her birth-day. But after his quarrel with Garrick, he
saw but little of the lady, and was rarely, if ever, a visitor at her
magnificent house in Portman Square. Another of his flames, too, was
Miss Berry, of whom the loss still seems to be recent. In his old age,
avarice--the very same failing he condemned so much in Garrick--developed
itself in Monsey. In comparatively early life his mind was in a
flighty state about money matters. For years he was a victim of that
incredulity which makes the capitalist imagine a great and prosperous
country to be the most insecure of all debtors. He preferred investing
his money in any wild speculation to confiding it to the safe custody
of the funds. Even his ready cash he for long could not bring himself
to trust in the hands of a banker. When he left town for a trip, he
had recourse to the most absurd schemes for the protection of his
money. Before setting out, on one occasion, for a journey to Norfolk,
incredulous with regard to cash-boxes and bureaus, he hid a
considerable quantity of gold and notes in the fireplace of his study,
covering them up artistically with cinders and shavings. A month
afterwards, returning (luckily a few days before he was expected), he
found his old house-maid preparing to entertain a few friends at tea
in her master's room. The hospitable domestic was on the point of
lighting the fire, and had just applied a candle to the doctor's
notes, when he entered the room, seized on a pail of water that
chanced to be standing near, and, throwing its contents over the fuel
and the old woman, extinguished the fire and her presence of mind at
the same time. Some of the notes, as it was, were injured, and the
Bank of England made objections to cashing them.

To the last Monsey acted by his own rules instead of by those of other
people. He lived to extreme old age, dying in his rooms in Chelsea
College, on December 26th, 1788, in his ninety-fifth year; and his
will was as remarkable as any other feature of his career. To a young
lady mentioned in it, with the most lavish encomiums on her wit,
taste, and elegance, was left an old battered snuff-box--not worth
sixpence; and to another young lady, whom the testator says he
intended to have enriched with a handsome legacy, he leaves the
gratifying assurance that he changed his mind on finding her "a pert,
conceited minx." After inveighing against bishops, deans, and
chapters, he left an annuity to two clergymen who had resigned their
preferment on account of the Athanasian doctrine. He directed that his
body should not be insulted with any funeral ceremony, but should
undergo dissection; after which, the "remainder of my carcase" (to use
his own words) "may be put into a hole, or crammed into a box with
holes, and thrown into the Thames." In obedience to this part of the
will, Mr. Forster, surgeon, of Union Court, Broad Street, dissected
the body, and delivered a lecture on it to the medical students in the
theatre of Guy's Hospital. The bulk of the doctor's fortune, amounting
to about \xA316,000, was left to his only daughter for life, and after
her demise, by a complicated entail, to her _female_ descendants. This
only child, Charlotte Monsey, married William Alexander, a
linen-draper in Cateaton Street, City, and had a numerous family. One
of her daughters married the Rev. Edmund Rolfe, rector of Cockley
Clay, Norfolk, of which union Robert Monsey Rolfe, Baron Cranworth of
Cranworth, county of Norfolk, is the offspring.

Before making the above-named and final disposition of his body, the
old man found vent for his ferocious cynicism and vulgar infidelity in
the following epitaph, which is scarcely less characteristic of the
society in which the writer had lived, than it is of the writer


    "Here lie my old bones; my vexation now ends;
    I have lived much too long for myself and my friends.
    As to churches and churchyards, which men may call holy,
    'Tis a rank piece of priestcraft, and founded on folly.
    What the next world may be never troubled my pate;
    And be what it may, I beseech you, O fate,
    When the bodies of millions rise up in a riot,
    To let the old carcase of Mounsey be quiet."

Unpleasant old scamp though he in many respects was, Monsey retains
even at this day so firm a hold of the affections of all students who
like ferreting into the social history of the last century, that no
chance letter of his writing is devoid of interest. The following
specimen of his epistolary style, addressed to his fair patient, the
accomplished and celebrated Mrs. Montague (his acquaintance with which
lady has already been alluded to), is transcribed from the original
manuscript in the possession of Dr. Diamond:--

                                  "4th of March, a minute past 12.

     "Now dead men's ghosts are getting out of their graves, and
     there comes the ghost of a doctor in a white sheet to wait
     upon you. Your Tokay is got into my head and your love into
     my heart, and they both join to club their thanks for the
     pleasantest day I have spent these seven years; and to my
     comfort I find a man may be in love, and be happy, provided
     he does not go to book for it. I could have trusted till
     the morning to show my gratitude, but the Tokay wou'd have
     evaporated, and then I might have had nothing to talk of but
     an ache in my head and pain in my heart. Bacchus and Cupid
     should always be together, for the young gentleman is very
     apt to be silly when he's alone by himself; but when old
     toss-pot is with him, if he pretends to fall a whining, he
     hits him a cursed knock on the pate, and says: 'Drink about,
     you....' 'No, Bacchus, don't be in a passion. Upon my soul
     you have knocked out one of my eyes!' 'Eyes, ye scroundrel?
     Why, you have never had one since you were born.... Apollo
     would have couched you, but your mother said no; for then,
     says she, "he can never be blamed for his shot, any more
     than the people that are shot at." She knew 'twould bring
     grist to her mill; for what with those who pretended they
     were in love and were not so, and those who were really so
     and wouldn't own it, I shall find rantum scantum work at
     Cyprus, Paphos, and Cythera. Some will come to acquire what
     they never had, and others to get rid of what they find very
     troublesome, and I shall mind none of 'em.' You see how the
     goddess foresaw and predicted my misfortunes. She knew I was
     a sincere votary, and that I was a martyr to her serene
     influence. Then how could you use me so like an Hyrcanian
     tygress, and be such an infidel to misery; that though I
     hate you mortally, I wish you may feel but one poor
     _half-quarter-of-an-hour_ before you slip your breath--how
     shall I rejoice at your horrid agonies? _Nec enim lex
     justior ulla Quam necis artifices arte perire su\xE2_--Remember

     "My ills have disturbed my brain, and the revival of old
     ideas has set it a-boyling, that, till I have skim'd off
     the froth, I can't pretend to say a word for myself; and by
     the time I have cleared off the scum, the little grudge that
     is left may be burnt to the bottom of the pot.

    "My mortal injuries have turned my mind,
    And I could hate myself for being blind
    But why should I thus rave of eyes and looks?
    All I have felt is fancy--all from Books.
    I stole my charmers from the cuts of Quarles,
    And my dear Clarissa from the grand Sir Charles.
    But if his mam or Cupid live above,
    Who have revenge in store for injured love,
    O Venus, send dire ruin on her head,
    Strike the Destroyer, lay the Victress dead;
    Kill the Triumphress, and avenge my wrong
    In height of pomp, while she is warm and young.
    Grant I may stand and dart her with my eyes
    While in the fiercest pangs of life she lies,
    Pursue her sportive soul and shoot it as it flies,
    And cry with joy--There Montague lies flat,
    Who wronged my passion with her barbarous Chat,
    And was as cruel as a Cat to Rat,
    As cat to rat--ay, ay, as cat to rat.
    And when you got her up into your house,
    Clinch yr, fair fist, and give her such a souse:
    There, Hussy, take you that for all your Prate,
    Your barbarous heart I do a-bo-mi-nate.
    I'll take your part, my dearest faithful Doctor!
    I've told my son, and see how he has mockt her!
    He'll fire her soul and make her rant and rave;
    See how she groans to be old Vulcan's slave.
    The fatal bow is bent. Shoot, Cupid, shoot,
    And there's your Montague all over soot.
    Now say no more my little Boy is blind,
    For sure this tyrant he has paid in kind.
    She fondly thought to captivate a lord.
    A lord, sweet queen? 'Tis true, upon my word.
    And what's his name? His name? Why--
    And thought her parts and wit the feat had done.
    But he had parts and wit as well as she.
    Why then, 'tis strange those folks did not agree.
    Agree? Why, had she lived one moment longer,
    His love was strong, but madam's grew much stronger.
                                  _Hiatus valde deflendus._
    So for her long neglect of Venus' altar
    I changed Cu's Bowstring to a silken Halter;
    I made the noose, and Cupid drew the knot.
    Dear mam! says he, don't let her lie and rot,
    She is too pretty. Hold your tongue, you sot!
    The pretty blockhead? None of yr. rogue's tricks.
    Ask her, she'll own she's turned of thirty-six.
    I was but twenty when I got the apple,
    And let me tell you, 'twas a cursed grapple.
    Had I but staid till I was twenty-five,
    I'ad surely lost it, as you're now alive!
    Paris had said to Juno and Minerva,
    Ladies, I'm yours, and shall be glad to serve yer;
    I must have bowed to wisdom and to power.
    And Troy had stood it to this very hour,
    Homer had never wrote, nor wits had read
    Achilles' anger or Patroclus dead.
    We gods and goddesses had lived in riot,
    And the blind fool had let us all be quiet.
    Mortals had never been stunn'd with!!!!!!!--
    Nor Virgil's wooden horse play'd Hocus Pocus.
    Hang the two Bards! But Montague is pretty.
    Sirrah, you lie; but I'll allow she's witty.
    Well! but I'm told she was so at fifteen,
    Ay, and the veriest so that e'er was seen.
    Why that I own; and I myself----

     "But, hold! as in all probability I am going to tell a
     parcel of cursed lies, I'll travel no further, lay down my
     presumptuous pen, and go to bed; for it's half-past two, and
     two hours and an half is full long enough to write nonsense
     at one time. You see what it is to give a Goth Tokay: you
     manure your land with filth, and it produces Tokay; you
     enrich a man with Tokay, and he brings forth the froth and
     filth of nonsense. You will learn how to bestow it better
     another time. I hope what you took yourself had a better, or
     at least no bad, effect. I wish you had wrote me a note
     after your first sleep. There wou'd have been your sublime
     double-distilled, treble-refined wit. I shouldn't have known
     it to be yours if it could have been anybody's else.

     "Pray don't show these humble rhimes to R----y. That puppy
     will write notes upon 'em or perhaps paint 'em upon
     sign-posts, and make 'em into an invitation to draw people
     to see the Camel and Dromedary--for I see he can make
     anything of anything; but, after all, why should I be
     afraid? Perhaps he might make something of nothing. I have
     wrote in heroics. Sure the wretch will have a reverence for
     heroics, especially for such as he never saw before, and
     never may again. Well, upon my life I will go to bed--'tis a
     burning shame to sit up so. I lie, for my fire is out, and
     so will my candle too if I write a word more.

     "So I will only make my mark.            =X=

     "God eternally bless and preserve you from such writers."

                                      "March 5th, 12 o'clock.

     "My fever has been so great that I have not had any time to
     write to you in such a manner as to try and convince you
     that I had recovered my senses, and I could write a sober
     line. Pray, how do you do after your wine and its effects on
     you, as well as upon me? You are grown a right down rake,
     and I never expect you for a patient again as long as we
     live, the last relation I should like to stand to you in,
     and which nothing could make bearable but serving you, and
     that is a _J'ay pays_ for all my misery in serving you ill.

     "I am called out, so adieu."

                                                   "March 6th.

     "How do you stand this flabby weather? I tremble to hear,
     but want to hear of all things. If you have done with my
     stupid West India Ly., pray send 'em, for they go to-morrow
     or next day at latest. 'Tis hardly worth while to trouble
     Ld L with so much chaff and so little wheat--then why you!

     "Very true. 'Tis a sad thing to have to do with a fool, who
     can't keep his nonsense to himself. You know I am a rose,
     but I have terrible prickles. Dear madam, adieu. Pray God I
     may hear you are well, or that He will enable me to make you
     so, for you must not be sick or die. I'll find fools and
     rogues enough to be that for you, that are good for nothing
     else, and hardly, very hardly, good enough for that. Adieu,
     Adieu! I say Adieu, Adieu.

                                                          "M. M."

Truly did Dr. Messenger Monsey understand the art of writing a long
letter about nothing.



There were two Akensides--Akenside the poet, and Akenside the man; and
of the _man_ Akenside there were numerous subdivisions. Remarkable as
a poet, he was even yet more noteworthy a private individual in his
extreme inconsistency. No character is more commonplace than the one
to which is ordinarily applied the word contradictory; but Akenside
was a curiosity from the extravagance in which this form of "the
commonplace" exhibited itself in his disposition and manners.

By turns he was placid, irritable, simple, affected, gracious,
haughty, magnanimous, mean, benevolent, harsh, and sometimes even
brutal. At times he was marked by a childlike docility, and at other
times his vanity and arrogance displayed him almost as a madman. Of
plebeian extraction, he was ashamed of his origin, and yet was
throughout life the champion of popular interests. Of his real
humanity there can be no doubt, and yet in his demeanour to the
unfortunate creatures whom, in his capacity of a hospital-physician,
he had to attend, he was always supercilious, and often cruel.

Like Byron, he was lame, one of his legs being shorter than the other;
and of this personal disfigurement he was even more sensitive than was
the author of "Childe Harold" of his deformity. When his eye fell on
it he would blush, for it reminded him of the ignoble condition in
which he was born. His father was a butcher at Newcastle-upon-Tyne;
and one of his cleavers, falling from the shop-block, had irremediably
injured the poet's foot, when he was still a little child.

Akenside was not only the son of a butcher--but, worse still, a
Nonconformist butcher; and from an early period of his life he was
destined to be a sectarian minister. In his nineteenth year he was
sent to Edinburgh to prosecute his theological studies, the expenses
of this educational course being in part defrayed by the Dissenters'
Society. But he speedily discovered that he had made a wrong start,
and persuaded his father to refund the money the Society had advanced,
and to be himself at the cost of educating him as a physician. The
honest tradesman was a liberal and affectionate parent. Mark remained
three years at Edinburgh, a member of the Medical Society, and an
industrious student. On leaving Edinburgh he practised for a short
time as a surgeon at Newcastle; after which he went to Leyden, and
having spent three months in that university took his degree of doctor
of physic, May 16, 1744. At Leyden he became warmly attached to a
fellow-student named Dyson; and wonderful to be related, the two
friends, notwithstanding one was under heavy pecuniary obligations to
the other, and they were very unlike each other in some of their
principal characteristics, played the part of Pylades and Orestes,
even into the Valley of Death. Akenside was poor, ardent, and of a
nervous, poetic temperament. Dyson was rich, sober, and
matter-of-fact, a prudent place-holder. He rose to be clerk of the
House of Commons, and a Lord of the Treasury; but the atmosphere of
political circles and the excitement of public life never caused his
heart to forget its early attachment. Whilst the poet lived Dyson was
his munificent patron, and when death had stepped in between them, his
literary executor. Indeed, he allowed him for years no less a sum than
\xA3300 per annum.

Akenside was never very successful as a physician, although he
thoroughly understood his profession, and in some important
particulars advanced its science. Dyson introduced him into good
society, and recommended him to all his friends; but the greatest
income Akenside ever made was most probably less than what he obtained
from his friend's generosity. Still, he must have earned something,
for he managed to keep a carriage and pair of horses; and \xA3300 per
annum, although a hundred years ago that sum went nearly twice as far
as it would now, could not have supported the equipage. His want of
patients can easily be accounted for. He was a vain, tempestuous,
crotchety little man, little qualified to override the prejudices
which vulgar and ignorant people cherish against lawyers and
physicians who have capacity and energy enough to distinguish
themselves in any way out of the ordinary track of their professional

He was admitted, by mandamus, to a doctor's degree at Cambridge; and
became a fellow of the Royal Society, and a fellow of the Royal
College of Physicians. He tried his luck at Northampton, and found he
was not needed there; he became an inhabitant of Hampstead, but failed
to ingratiate himself with the opulent gentry who in those days
resided in that suburb; and lastly fixed himself in Bloomsbury Square
(\xE6tat. 27), where he resided till his death. After some delay, he
became a physician of St. Thomas's Hospital, and an assistant
physician of Christ's Hospital--read the Gulstonian Lectures before
the College of Physicians, in 1755--and was also Krohnian Lecturer. In
speeches and papers to learned societies, and to various medical
treatises, amongst which may be mentioned his "De Dysentari\xE2
Commentarius," he tried to wheedle himself into practice. But his
efforts were of no avail. Sir John Hawkins, in his absurd Life of Dr.
Johnson, tells a good story of Saxby's rudeness to the author of the
"Pleasures of Imagination." Saxby was a custom-house clerk, and made
himself liked in society by saying the rude things which other people
had the benevolence to feel, but lacked the hardihood to utter. One
evening, at a party, Akenside argued, with much warmth and more
tediousness, that physicians were better and wiser men than the world
ordinarily thought.

"Doctor," said Saxby, "after all you have said, my opinion of the
profession is this: the ancients endeavoured to make it a science, and
failed; and the moderns to make it a trade, and succeeded."

He was not liked at St. Thomas's Hospital. The gentle Lettsom, whose
mild poetic nature had surrounded the author of "The Pleasures of
Imagination" with a halo of romantic interest, when he entered himself
a student of that school, was shocked at finding the idol of his
admiration so irritable and unkindly a man. He was, according to
Lettsom's reminiscences, thin and pale, and of a strumous countenance.
His injured leg was lengthened by a false heel. In dress he was
scrupulously neat and delicate, always having on his head a
well-powdered white wig, and by his side a long sword. Any want of
respect to him threw him into a fit of anger. One amongst the students
who accompanied him on a certain occasion round the wards spat on the
floor behind the physician. Akenside turned sharply on his heel, and
demanded who it was that dared to spit in his face. To the poor women
who applied to him for medical advice he exhibited his dislike in the
most offensive and cruel manner. The students who watched him closely,
and knew the severe disappointment his affections had suffered in
early life, whispered to the novice that the poet-physician's
moroseness to his female patients was a consequence of his having felt
the goads of despised love. The fastidiousness of the little fellow at
having to come so closely in contact with the vulgar rabble, induced
him sometimes to make the stronger patients precede him with brooms
and clear a way for him through the crowd of diseased wretches. Bravo,
my butcher's boy! This story of Akenside and his lictors, pushing back
the unsightly mob of lepers, ought to be read side by side with that
of the proud Duke of Somerset, who, when on a journey, used to send
outriders before him to clear the roads, and prevent vulgar eyes from
looking at him.

On one occasion Akenside ordered an unfortunate male patient of St.
Thomas's to take boluses of bark. The poor fellow complained that he
could not swallow them. Akenside was so incensed at the man's
presuming to have an opinion on the subject, that he ordered him to be
turned out of the hospital, saying, "He shall not die under my care."
A man who would treat his _poor_ patients in this way did not deserve
to have any _rich_ ones. These excesses of folly and brutality,
however, ere long reached the ears of honest Richard Chester, one of
the governors, and that good fellow gave the doctor a good scolding,
roundly telling him, "Know, thou art a servant of this charity."

Akenside's self-love received a more humorous stab than the poke
administered by Richard Chester's blunt cudgel, from Mr. Baker, one of
the surgeons at St. Thomas's. To appreciate the full force of the
story, the reader must recollect that the jealousy, which still exists
between the two branches of the medical profession, was a century
since so violent that even considerations of interest failed in some
cases to induce eminent surgeons and physicians to act together. One
of Baker's sons was the victim of epilepsy, and frequent fits had
impaired his faculties. Baker was naturally acutely sensitive of his
child's misfortune, and when Akenside had the bad taste to ask to what
study the afflicted lad intended to apply, the father answered, "I
find he is not capable of making a surgeon, so I have sent him to
Edinburgh to make a physician of him." Akenside felt this sarcasm so
much, that he for a long time afterward refused to hold any
intercourse with Baker.

But Akenside had many excuses for his irritability. He was very
ambitious, and failed to achieve that success which the possession of
great powers warranted him in regarding as his due. It was said of
Garth that no physician understood his art more, or his trade less!
and this, as Mr. Bucke, in his beautiful "Life of Arkenside," remarks,
was equally true of the doctor of St. Thomas's. He had a thirst for
human praise and worldly success, and a temperament that caused him,
notwithstanding all his sarcasms against love, to estimate at their
full worth the joys of married life; yet he lived all his days a poor
man, and died a bachelor. Other griefs also contributed to sour his
temper. His lot was cast in times that could not justly appreciate his
literary excellences. His sincere admiration of classic literature and
art and manners was regarded by the coarse herd of rich and stupid
Londoners as so perfectly ridiculous, that when Smollett had the bad
taste to introduce him into _Peregrine Pickle_, as the physician who
gives a dinner after the manner of the ancients, the applause was
general, and every city tradesman, with scholarship enough to read the
novel, had a laugh at the expense of a man who has some claims to be
regarded as the greatest literary genius of his time. The polished and
refined circles of English life paid homage to his genius, but even in
them he failed to meet with the cordial recognition he deserved.
Johnson, though he placed him above Gray and Mason, did not do him
justice. Boswell didn't see much in him. Horace Walpole differed from
the friend who asked him to admire the "Pleasures of Imagination."
The poets and wits of his own time had a high respect for his critical
opinion, and admitted the excellence of his poetry--but almost
invariably with some qualification. And Akenside was one who thirsted
for the complete assent of the applauding world. He died after a brief
illness in his forty-ninth year, on the 23rd of June, 1770; and we
doubt not, when the Angel of Death touched him, the heart that ceased
to beat was one that had known much sorrow.

Akenside's poetical career was one of unfulfilled promise. At the age
of twenty-three he had written "The Pleasures of the Imagination."
Pope was so struck with the merits of the poem, that when Dodsley
consulted him about the price set on it by the author (\xA3120), he told
him to make no niggardly offer, for it was the work of no every-day
writer. But he never produced another great work. Impressed with the
imperfections of his achievement, he occupied himself with incessantly
touching and re-touching it up, till he came to the unwise
determination of re-writing it. He did not live to accomplish this
suicidal task; but the portion of it which came to the public was
inferior to the original poem, both in power and art.



High amongst literary, and higher yet amongst benevolent, physicians
must be ranked John Coakley Lettsom, formerly president of the
Philosophical Society of London. A West Indian, and the son of a
planter, he was born on one of his father's little islands, Van Dyke,
near Tortola, in the year 1744. Though bred a Quaker, he kept his
heart so free from sectarianism, and his life so entirely void of the
formality and puritanic asceticism of the Friends, that his ordinary
acquaintance marvelled at his continuing to wear the costume of the
brotherhood. At six years of age he was sent to England for education,
being for that purpose confided to the protection of Mr. Fothergill,
of Warrington, a Quaker minister, and younger brother of Dr. John
Fothergill. After receiving a poor preparatory education, he was
apprenticed to a Yorkshire apothecary, named Sutcliffe, who, by
industry and intelligence, had raised himself from the position of a
weaver to that of the first medical practitioner of Settle. In the
last century a West Indian was, to the inhabitants of a provincial
district, a rare curiosity; and Sutcliffe's surgery, on the day that
Lettsom entered it in his fifteenth year, was surrounded by a dense
crowd of gaping rustics, anxious to see a young gentleman accustomed
to walk on his head. This extraordinary demonstration of curiosity was
owing to the merry humour of Sutcliffe's senior apprentice, who had
informed the people that the new pupil, who would soon join him, came
from a country where the feet of the inhabitants were placed in an
exactly opposite direction to those of Englishmen.

Sutcliffe did not find his new apprentice a very handy one. "Thou
mayest make a physician, but I think not a good apothecary," the old
man was in the habit of saying; and the prediction in due course
turned out a correct one. Having served an apprenticeship of five
years, and walked for two the wards of St. Thomas's Hospital, where
Akenside was a physician, conspicuous for supercilious manner and want
of feeling, Lettsom returned to the West Indies, and settled as a
medical practitioner in Tortola. He practised there only five months,
earning in that time the astonishing sum of \xA32000; when, ambitious of
achieving a high professional position, he returned to Europe, visited
the medical schools of Paris and Edinburgh, took his degree of M.D. at
Leyden on the 20th of June, 1769, was admitted a licentiate of the
Royal College of Physicians of London in the same year, and in 1770
was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

From this period till his death, in 1815 (Nov. 20), he was one of the
most prominent figures in the scientific world of London. As a
physician he was a most fortunate man; for without any high reputation
for professional acquirements, and with the exact reverse of a good
preliminary education, he made a larger income than any other
physician of the same time. Dr. John Fothergill never made more than
\xA35000 in one year; but Lettsom earned \xA33600 in 1783--\xA33900 in
1784--\xA34015 in 1785-and \xA34500 in 1786. After that period his practice
rapidly increased, so that in some years his receipts were as much as
\xA312,000. But although he pocketed such large sums, half his labours
were entirely gratuitous. Necessitous clergymen and literary men he
invariably attended with unusual solicitude and attention, but without
ever taking a fee for his services. Indeed, generosity was the ruling
feature of his life. Although he burdened himself with the public
business of his profession, was so incessantly on the move from one
patient to another that he habitually knocked up three pairs of horses
a-day, and had always some literary work or other upon his desk, he
nevertheless found time to do an amount of labour, in establishing
charitable institutions and visiting the indigent sick, that would by
itself have made a reputation for an ordinary person.

To give the mere list of his separate benevolent services would be to
write a book about them. The General Dispensary, the Finsbury
Dispensary, the Surrey Dispensary, and the Margate Sea-bathing
Infirmary, originated in his exertions; and he was one of the first
projectors of--the Philanthropic Society, St. Georges-in-the-Fields,
for the Prevention of Crimes, and the Reform of the Criminal Poor; the
Society for the Discharge and Relief of Persons Imprisoned for Small
Debts; the Asylum for the Indigent Deaf and Dumb; the Institution for
the Relief and Employment of the Indigent Blind; and the Royal Humane
Society, for the recovery of the apparently drowned or dead. And year
by year his pen sent forth some publication or other to promote the
welfare of the poor, and succour the afflicted. Of course there were
crowds of clever spectators of the world's work, who smiled as the
doctor's carriage passed them in the streets, and said he was a deuced
clever fellow to make ten thousand a-year so easily; and that, after
all, philanthropy was not a bad trade. But Lettsom was no calculating
humanitarian, with a tongue discoursing eloquently on the sufferings
of mankind, and an eye on the sharp look-out for his own interest.
What he was before the full stare of the world, that he was also in
his own secret heart, and those private ways into which hypocrisy
cannot enter. At the outset of his life, when only twenty-three years
old, he liberated his slaves--although they constituted almost his
entire worldly wealth, and he was anxious to achieve distinction in a
profession that offers peculiar difficulties to needy aspirants. And
when his career was drawing to a close, he had to part with his
beloved countryseat because he had impoverished himself by lavish
generosity to the unfortunate.

There was no sanctimonious affectation in the man. He wore a drab coat
and gaiters, and made the Quaker's use of _Thou_ and _Thee_; but he
held himself altogether apart from the prejudices of his sect. A poet
himself of some respectability, he delighted in every variety of
literature, and was ready to shake any man by the hand--Jew or
Gentile. He liked pictures and works of sculpture, and spent large
sums upon them; into the various scientific movements of the time he
threw himself with all the energy of his nature; and he disbursed a
fortune in surrounding himself at Camberwell with plants from the
tropics. He liked good wine, but never partook of it to excess,
although his enemies were ready to suggest that he was always glad to
avail himself of an excuse for getting intoxicated. And he was such a
devoted admirer of the fair sex, that the jealous swarm of needy men
who envied him his prosperity, had some countenance for their slander
that he was a Quaker debauchee. He married young, and his wife
outlived him; but as a husband he was as faithful as he proved in
every other relation of life.

Saturday was the day he devoted to entertaining his friends at Grove
Hill, Camberwell; and rare parties there gathered round
him--celebrities from every region of the civilized world, and the
best "good fellows" of London. Boswell was one of his most frequent
guests, and, in an ode to Charles Dilly, celebrated the beauties of
the physician's seat and his humane disposition:--

    "My cordial Friend, still prompt to lend
      Your cash when I have need on't;
    We both must bear our load of care--
      At least we talk and read on't."

    "Yet are we gay in ev'ry way,
      Not minding where the joke lie;
    On Saturday at bowls we play
      At Camberwell with Coakley."

    "Methinks you laugh to hear but half
      The name of Dr. Lettsom:
    From him of good--talk, liquors, food--
      His guests will always get some."

    "And guests has he, in ev'ry degree,
      Of decent estimation:
    His liberal mind holds all mankind
      As an extended Nation.

    "O'er Lettsom's cheer we've met a peer--
      A peer--no less than Lansdowne!
    Of whom each dull and envious skull
      Absurdly cries--'The man's down!'

    "Down do they say? How then, I pray,
      His king and country prize him!
    Through the whole world known, his peace alone
      Is sure t' immortalize him.

    "Lettsom we view a _Quaker_ true,
      'Tis clear he's so in one sense:
    His _spirit_, strong, and ever young,
      Refutes pert Priestley's nonsense.

    "In fossils he is deep, we see;
      Nor knows Beasts, Fishes, Birds ill;
    With plants not few, some from Pelew,
      And wondrous Mangel Wurzel!

    "West India bred, warm heart, cool head,
      The city's first physician;
    By schemes humane--want, sickness, pain,
      To aid in his ambition.

    "From terrace high he feasts his eye,
      When practice grants a furlough;
    And, while it roves o'er Dulwich groves,
      Looks down--even upon Thurlow."

The concluding line is an allusion to the Lord Chancellor's residence
at Dulwich.

In person, Lettsom was tall and thin--indeed, almost attenuated: his
face was deeply lined, indicating firmness quite as much as
benevolence; and his complexion was of a dark yellow hue. His
eccentricities were numerous. Like the founder of his sect, he would
not allow even respect for royalty to make an alteration in his
costume which his conscience did not approve; and George III., who
entertained a warm regard for him, allowed him to appear at Court in
the ordinary Quaker garb, and to kiss his hand, though he had neither
powder on his head, nor a sword by his side. Lettsom responded to his
sovereign's courtesy by presenting him with some rare and
unpurchasable medals.

Though his writings show him to have been an enlightened physician for
his time, his system of practice was not of course free from the
violent measures which were universally believed in during the last
century. He used to say of himself,

            "When patients sick to me apply,
              I physics, bleeds and sweats 'em;
            Then--if they choose to die,
    What's that to me--I lets 'em."--(I. Lettsom.)

But his prescriptions were not invariably of a kind calculated to
depress the system of his patient. On one occasion an old American
merchant, who had been ruined by the rupture between the colonies and
the mother country, requested his attendance and professional advice.
The unfortunate man was seventy-four years of age, and bowed down with
the weight of his calamities.

"Those trees, doctor," said the sick man, looking out of his bed-room
window over his lawn, "I planted, and have lived to see some of them
too old to bear fruit; they are part of my family: and my children,
still dearer to me, must quit this residence, which was the delight of
my youth, and the hope of my old age."

The Quaker physician was deeply affected by these pathetic words, and
the impressive tone with which they were uttered. He spoke a few words
of comfort, and quitted the room, leaving on the table as his
prescription--a cheque for a large sum of money. Nor did his goodness
end there. He purchased the house of his patient's creditors, and
presented it to him for life.

As Lettsom was travelling in the neighbourhood of London, a highwayman
stopped his carriage, and, putting a pistol into the window, demanded
him to surrender his money. The faltering voice and hesitation of the
robber showed that he had only recently taken to his perilous
vocation, and his appearance showed him to be a young man who had
moved in the gentle ranks of life. Lettsom quickly responded that he
was sorry to see such a well-looking young man pursuing a course which
would inevitably bring him to ruin; that he would _give_ him freely
all the money he had about him, and would try to put him in a better
way of life, if he liked to call on him in the course of a few days.
As the doctor said this, he gave his card to the young man, who turned
out to be another victim of the American war. He had only made one
similar attempt on the road before, and had been driven to lawless
action by unexpected pennilessness. Lettsom endeavoured in vain to
procure aid for his _prot\xE9g\xE9_ from the commissioners for relieving the
American sufferers; but eventually the Queen, interested in the young
man's case, presented him with a commission in the army; and in a
brief military career, that was cut short by yellow fever in the West
Indies, he distinguished himself so much that his name appeared twice
in the _Gazette_.

On one of his benevolent excursions the doctor found his way into the
squalid garret of a poor woman who had seen better days. With the
language and deportment of a lady she begged the physician to give
her a prescription. After inquiring carefully into her case, he wrote
on a slip of paper to the overseers of the parish--

"A shilling per diem for Mrs Moreton. Money, not physic, will cure

Of all Lettsom's numerous works, including his contributions to the
_Gentleman's Magazine_, under the signature of "Mottles," the anagram
of his own name, the one most known to the general reader, is the
"History of some of the Effects of Hard Drinking." It concludes with a
scale of Temperance and Intemperance, in imitation of a thermometer.
To each of the two conditions seventy degrees are allotted. Against
the seventieth (or highest) degree of Temperance is marked "Water,"
under which, at distances of ten degrees, follow "Milk-and-Water,"
"Small Beer," "Cyder and Perry," "Wine," "Porter," "Strong Beer." The
tenth degree of Intemperance is "Punch"; the twentieth, "Toddy and
Crank"; the thirtieth, "Grog and Brandy and Water"; the fortieth,
"Flip and Shrub"; the fiftieth, "Bitters infused in Spirits,
Usquebaugh, Hysteric Water"; the sixtieth, "Gin, Aniseed, Brandy, Rum,
and Whisky," in the morning; the seventieth, like the sixtieth, only
taken day and night. Then follow, in tabular order, the vices,
diseases, and punishments of the different stages of Intemperance. The
mere enumeration of them ought to keep the most confirmed toper sober
for the rest of his days:--

"_Vices._--Idleness, Peevishness, Quarrelling, Fighting, Lying,
Swearing, Obscenity, Swindling, Perjury, Burglary, Murder, Suicide.

"_Diseases._--Sickness, Tremors of the Hands in the Morning,
Bloatedness, Inflamed Eyes, Red Nose and Face, Sore and Swelled Legs,
Jaundice, Pains in the Limbs, Dropsy, Epilepsy, Melancholy, Madness,
Palsy, Apoplexy, Death.

"_Punishments._--Debt, Black Eyes, Rags, Hunger, Hospital, Poor-house,
Jail, Whipping, the Hulks, Botany Bay, Gallows!"

This reads like Hogarth's Gin Lane.



     The term quack is applicable to all who, by pompous
     pretences, mean insinuations, and indirect promises,
     endeavour to obtain that confidence to which neither
     education, merit, nor experience entitles them.--_Samuel
     Parr's Definition._

Of London's modern quacks, one of the most daring was James Graham, M.
D., of Edinburgh, who introduced into England the juggleries of
Mesmer, profiting by them in this country scarcely less than his
master did on the Continent. His brother married Catherine Macaulay,
the author of the immortal History of England, which no one now-a-days
reads; the admired of Horace Walpole; the lady whose statue during her
life-time, was erected in the chancel of the church of St. Stephen's,
Walbrook. Graham's sister was married to Dr. Arnold, of Leicester, the
author of a valuable book on Insanity.

With a little intellect and more knavery, Dr. Graham ran a course very
similar to Mesmer. Emerging from obscurity in or about the year 1780,
he established himself in a spacious mansion in the Royal Terrace,
Adelphi, overlooking the Thames, and midway between the Blackfriars
and Westminster Bridges. The river front of the house was ornamented
with classic pillars; and inscribed over the principal entrance, in
gilt letters on a white compartment, was "Templum \xC6sculapio Sacrum."
The "Temple of Health," as it was usually spoken of in London, quickly
became a place of fashionable resort. Its spacious rooms were supplied
with furniture made to be stared at--sphynxes, dragons breathing
flame, marble statues, paintings, medico-electric apparatus, rich
curtains and draperies, stained glass windows, stands of armour,
immense pillars and globes of glass, and remarkably arranged plates of
burnished steel. Luxurious couches were arranged in the recesses of
the apartments, whereon languid visitors were invited to rest; whilst
the senses were fascinated with strains of gentle music, and the
perfumes of spices burnt in swinging censers. The most sacred shrine
of the edifice stood in the centre of "The Great Apollo Apartment,"
described by the magician in the following terms:--"This room is
upwards of thirty feet long, by twenty wide, and full fifteen feet
high in the ceiling; on entering which, words can convey no adequate
idea of the astonishment and awful sublimity which seizes the mind of
every spectator. The first object which strikes the eye, astonishes,
expands, and ennobles the soul of the beholder, is a magnificent
temple, sacred to health, and dedicated to Apollo. In this tremendous
edifice are combined or singly dispensed the irresistible and
salubrious influences of electricity, or the elementary fire, air, and
magnetism; three of the greatest of those agents of universal
principles, which, pervading all created being and substances that we
are acquainted with, connect, animate, and keep together all
nature;--or, in other words, principles which constitute, as it were,
the various faculties of the material soul of the universe: _the
Eternally Supreme Jehovah Himself_ being the essential source--the
Life of that Life--the Agent of those Agents--the Soul of that
Soul--the All-creating, all-sustaining, all-blessing God!--not of this
world alone--not of the other still greater worlds which we know
compose our solar system! Not the creator, the soul, the preserver of
this world alone--or of any of those which we have seen roll with
uninterrupted harmony for so many thousands of years!--not the God of
the millions of myriads of worlds, of systems, and of various ranks
and orders of beings and intelligences which probably compose the
aggregate of the grand, the vast, the incomprehensible system of the
universe!--but the eternal, infinitely wise, and infinitely powerful,
infinitely good God of the whole--the Great Sun of the Universe!"

This blasphemy was regarded in Bond Street and Mayfair as inspired
wisdom. It was held to be wicked not to believe in Dr. Graham. The
"Temple" was crowded with the noble and wealthy; and Graham, mingling
the madness of a religious enthusiast with the craft of a charlatan,
preached to his visitors and prayed over them with the zeal of Joanna
Southcote. He composed a form of prayer to be used in the Temple,
called "the Christian's Universal Prayer," a long rigmarole of
spasmodic nonsense, to the printed edition of which the author affixed
the following note: "The first idea of writing this prayer was
suggested by hearing, one evening, the celebrated Mr Fischer play on
the hautboy, with inimitable sweetness, _his long-winded_ variations
on some old tunes. I was desirous to know what effect that would have
when extended to literary composition. I made the experiment as soon
as I got home, on the Lord's Prayer, and wrote the following in bed,
before morning:"

About the "Temple of Health" there are a few other interesting
particulars extant. The woman who officiated in the "Sanctum
Sanctorum" was the fair and frail Emma--in due course to be the wife
of Sir William Hamilton, and the goddess of Nelson. The charges for
consulting the oracle, or a mere admission in the Temple, were thus
arranged. "The nobility, gentry, and others, who apply through the
day, viz., from ten to six, must pay a guinea the first consultation,
and half a guinea every time after. No person whomsoever, even
personages of the first rank, need expect to be attended at their own
houses, unless confined to bed by sickness, or to their room through
extreme weakness; and from those whom he attends at their houses two
guineas each visit is expected. Dr Graham, for reasons of the highest
importance to the public as well as to himself, has a chymical
laboratory and a great medicinal cabinet in his own house; and in the
above fixed fees either at home or abroad, every expense attending his
advice, medicines, applications, and operations, and _influences_, are
included--a few tedious, complex, and expensive operations in the
Great Apollo apartment only excepted."

But the humour of the man culminated when he bethought himself of
displaying the crutches and spectacles of restored patients, as
trophies of his victories over disease. "Over the doors of the
principal rooms, under the vaulted compartments of the ceiling, and
in each side of the centre arches of the hall, are placed
walking-sticks, ear-trumpets, visual glasses, crutches, &c., left, and
here placed as most honourable trophies, by deaf, weak, paralytic, and
emaciated persons, cripples, &c., who, being cured, have happily no
longer need of such assistances."

Amongst the furniture of the "Temple of Health" was a celestial bed,
provided with costly draperies, and standing on glass legs. Married
couples, who slept on this couch, were sure of being blessed with a
beautiful progeny. For its use \xA3100 per night was demanded, and
numerous persons of rank were foolish enough to comply with the terms.
Besides his celestial bed and magnetic tomfooleries, Graham vended an
"Elixir of Life," and subsequently recommended and superintended
earth-bathing. Any one who took the elixir might live as long as he
wished. For a constant supply of so valuable a medicine, \xA31000, paid
in advance, was the demand. More than one nobleman paid that sum. The
Duchess of Devonshire patronized Graham, as she did every other quack
who came in her way; and her folly was countenanced by Lady Spencer,
Lady Clermont, the Comtesse de Polignac, and the Comtesse de Chalon.

Of all Dr. Graham's numerous writings one of the most ridiculous is "A
clear, full, and faithful Portraiture, or Description, and ardent
Recommendation of a certain most beautiful and spotless Virgin
Princess, of Imperial descent! To a certain youthful Heir-Apparent, in
the possession of whom alone his Royal Highness can be truly,
permanently, and supremely happy. Most humbly dedicated to his Royal
Highness, George, Prince of Wales, and earnestly recommended to the
attention of the Members of both Houses of Parliament." When George
the Third was attacked for the first time with mental aberration,
Graham hastened down to Windsor, and obtaining an interview there with
the Prince Regent, with thrilling earnestness of manner assured his
Royal Highness that he would suffer in the same way as his father
unless he married a particular princess that he (Dr. Graham) was ready
to introduce to him. On the Prince inquiring the name of the lady,
Graham answered, "Evangelical Wisdom." Possibly the royal patient
would have profited, had he obeyed the zealot's exhortation. The work,
of which we have just given the title, is a frantic rhapsody on the
beauties and excellence of the Virgin Princess Wisdom, arranged in
chapters and verses, and begins thus:--

"CHAP. 1."

"Hear! all ye people of the earth, and understand; give ear
attentively, O ye kings and princes, and be admonished; yea, learn
attentively, ye who are the rulers and the judges of the people."

"2. Let the inhabitants of the earth come before me with all the
innocency and docility of little children; and the kings and
governors, with all purity and simplicity of heart.

"3. For the Holy Spirit of Wisdom! or celestial discipline! flees from
duplicity and deceit, and from haughtiness and hardness of heart; it
removes far from the thoughts that are without understanding; and will
not abide when unrighteousness cometh in."

The man who was fool enough to write such stuff as this had, however,
some common sense. He detected the real cause of the maladies of half
those who consulted him, and he did his utmost to remove it. Like the
French quack Villars, he preached up "abstinence" and "cleanliness."
Of the printed "general instructions" to his patients, No. 2 runs
thus:--"It will be unreasonable for Dr Graham's patients to expect a
complete and lasting cure, or even great alleviation of their peculiar
maladies, unless they keep their body and limbs most perfectly clean
with frequent washings, breathe fresh open air day and night, be
simple in the quality and moderate in the quantity of their food and
drink, and totally give up using deadly poisons and weakeners of both
body and soul, and the canker-worms of estates, called foreign tea and
coffee, red port wine, spirituous liquors, tobacco and snuff, gaming
and late hours, and all sinful and unnatural and excessive indulgence
of the animal appetites, and of the diabolical and degrading mental
passions. On practising the above rules, and a widely-open window day
and night, and on washing with cold water, and going to bed every
night by eight or nine, and rising by four or five, depends the very
perfection of bodily and mental health, strength, and happiness."

Many to whom this advice was given thought that ill-health, which made
them unable to enjoy anything was no worse an evil than health brought
on terms that left them nothing to enjoy. During his career Graham
moved his "Temple of Health" from the Adelphi to Pall-Mall. But he did
not prosper in the long-run. His religious extravagances for a while
brought him adherents, but when they took the form of attacking the
Established Church, they brought on him an army of adversaries. He
came also into humiliating collision with the Edinburgh authorities.

Perhaps the curative means employed by Graham were as justifiable and
beneficial as the remedies of the celebrated doctors of Whitworth in
Yorkshire, the brothers Taylor. These gentlemen were farriers, by
profession, but condescended to prescribe for their own race as well,
always, however, regarding the vocation of brute-doctor as superior in
dignity to that of a physician. Their system of practice was a
vigorous one. They made no gradual and insidious advances on disease,
but opened against it a bombardment of shot and shell from all
directions. They bled their patients by the gallon, and drugged them
by the stone. Their druggists, Ewbank and Wallis of York, used to
supply them with a ton of Glauber's salts at a time. In their
dispensary scales and weights were regarded as the bugbears of ignoble
minds. Every Sunday morning they bled _gratis_ any one who liked to
demand a prick from their lancets. Often a hundred poor people were
seated on the surgery benches at the same time, waiting for
venesection. When each of the party had found a seat the two brothers
passed rapidly along the lines of bared arms, the one doctor deftly
applying the ligature above the elbow, and the other immediately
opening the vein, the crimson stream from which was directed to a
wooden trough that ran round the apartment in which the operations
were performed. The same magnificence of proportion characterized
their administration of kitchen physic. If they ordered a patient
broth, they directed his nurse to buy a large leg of mutton, and boil
it in a copper of water down to a strong decoction, of which a quart
should be administered at stated intervals.

When the little Abb\xE9 de Voisenon was ordered by his physician to drink
a quart of ptisan per hour he was horrified. On his next visit the
doctor asked,

"What effect has the ptisan produced?"

"Not any," answered the little Abb\xE9.

"Have you taken it all?"

"I could not take more than half of it."

The physician was annoyed, even angry that his directions had not been
carried out, and frankly said so.

"_Ah, my friend_," pleaded the Abb\xE9, "_how could you desire me to
swallow a quart an hour?--I hold but a pint!_"

This reminds us of a story we have heard told of an irascible
physician who died, after attaining a venerable age, at the close of
the last century. The story is one of those which, told once, are told
many times, and affixed to new personages, according to the whim or
ignorance of the narrator.

"Your husband is very ill--very ill--high fever," observed the Doctor
to the poor labourer's wife; "and he's old, worn, emaciated: his hand
is as dry as a Suffolk cheese. You must keep giving him water--as much
as he'll drink; and, as I am coming back to-night from Woodbridge,
I'll see him again. There--don't come snivelling about me!--my heart
is a deuced deal too hard to stand that sort of thing. But, since you
want something to cry about, just listen--your husband _isn't going to
die yet_! There, now you're disappointed. Well, you brought it on
yourself. Mind lots of water--as much as he'll drink"

The doctor was ashamed of the feminine tenderness of his heart, and
tried to hide it under an affectation of cynicism, and a manner at
times verging on brutality. Heaven bless all his descendants,
scattered over the whole world, but all of them brave and virtuous! A
volume might be written on his good qualities; his only bad one being
extreme irascibility. His furies were many, and sprung from divers
visitations; but nothing was so sure to lash him into a tempest as to
be pestered with idle questions.

"Water, sir?" whined Molly Meagrim. "To be sure, your honour--water he
shall have, poor dear soul! But, your honour, how much water ought I
to give him?"

"Zounds, woman! haven't I told you to give him as much as he'll
take?--and you ask me how much! _How much?_--give him a couple of
pails of water, if he'll take 'em. Now, do you hear me, you old fool?
Give him a couple of pails."

"The Lord bless your honour--yes," whined Molly.

To get beyond the reach of her miserable voice the Doctor ran to his
horse, and rode off to Woodbridge. At night as he returned, he stopped
at the cottage to inquire after the sick man.

"He's bin took away, yer honour," said the woman, as the physician
entered. "The water didn't fare to do him noan good--noan in the
lessest, sir. Only then we couldn't get down the right quantity,
though we did our best. We got down better nor a pail and a half,
when he slipped out o' our hands. Ah, yer honour! if we could but ha'
got him to swaller the rest, he might still be alive! But we did our
best, Doctor!"

Clumsy empirics, however, as the Taylors were, they attended people of
the first importance. The elder Taylor was called to London to attend
Thurlow, Bishop of Durham, the brother of Lord Chancellor Thurlow. The
representative men of the Faculty received him at the bishop's
residence, but he would not commence the consultation till the arrival
of John Hunter. "I won't say a word till Jack Hunter comes," roared
the Whitworth doctor; "he's the only man of you who knows anything."
When Hunter arrived, Taylor proceeded to his examination of the
bishop's state, and, in the course of it, used some ointment which he
took from a box.

"What's it made of?" Hunter asked.

"That's not a fair question," said Taylor, turning to the Lord
Chancellor, who happened to be present. "No, no, Jack. I'll send you
as much as you please, but I won't tell you what it's made of."



In the entire history of charlatanism, however, it would be difficult
to point to a career more extraordinary than the brilliant though
brief one of St. John Long, in our own cultivated London, at a time
scarcely more than a generation distant from the present. Though a
pretender, and consummate quack, he was distinguished from the vulgar
herd of cheats by the possession of enviable personal endowments, a
good address, and a considerable quantity of intellect. The son of an
Irish basket-maker, he was born in or near Doneraile, and in his
boyhood assisted in his father's humble business. His artistic
talents, which he cultivated for some time without the aid of a
drawing-master, enabled him, while still quite a lad, to discontinue
working as a rush-weaver. For a little while he stayed at Dublin, and
had some intercourse with Daniel Richardson the painter; after which
he moved to Limerick county, and started on his own account as a
portrait-painter, and an instructor in the use of the brush. That his
education was not superior to what might be expected in a clever
youth of such lowly extraction, the following advertisement, copied
from a Limerick paper of February 10, 1821, attests:--

"Mr John Saint John Long, Historical and Portrait Painter, the only
pupil of Daniel Richardson, Esq., late of Dublin, proposes, during his
stay in Limerick, to take portraits from Ittalian Head to whole
length; and parson desirous of getting theirs done, in historical,
hunting, shooting, fishing, or any other character; or their family,
grouped in one or two paintings from life-size to miniature, so as to
make an historical subject, choseing one from history."

"The costume of the period from whence it would be taken will be
particularly attended to, and the character of each proserved."

"He would take views in the country, terms per agreement. Specimens to
be seen at his Residence, No. 116, Georges Street, opposite the
Club-house, and at Mr James Dodds, Paper-staining Warehouse, Georges

"Mr Long is advised by his several friends to give instructions in the
Art of Painting in Oils, Opeak, Chalk, and Water-colours, &c., to a
limited number of Pupils of Respectability two days in each week at
stated hours."

"Gentlemen are not to attend at the same hour the Ladies attend at. He
will supply them in water-colours, &c."

How the young artist acquired the name of St. John is a mystery. When
he blazed into notoriety, his admirers asserted that it came to him in
company with noble blood that ran in his veins; but more unkind
observers declared that it was assumed, as being likely to tickle the
ears of his credulous adherents. His success as a provincial
art-professor was considerable. The gentry of Limerick liked his manly
bearing and lively conversation, and invited him to their houses to
take likenesses of their wives, flirt with their daughters, and
accompany their sons on hunting and shooting excursions. Emboldened by
good luck in his own country, and possibly finding the patronage of
the impoverished aristocracy of an Irish province did not yield him a
sufficient income, he determined to try his fortune in England. Acting
on this resolve, he hastened to London, and with ingratiating manners
and that persuasive tongue which nine Irishmen out of ten possess, he
managed to get introductions to a few respectable drawing-rooms. He
even obtained some employment from Sir Thomas Lawrence, as
colour-grinder and useful assistant in the studio; and was elected a
member of the Royal Society of Literature, and also of the Royal
Asiatic Society. But like many an Irish adventurer, before and after
him, he found it hard work to live on his impudence, pleasant manners,
and slender professional acquirements. He was glad to colour
anatomical drawings for the professors and pupils of one of the minor
surgical schools of London; and in doing so picked up a few pounds and
a very slight knowledge of the structure of the human frame. The
information so obtained stimulated him to further researches, and, ere
a few more months of starvation had passed over, he deemed himself
qualified to cure all the bodily ailments to which the children of
Adam are subject.

He invented a lotion or liniment endowed with the remarkable faculty
of distinguishing between sound and unsound tissues. To a healthy part
it was as innocuous as water; but when applied to a surface under
which any seeds of disease were lurking, it became a violent irritant,
creating a sore over the seat of mischief, and stimulating nature to
throw off the morbid virus. He also instructed his patients to inhale
the vapour which rose from a certain mixture compounded by him in
large quantities, and placed in the interior of a large mahogany case,
which very much resembled an upright piano. In the sides of this piece
of furniture were apertures, into which pipe-stalks were screwed for
the benefit of afflicted mortals, who, sitting on easy lounges, smoked
away like a party of Turkish elders.

With these two agents St. John Long engaged to combat every form of
disease--gout, palsy, obstructions of the liver, cutaneous affections;
but the malady which he professed to have the most complete command
over was consumption. His success in surrounding himself with patients
was equal to his audacity. He took a large house in Harley Street, and
fitted it up for the reception of people anxious to consult him; and
for some seasons every morning and afternoon (from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)
the public way was blocked up with carriages pressing to his door. The
old and the young alike flocked to him; but nine of his patients out
of every ten were ladies. For awhile the foolish of every rank in
London seemed to have but one form in which to display their folly.
Needy matrons from obscure suburban villages came with their guineas
to consult the new oracle; and ladies of the highest rank, fashion,
and wealth, hastened to place themselves and their daughters at the
mercy of a pretender's ignorance.

Unparalleled were the scenes which the reception-rooms of that
notorious house in Harley Street witnessed. In one room were two
enormous inhalers, with flexible tubes running outwards in all
directions, and surrounded by dozens of excited women--ladies of
advanced years, and young girls giddy with the excitement of their
first London season--puffing from their lips the medicated vapour, or
waiting till a mouth-piece should be at liberty for their pink lips.
In another room the great magician received his patients. Some he
ordered to persevere in inhalation, others he divested of their
raiment, and rubbed his miraculous liniment into their backs, between
their shoulders or over their bosoms. Strange to say, these lavations
and frictions--which invariably took place in the presence of third
persons, nurses or invalids--had very different results. The fluid,
which, as far as the eye could discern, was taken out of the same
vessel, and was the same for all, would instantaneously produce on one
lady a burning excoriation, which had in due course to be dressed with
cabbage-leaves; but on another would be so powerless that she could
wash in it, or drink it copiously, like ordinary pump-water, with
impunity. "Yes," said the wizard, "that was his system, and such were
its effects. If a girl had tubercles in her lungs, the lotion applied
to the outward surface of her chest would produce a sore, and extract
the virus from the organs of respiration. If a gentleman had a gouty
foot, and washed it in this new water of Jordan, at the cost of a
little temporary irritation the vicious particles would leave the
affected part. But on any sound person who bathed in it the fluid
would have no power whatever."

The news of the wonderful remedy flew to every part of the kingdom;
and from every quarter sick persons, wearied of a vain search after an
alleviation of their sufferings, flocked to London with hope renewed
once more. St. John Long had so many applicants for attention that he
was literally unable to give heed to all of them; and he availed
himself of this excess of business to select for treatment those cases
only where there seemed every chance of a satisfactory result. In this
he was perfectly candid, for time after time he declared that he would
take no one under his care who seemed to have already gone beyond
hope. On one occasion he was called into the country to see a
gentleman who was in the last stage of consumption; and after a brief
examination of the poor fellow's condition, he said frankly--

"Sir, you are so ill that I cannot take you under my charge at
present. You want stamina. Take hearty meals of beefsteaks and strong
beer; and if you are better in ten days, I'll do my best for you and
cure you."

It was a safe offer to make, for the sick man lived little more than
forty-eight hours longer.

But, notwithstanding the calls of his enormous practice, St. John Long
found time to enjoy himself. He went a great deal into fashionable
society, and was petted by the great and high-born, not only because
he was a notoriety, but because of his easy manners, imposing
carriage, musical though hesitating voice, and agreeable disposition.
He was tall and slight, but strongly built; and his countenance, thin
and firmly set, although frank in expression, caused beholders to
think highly of his intellectual refinement, as well as of his
decision and energy. Possibly his personal advantages had no slight
influence with his feminine applauders. But he possessed other
qualities yet more fitted to secure their esteem--an Irish impetuosity
of temperament and a sincere sympathy with the unfortunate. He was an
excellent horseman, hunting regularly, and riding superb horses. On
one occasion, as he was cantering round the Park, he saw a man strike
a woman, and without an instant's consideration he pulled up, leaped
to the ground, seized the fellow bodily, and with one enormous effort
flung him slap over the Park rails.

But horse-exercise was the only masculine pastime he was very fond of.
He was very temperate in his habits; and although Irish gentlemen
_used_ to get tipsy, he never did. Painting, music, and the society of
a few really superior women, were the principal sources of enjoyment
to which this brilliant charlatan had recourse in his leisure hours.
Many were the ladies of rank and girls of gentle houses who would have
gladly linked their fortunes to him and his ten thousand a year.[20]
But though numerous matrimonial overtures were made to him, he
persevered in his bachelor style of life; and although he was received
with peculiar intimacy into the privacy of female society, scandal
never even charged him with a want of honour or delicacy towards
women, apart from his quackery. Indeed, he broke off his professional
connection with one notorious lady of rank, rather than gratify her
eccentric wish to have her likeness taken by him in that remarkable
costume--or no costume at all--in which she was wont to receive her

  [20] A writer in the _Gentleman's Magazine_ for 1843 observes:--"In
  England, after Sir Astley, whose superiority of mind or dexterity of
  hand stood uncontested, another practitioner in that category of the
  Faculty of which it has been said, 'Periculis nostris, et experimenta
  per mortes agunt medici,' the once famous St John Long was, I believe,
  the most largely requited. I had some previous knowledge of him, and
  in 1830 he showed me his pass-book with his bankers, Sir Claude Scott
  and Co., displaying a series of credits from July, 1829, to July,
  1830, or a single year's operations, to the extent of \xA313,400, But the
  delusion soon vanished. One act of liberality on his part at that
  period, however, I think it fair to record. To a gentleman who had
  rendered him some literary aid, which his defective education made
  indispensable, he presented double, not only what he was assured would
  be an ample remuneration, but what exceeded fourfold the sum his
  friend would have been satisfied with, or had expected."

In the exercise of his art he treated women unscrupulously. Amidst the
crowd of ladies who thronged his reception-rooms he moved, smiling,
courteous, and watchful, listening to their mutual confidences about
their maladies, the constitutions of their relations, and their family
interests. Every stray sentence the wily man caught up and retained in
his memory, for future use. To induce those to become his patients who
had nothing the matter with them, and consequently would go to swell
the list of his successful cases, he used the most atrocious

"Ah, Lady Emily, I saw your dear sister," he would say to a patient,
"yesterday--driving in the Park--lovely creature she is! Ah, poor

"Poor thing, Mr. Long!--why, Catherine is the picture of health!"

"Ah," the adroit fellow would answer, sadly, "you think so--so does
she--and so does every one besides myself who sees her;
but--but--unless prompt remedial measures are taken that dear girl,
ere two short years have flown, will be in her grave." This mournful
prophecy would be speedily conveyed to Catherine's ears; and, under
the influence of that nervous dread of death which almost invariably
torments the youthful and healthy, she would implore the great
physician to save her from her doom. It was not difficult to quiet her
anxious heart. Attendance at 41, Harley Street, for six weeks, during
which time a sore was created on her breast by the corrosive liniment,
and cured by the application of cabbage-leaves and nature's kindly
processes, enabled her to go out once more into the world, sounding
her saviour's praises, and convinced that she might all her life long
expose herself to the most trying changes of atmosphere, without
incurring any risk of chest-affection.

But Mr. Long had not calculated that, although nine hundred and
ninety-nine constitutions out of every thousand would not be
materially injured by his treatment, he would at rare intervals meet
with a patient of delicate organization, on whom the application of
his blistering fluid would be followed by the most serious
consequences. In the summer of the year 1830, two young ladies, of a
good Irish family, named Cashin, came to London, and were inveigled
into the wizard's net. They were sisters; and the younger of them,
being in delicate health, called on Mr. Long, accompanied by her
elder sister. The ordinary course of inhalation and rubbing was
prescribed for the invalid; and ere long, frightened by the quack's
prediction that, unless she was subjected to immediate treatment, she
would fall into a rapid consumption, the other young lady submitted to
have the corrosive lotion rubbed over her back and shoulders. The
operation was performed on the 3rd of August. Forthwith a violent
inflammation was established: the wound, instead of healing, became
daily and hourly of a darker and more unhealthy aspect; unable to bear
the cabbage-leaves on the raw and suppurating surface, the sufferer
induced her nurse to apply a comforting poultice to the part, but no
relief was obtained from it. St. John Long was sent for, and the 14th
(just eleven days after the exhibition of the corrosive liniment), he
found his victim in a condition of extreme exhaustion and pain, and
suffering from continued sickness. Taking these symptoms as a mere
matter of course, he ordered her a tumbler of mulled wine, and took
his departure. On the following day (Sunday, 15th) he called again,
and offered to dress the wound. But the poor girl, suddenly waking up
to the peril of her position, would not permit him to touch her, and,
raising herself with an effort in her bed, exclaimed--

"Indeed, Mr. Long, you shall not touch my back again--you very well
know that when I became your patient I was in perfect health, but now
you are killing me!" Without losing his self-command at this pathetic
appeal, he looked into her earnest eyes, and said, impressively--

"Whatever inconvenience you are now suffering, it will be of short
duration, for in two or three days you will be in better health than
you ever were in your life."

But his words did not restore her confidence. The next day (the 16th)
Mr., now Sir Benjamin, Brodie was sent for, and found on the wretched
girl's back an inflamed surface about the size of a plate, having in
the centre a spot as large as the palm of his hand, which was in a
state of mortification. The time for rescue was past. Sir Benjamin
prescribed a saline draught to allay the sickness; and within
twenty-four hours Catherine Cashin, who a fortnight before had been in
perfect health and high spirits--an unusually lovely girl, in her 25th
year--lay upon her bed in the quiet of death.

An uproar immediately ensued; and there was an almost universal cry
from the intelligent people of the country, that the empiric should be
punished. A coroner's inquest was held; and, in spite of the efforts
made by the charlatan's fashionable adherents, a verdict was obtained
from the jury of man-slaughter against St. John Long. Every attempt
was made by a set of influential persons of high rank to prevent the
law from taking its ordinary course. The issue of the warrant for the
apprehension of the offender was most mysteriously and scandalously
delayed: and had it not been for the energy of Mr. Wakley, who, in a
long and useful career of public service, has earned for himself much
undeserved obloquy, the affair would, even after the verdict of the
coroner's jury, have been hushed up. Eventually, however, on Saturday,
October 30, St. John Long was placed in the dock of old Bailey,
charged with the manslaughter of Miss Cashin. Instead of deserting him
in his hour of need, his admirers--male and female--presented
themselves at the Central Criminal Court, to encourage him by their
sympathy, and to give evidence in his favour. The carriages of
distinguished members of the nobility brought fair freights of the
first fashion of May-fair down to the gloomy court-house that adjoins
Newgate; and belles of the first fashion sat all through the day in
the stifling atmosphere of a crowded court, looking languishingly at
their hero in the dock, who, from behind his barrier of rue and
fennel, distributed to them smiles of grateful recognition. The Judge
(Mr. Justice Park) manifested throughout the trial a strong
partisanship with the prisoner; and the Marchioness of Ormond, who was
accommodated with a seat on the bench by his Lordship's side,
conversed with him in whispers during the proceedings. The summing up
was strongly in favour of the accused; but, in spite of the partial
judge, and an array of fashionable witnesses in favour of the
prisoner, the jury returned a verdict of guilty.

As it was late on Saturday when the verdict was given, the judge
deferred passing sentence till the following Monday. At the opening of
the court on that day a yet greater crush of the _beau monde_ was
present; and the judge, instead of awarding a term of imprisonment to
the guilty man, condemned him merely to pay a fine of \xA3250, or to be
imprisoned till such fine was paid. Mr. St. John Long immediately took
a roll of notes from his pocket, paid the mulct, and leaving the court
with his triumphant friends, accepted a seat in Lord Sligo's
curricle, and drove to the west end of the town.

The scandalous sentence was a fit conclusion to the absurd scenes
which took place in the court of the Old Bailey, and at the coroner's
inquest. At one or the other of these inquiries the witnesses advanced
thousands of outrageous statements, of which the following may be
taken as a fair specimen:--

One young lady gave evidence that she had been cured of consumption by
Mr. Long's liniment; she knew she had been so cured, because she had a
very bad cough, and, after the rubbing in all the ointment, the cough
went away. An old gentleman testified that he had for years suffered
from attacks of the gout, at intervals of from one to three months; he
was convinced Mr. Long had cured him, because he had been free from
gout for five weeks. Another gentleman had been tortured with
headache; Mr. Long applied his lotion to it--the humour which caused
his headache came away in a clear limpid discharge. A third gentleman
affirmed that Mr. Long's liniment had reduced a dislocation of his
child's hip-joint. The Marchioness of Ormond, on oath, stated that she
_knew_ that Miss Cashin's back was rubbed with the same fluid as she
and her daughters had used to wash their hands with; but she admitted
that she neither _saw_ the back rubbed, nor _saw_ the fluid with which
it was rubbed taken from the bottle. Sir Francis Burdett also bore
testimony to the harmlessness of Mr. Long's system of practice. Mr.
Wakley, in the _Lancet_, asserted that Sir Francis Burdett had called
on Long to ask him if his liniment would give the Marquis of Anglesea
a leg, in the place of the one he lost at Waterloo, if it were
applied to the stump. Long gave an encouraging answer; and the lotion
was applied, with the result of producing not an entire foot and
leg--but a great toe!

Miss Cashin's death was quickly followed by another fatal case. A Mrs.
Lloyd died from the effects of the corrosive lotion; and again a
coroner's jury found St. John Long guilty of manslaughter, and again
he was tried at the Old Bailey--but this second trial terminated in
his acquital.

It seems scarcely creditable, and yet it is true, that these exposures
did not have the effect of lessening his popularity. The respectable
organs of the Press--the _Times_, the _Chronicle_, the _Herald_, the
_John Bull_, the _Lancet_, the _Examiner_, the _Spectator_, the
_Standard_, the _Globe_, _Blackwood_, and _Fraser_, combined in doing
their best to render him contemptible in the eyes of his supporters.
But all their efforts were in vain. His old dupes remained staunch
adherents to him, and every day brought fresh converts to their body.
With unabashed front he went everywhere, proclaiming himself a martyr
in the cause of humanity, and comparing his evil treatment to the
persecutions that Galileo, Harvey, Jenner, and Hunter underwent at the
hands of the prejudiced and ignorant. Instead of uncomplainingly
taking the lashes of satirical writers, he first endeavored to bully
them into silence, and swaggering into newspaper and magazine offices
asked astonished editors how they _dared_ to call him a _quack_.
Finding, however, that this line of procedure would not improve his
position, he wrote his defence, and published it in an octavo volume,
together with numerous testimonials of his worth from grateful
patients, and also a letter of cordial support from Dr. Ramadge, M.D.,
Oxon., a fellow of the College of Physicians. In a ridiculous and
ungrammatical epistle, defending this pernicious quack, who had been
convicted of manslaughter, Dr. Ramadge displayed not less anxiety to
blacken the reputation of his own profession, than he did to clear the
fame of the charlatan whom he designated "_a guiltless and a cruelly
persecuted individual!!!_" The book itself is one of the most
interesting to be found in quack literature. On the title-page is a
motto from Pope--"No man deserves a monument who could not be wrapped
in a winding-sheet of papers written against him"; and amongst pages
of jargon about humoral pathology, it contains confident predictions
that if his victims had _continued_ in his system, they would have
lived. The author accuses the most eminent surgeons and physicians of
his time of gross ignorance, and of having conspired together to crush
him, because they were jealous of his success and envious of his
income. He even suggests that the same saline draught, prescribed by
Sir Benjamin Brodie, killed Miss Cashin. Amongst those whose
testimonials appear in the body of the work are the _then_ Lord
Ingestre (his enthusiastic supporter), Dr. Macartney, the Marchioness
of Ormond, Lady Harriet Kavanagh, the Countess of Buckinghamshire, and
the Marquis of Sligo. The Marchioness of Ormond testifies how Mr. Long
had miraculously cured her and her daughter of "headaches," and her
youngest children of "smart attacks of feverish colds, one with
inflammatory sore throat, the others with more serious bad symptoms."
The Countess of Buckinghamshire says she is cured of "headache and
lassitude"; and Lord Ingestre avows his belief that Mr. Long's system
is "preventive of disease," because he himself is much less liable to
catch cold than he was before trying it.

Numerous pamphlets also were written in defence of John St. John Long,
Esq., M.R.S.L., and M.R.A.S. An anonymous author (calling himself a
graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, and Member of the Middle
Temple), in a tract dated 1831, does not hesitate to compare the
object of his eulogy with the author of Christianity. "But who can
wonder at Mr Long's persecutions? The brightest character that ever
stept was persecuted, even unto death! His cures were all perverted,
but they were not the less complete; they were miraculous, but they
were not the less certain!"

To the last St. John Long retained his practice; but death removed him
from the scene of his triumphs while he was still a young man. The
very malady, his control over which he had so loudly proclaimed,
brought his career--in which knavery or self-delusion, doubtless both,
played a part--to an end. He died of consumption, at the age of
thirty-seven years. Even in the grave his patients honoured him, for
they erected an elegant and costly monument to his memory, and adorned
it with the following inscription.

          "It is the fate of most men
      To have many enemies, and few friends.
              This monumental pile
        Is not intended to mark the career,
                   But to shew
       How much its inhabitant was respected
            By those who knew his worth,
                And the benefits
       Derived from his remedial discovery.
                  He is now at rest,
        And far beyond the praises or censures
                  Of this world.
    Stranger, as you respect the receptacle of the dead
        (As one of the many who will rest here),
                 Read the name of
               John Saint John Long
                 without comment."

Notwithstanding the exquisite drollery of this inscription, in
speaking of a plebeian quack-doctor (who, by the exercise of
empiricism, raised himself to the possession of \xA35000 per annum, and
the intimate friendship of numbers of the aristocracy) as the victim
of "many enemies and few friends," it cannot be said to be open to
much censure. Indeed, St. John Long's worshippers were for the most
part of that social grade in which bad taste is rare, though weakness
of understanding possibly may not be uncommon.

The sepulchre itself is a graceful structure, and occupies a prominent
position in the Kensal Green cemetery, by the side of the principal
carriage-way, leading from the entrance-gate to the chapel of the
burial-ground. Immediately opposite to it, on the other side of the
gravel drive, stands, not inappropriately, the flaunting sepulchre of
Andrew Ducrow, the horse-rider, "whose death," the inscription informs
us, "deprived the arts and sciences of an eminent professor and
liberal patron." When any cockney bard shall feel himself inspired to
write an elegy on the west-end grave-yard, he will not omit to compare
John St. John Long's tomb with that of "the liberal patron of the arts
and sciences," and also with the cumbrous heap of masonry which
covers the ashes of Dr. Morrison, hygeist, which learned word, being
interpreted, means "the inventor of Morrison's pills."

To give a finishing touch to the memoir of this celebrated charlatan,
it may be added that after his death his property became the subject
of tedious litigation; and amongst the claimants upon it was a woman
advanced in years, and of an address and style that proved her to
belong to a very humble state of life. This woman turned out to be St.
John Long's wife. He had married her when quite a lad, had found it
impossible to live with her, and consequently had induced her to
consent to an amicable separation. This discovery was a source of
great surprise, and also of enlightenment to the numerous high-born
and richly-endowed ladies who had made overtures of marriage to the
idolized quack, and, much to their surprise, had had their advances
adroitly but firmly declined.

There are yet to be found in English society, ladies--not silly,
frivolous women, but some of those on whom the world of intellect has
put the stamp of its approval--who cherish such tender reminiscences
of St. John Long, that they cannot mention his name without their eyes
becoming bright with tears. Of course this proves nothing, save the
credulity and fond infatuation of the fair ones who love. The hands of
women decked Nero's tomb with flowers.

[Illustration: _THE ANATOMIST_]



For many a day authors have had the reputation of being more sensitive
and quarrelsome than any other set of men. Truth to tell, they are not
always so amiable and brilliant as their works. There is in them the
national churlishness inducing them to nurse a contempt for every one
they don't personally know, and a spirit of antagonism towards nearly
every one they do. But to say this is only to say that they are made
of British oak. Unfortunately, however, they carry on their
contentions in a manner that gives them a wide publicity and a
troublesome duration of fame. Soldiers, when they quarrelled in the
last century, shot one another like gentlemen, at two paces' distance,
and with the crack of their pistols the whole noise of the matter
ceased. Authors, from time immemorial, have in their angry moments
rushed into print, and lashed their adversaries with satire, rendered
permanent by aid of the printer's devil,--thus letting posterity know
all the secrets of their folly, whilst the merciful grave put an end
to all memorial of the extravagances of their friends. There was
less love between Radcliffe and Hannes, Freind and Blackmore, Gibbons
and Garth, than between Pope and Dennis, Swift and Grub Street. But we
know all about the squabbles of the writers from their poems; whereas
only a vague tradition, in the form of questionable anecdotes, has
come down to us of the animosities of the doctors--a tradition which
would long ere this have died out, had not Garth--author as well as
physician--written the "Dispensary," and a host of dirty little
apothecaries contracted a habit of scribbling lampoons about their
professional superiors.

Luckily for the members of it, the Faculty of Medicine is singularly
barren of biographies. The career of a physician is so essentially one
of confidence, that even were he to keep a memorial of its interesting
occurrences, his son wouldn't dare to sell it to a publisher as the
"Revelations of a Departed Physician." Long ere it would be decent or
safe to print such a diary, the public would have ceased to take an
interest in the writer. Pettigrew's "Life of Lettsom," and Macilwain's
"Memoirs of Abernethy," are almost the only two passable biographies
of eminent medical practitioners in the English language; and the last
of these does not presume to enter fully on the social relations of
the great surgeon. The lives of Hunter and Jenner are meagre and
unworthily executed, and of Bransby Cooper's Life of his uncle little
can be said that is not in the language of emphatic condemnation.

From this absence of biographical literature the medical profession at
least derives this advantage--the world at large knows comparatively
little of their petty feuds and internal differences than it would

The few memorials, however, that we have of the quarrels of physicians
are of a kind that makes us wish we had more. Of the great battle of
the apothecaries with the physicians we have already spoken in the
notice of Sir Samuel Garth. To those who are ignorant of human nature
it may appear incredible that a body, so lovingly united against
common foes, should have warred amongst themselves. Yet such was the
case. A London druggist once put up at the chief inn of a provincial
capital, whither he had come in the course of his annual summer ride.
The good man thought it would hurt neither his health nor his
interests to give "a little supper" to the apothecaries of the town
with whom he was in the habit of doing business. Under the influence
of this feeling he sallied out from "The White Horse," and spent a few
hours in calling on his friends--asking for orders and delivering
invitations. On returning to his inn, he ordered a supper for
twelve--as eleven medical gentlemen had engaged to sup with him. When
the hour appointed for the repast was at hand, a knock at the door was
followed by the appearance of guest A, with a smile of intense
benevolence and enjoyment. Another rap--and guest B entered. A looked
blank--every trace of happiness suddenly vanishing from his face. B
stared at A, as much as to say, "You be ----!" A shuffled with his
feet, rose, made an apology to his host for leaving the room to attend
to a little matter, and disappeared. Another rap--and C made his bow
of greeting. "I'll try to be back in five minutes, but if I'm not,
don't wait for me," cried B, hurriedly seizing his hat and rushing
from the apartment. C, a cold-blooded, phlegmatic man, sat down
unconcernedly, and was a picture of sleeping contentment till the
entry of D, when his hair stood on end, and he fled into the inn-yard,
as if he were pursued by a hyena. E knocked and said, "How d' you do?"
D sprung from his chair, and shouted, "Good-bye!" And so it went on
till, on guest No. 11 joining the party--that had received so many new
comers, and yet never for an instant numbered more than three--No. 10
jumped through the window, and ran down the street to the bosom of his
family. The hospitable druggist and No. 11 found, on a table provided
for twelve, quite as much supper as they required.

Next morning the druggist called on A for an explanation of his
conduct. "Sir," was the answer, "I could not stop in the same room
with such a scoundrel as B." So it went straight down the line. B had
vowed never to exchange words with C. C would be shot rather than sit
at the same table with such a scoundrel as D.

"You gentlemen," observed the druggist, with a smile to each, "seem to
be almost as well disposed amongst yourselves as your brethren in
London; only they, when they meet, don't run from each other, but draw
up, square their elbows, and fight like men."

The duel between Mead and Woodward, as it is more particularly
mentioned in another part of these volumes, we need here only to
allude to. The contest between Cheyne and Wynter was of a less bloody
character. Cheyne was a Bath physician, of great practice and yet
greater popularity--dying in 1743, at the age of seventy-two. At one
time of his life he was so prodigiously fat that he weighed 32 stone,
he and a gentleman named Tantley being the two stoutest men in
Somersetshire. One day, after dinner, the former asked the latter what
he was thinking about.

"I was thinking," answered Tantley, "how it will be possible to get
either you or me into the grave after we die."

Cheyne was nettled, and retorted, "Six or eight stout fellows will do
the business for me, but you must be taken at twice."

Cheyne was a sensible man, and had more than one rough passage of arms
with Beau Nash, when the beau was dictator of the pump-room. Nash
called the doctor in and asked him to prescribe for him. The next day,
when the physician called and inquired if his prescription had been
followed, the beau languidly replied:--

"No, i' faith, doctor, I haven't followed it. 'Pon honour, if I had I
should have broken my neck, for I threw it out of my bed-room window."

But Cheyne had wit enough to reward the inventor of the white hat for
this piece of insolence. One day he and some of his learned friends
were enjoying themselves over the bottle, laughing with a heartiness
unseemly in philosophers, when, seeing the beau draw near, the doctor

"Hush, we must be grave now, here's a fool coming our way."

Cheyne became ashamed of his obesity, and earnestly set about
overcoming it. He brought himself down by degrees to a moderate diet,
and took daily a large amount of exercise. The result was that he
reduced himself to under eleven stone, and, instead of injuring his
constitution, found himself in the enjoyment of better health.
Impressed with the value of the discovery he had made, he wrote a book
urging all people afflicted with chronic maladies to imitate him and
try the effects of temperance. Doctors, notwithstanding their precepts
in favour of moderation, neither are, nor ever have been, averse to
the pleasures of the table. Many of them warmly resented Cheyne's
endeavours to bring good living into disrepute, possibly deeming that
their interests were attacked not less than their habits. Dryden

    "The first physicians by debauch were made.
    Excess began, and sloth sustained the trade;
    By chase our long-liv'd fathers earned their food,
    Toil strung their nerves and purified their blood;
    But we, their sons, a pamper'd race of men,
    Are dwindled down to threescore years and ten.
    Better to hunt in fields for health unbought,
    Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught;
    The wise for cure on exercise depend,
    God never made his work for man to mend."

Dr. Wynter arose to dispose of Cheyne in a summary fashion. Wynter had
two good reasons for hating Cheyne: Wynter was an Englishman and loved
wine, Cheyne was a Scotchman and loved milk.


    "Tell me from whom, fat-headed Scot,
      Thou didst thy system learn;
    From Hippocrate thou hadst it not,
      Nor Celsus, nor Pitcairn.

    "Suppose we own that milk is good,
      And say the same of grass;
    The one for babes is only food,
      The other for an ass.

    "Doctor, one new prescription try
     (A friend's advice forgive),
    Eat grass, reduce thyself, and die,
     Thy patients then may live."

Cheyne responded, with more wit and more good manners, in the
following fashion:--


    "My system, doctor, is my own,
      No tutor I pretend;
    My blunders hurt myself alone,
      But yours your dearest friend.

    "Were you to milk and straw confin'd,
      Thrice happy might you be;
    Perhaps you might regain your mind,
      And from your wit be free."

    "I can't your kind prescription try,
      But heartily forgive;
    'Tis natural you should wish me die,
      That you yourself may live."

The concluding two lines of Cheyne's answer were doubtless little to
the taste of his unsuccessful opponent.

In their contentions physicians have not often had recourse to the
duel. With them an appeal to arms has rarely been resorted to, but
when it has been deliberately made the combatants have usually fought
with decision. The few duels fought between women have for the most
part been characterized by American ferocity. Madame Dunoyer mentions
a case of a duel with swords between two ladies of rank, who would
have killed each other had they not been separated. In a feminine duel
on the Boulevard St. Antoine, mentioned by De la Colomb\xE8ire, both the
principals received several wounds on the face and bosom--a most
important fact illustrative of the pride the fair sex take in those
parts.[21] Sometimes ladies have distinguished themselves by fighting
duels with men. Mademoiselle Dureux fought her lover Antinotti in an
open street. The actress Maupin challenged Dum\xE9ny, but he declined to
give her satisfaction; so the lady stripped him of watch and
snuff-box, and bore them away as trophies of victory. The same lady,
on another occasion, having insulted in a ball-room a distinguished
personage of her own sex, was requested by several gentlemen to quit
the entertainment. She obeyed, but forthwith challenged and fought
each of the meddlesome cavaliers--and killed them all! The slaughter
accomplished, she returned to the ball-room, and danced in the
presence of her rival. The Marquise de Nesle and the Countess
Polignac, under the Regency, fought with pistols for the possession of
the Duc de Richelieu. In or about the year 1827, a lady of
Ch\xE2teauroux, whose husband had received a slap in the face, called out
the offender, and severely wounded him in a duel fought with swords.
The most dramatic affair of honour, however, in the annals of female
duelling occurred in the year 1828, when a young French girl
challenged a _garde du corps_ who had seduced her. At the meeting the
seconds took the precaution of loading without ball, the fair
principal of course being kept in ignorance of the arrangement. She
fired first and saw her seducer remain unhurt. Without flinching, or
changing colour, she stood watching her adversary, whilst he took a
deliberate aim (in order to test her courage), and then, after a
painful pause, fired into the air.

  [21] _Vide_ Millingen's "History of Duelling."

Physicians have been coupled with priests, as beings holding a
position between the two sexes. In the Lancashire factories they
allow women and clergymen the benefit of an entr\xE9e--because they don't
understand business. Doctors and ladies could hardly be coupled
together by the same consideration; but they might be put in one class
out of respect to that gentleness of demeanour and suavity of voice
which distinguish the members of the medical profession, in common
with well-bred women.

Gentle though they be, physicians have, however, sometimes indulged in
wordy wrangling, and then had recourse to more sanguinary arguments.

The duel between Dr. Williams and Dr. Bennet was one of the bloodiest
in the eighteenth century. They first battered each other with
pamphlets, and then exchanged blows. Matters having advanced so far,
Dr. Bennet proposed that the fight should be continued in a
gentlemanly style--with powder instead of fists. The challenge was
declined; whereupon Dr. Bennet called on Dr. Williams, to taunt him
with a charge of cowardice. No sooner had he rapped at the door, than
it was opened by Williams himself, holding in his hand a pistol loaded
with swan-shot, which he, without a moment's parley, discharged into
his adversary's breast. Severely wounded, Bennet retired across the
street to a friend's house, followed by Williams, who fired another
pistol at him. Such was the demoniacal fury of Williams, that, not
contented with this outrage, he drew his sword, and ran Bennet through
the body. But this last blow was repaid. Bennet managed to draw his
rapier, and give his ferocious adversary a home-thrust--his sword
entering the breast, coming out through the shoulder-blade, and
snapping short. Williams crawled back in the direction of his house,
but before he could reach it fell down dead. Bennet lived only four
hours. A pleasant scene for the virtuous capital of a civilized and
Christian people!

The example of Dr. Bennet and Dr. Williams was not lost upon the
physicians of our American cousins. In the August of 1830, a meeting
took place, near Philadelphia, between Dr. Smith and Dr. Jeffries.
They exchanged shots at eight paces, without inflicting any injury,
when their friends interposed, and tried to arrange the difficulty;
but Dr. Jeffries swore that he would not leave the ground till some
one had been killed. The principals were therefore put up again. At
the second exchange of shots Dr. Smith's right arm was broken, when he
gallantly declared that, as he was wounded, it would be gratifying to
his feelings, to be killed. Third exchange of shots, and Dr. Smith,
firing with his left arm, hits his man in the thigh, causing immense
loss of blood. Five minutes were occupied in bandaging the wound; when
Dr. Jeffries, properly primed with brandy, requested that no further
obstacles might be raised between him and satisfaction. For a fourth
time the mad men were put up--at the distance of six feet. The result
was fatal to both. Dr. Smith dropped dead with a ball in his heart.
Dr. Jeffries was shot through the breast, and survived only a few
hours. The conduct of Dr. Jeffries during those last few hours was
admirable, and most delightfully in keeping with the rest of the
proceeding. On seeing his antagonist prostrate, the doctor asked if he
was dead. On being assured that his enemy lived no longer, he
observed, "Then I die contented." He then stated that he had been a
school-mate with Dr. Smith, and that, during the fifteen years
throughout which they had been on terms of great intimacy and
friendship, he had valued him highly as a man of science and a

One of the latest duels in which an English physician was concerned as
a principal was that fought on the 10th of May, 1833, near Exeter,
between Sir John Jeffcott and Dr. Hennis. Dr. Hennis received a wound,
of which he died. The affair was brought into the Criminal Court, and
was for a short time a _cause c\xE9l\xE8bre_ on the western circuit; but the
memory of it has now almost entirely disappeared.

As we have already stated, duels have been rare in the medical
profession. Like the ladies, physicians have, in their periods of
anger, been content with speaking ill of each other. That they have
not lost their power of courteous criticism and judicious abuse, any
one may learn, who, for a few hours, breathes the atmosphere of their
cliques. It is good to hear an allopathic physician perform his duty
to society by frankly stating his opinion of the character and conduct
of an eminent hom\x9Copathic practitioner. Perhaps it is better still
to listen to an apostle of hom\x9Copathy, when he takes up his parable
and curses the hosts of allopathy. "Sir, I tell you in confidence,"
observed a distinguished man of science, tapping his auditor on the
shoulder, and mysteriously whispering in his ear, "I know _things_
about _that man_ that would make him end his days in penal servitude."
The next day the auditor was closeted in the consulting-room of _that
man_, when that man said--quite in confidence, pointing as he spoke to
a strong box, and jingling a bunch of keys in his pocket--"I have
_papers_ in that box, which, properly used, would tie a certain friend
of ours up by the neck."

Lettsom, loose-living man though he was for a member of the Society of
Friends, had enough of the Quaker element in him to be very fond of
controversy. He dearly loved to expose quackery, and in some cases did
good service in that way. In the _Medical Journal_ he attacked, A. D.
1806, no less a man than Brodum, the proprietor of the Nervous
Cordial, avowing that that precious compound had killed thousands; and
also stating that Brodum had added to the crime of wholesale murder
the atrocities of having been born a Jew, of having been a shoe-black
in Copenhagen, and of having at some period of his chequered career
carried on an ignoble trade in oranges. Of course Brodum saw his
advantage. He immediately brought an action against Phillips, the
proprietor of the _Medical Journal_, laying his damages at \xA35000. The
lawyers anticipated a harvest from the case, and were proceeding not
only against Phillips, but various newsvendors also, when a newspaper
editor stept in between Phillips and Brodum, and contrived to settle
the dispute. Brodum's terms were not modest ones. He consented to
withdraw his actions, if the name of the author was given up, and if
the author would whitewash him in the next number of the Journal,
under the same signature. Lettsom consented, paid the two attorneys'
bills, amounting to \xA3390, and wrote the required puff of Brodum and
his Nervous Cordial.

One of the singular characters of Dublin, a generation ago, was John
Brenan, M.D., a physician who edited the _Milesian Magazine_, a
scurrilous publication of the satirist class, that flung dirt on every
one dignified enough for the mob to take pleasure in seeing him
bespattered with filth. The man certainly was a great blackguard, but
was not destitute of wit. How he carried on the war with the members
of his own profession the following song will show:--


    "My gentle muse, do not refuse
    To sing the Dublin Doctors, O;
        For they're the boys
        Who make the joys
    Of grave-diggers and proctors, O.

    We'll take 'em in procession, O,
    We'll take 'em in succession, O;
        But how shall we
        Say who is he
    Shall lead the grand procession, O?

    Least wit and greatest malice, O,
    Least wit and greatest malice, O,
        Shall mark the man
        Who leads the van,
    As they march to the gallows, O.

    First come then, Doctor Big Paw, O,
    Come first then, Doctor Big Paw, O;
        Mrs Kilfoyle
        Says you would spoil
    Its shape, did you her wig paw, O.

    Come next, dull Dr Labat, O,
    Come next, dull Dr Labat, O;
        Why is it so,
        You kill the doe,
    Whene'er you catch the rabbit, O?

    Come, Harvey, drunken dandy, O,
    Come, Harvey, drunken dandy, O;
        Thee I could paint
        A walking saint,
    If you lov'd God like brandy, O.

    Come next, Doctor Drumsnuffle, O,
    Come next, Doctor Drumsnuffle, O;
        Well stuffed with lead,
        Your leather head
    Is thick as hide of Buffaloe.

    Come next, Colossus Jackson, O,
    Come next, Colossus Jackson, O;
        As jack-ass mute,
        A burthen brute,
    Just fit to trot with packs on, O.

    Come next, sweet Paddy Rooney, O,
    Come next, sweet Paddy Rooney, O;
        Tho' if you stay
        Till judgment's day,
    You'll come a month too soon-y, O.

    Come next, sweet Breeny Creepmouse, O,
    Come next, sweet Breeny Creepmouse, O;
        Thee heaven gave
        Just sense to shave
    A corpse, or an asleep mouse, O.

    For I say, creep-mouse Breeny, O,
    For I say, creep-mouse Breeny, O;
        Thee I can't sing
        The fairy's king,
    But I'll sing you their Queen-y O;

    For I say, Dr Breeny, O,
    For I say, Dr Breeny, O;
        If I for once
        Called you a dunce,
    I'd shew a judgment weeny, O.

    Come, Richards dull and brazen, O,
    Come, Richards dull and brazen, O;
        A prosperous drone,
        You stand alone,
    For wondering sense to gaze on, O.

    Then come, you greasy blockhead, O,
    Then come, you greasy blockhead, O;
        Balked by your face,
        We quickly trace,
    Your genius to your pocket, O.

    Come, Crampton, man of capers, O,
    Come, Crampton, man of capers, O;
          .      .      .      .      .

    And come, long Doctor Renney, O,
    And come, long Doctor Renney, O;
        If sick I'd fee
        As soon as thee,
    Old Arabella Denny, O.

    Come, Tandragee Ferguson, O,
    Come, Tandragee Ferguson, O;
        Fool, don't recoil,
        But as your foil
    Bring Ireland or Puke Hewson, O.

    Come, ugly Dr Alman, O,
    Come, ugly Dr Alman, O;
        But bring a mask,
        Or do not ask,
    When come, that we you call man, O.
          .      .      .      .      .

    Come, Boyton, king of dunces, O,
    Come, Boyton, king of dunces, O;
        Who call you knave
        No lies receive,
    Nay, that your name each one says, O.

    Come, Colles, do come, Aby, O,
    Come, Colles, do come, Aby, O;
        Tho' all you tell,
        You'll make them well,
    You always 'hould say may be, O.

    Come, beastly Dr Toomy, O,
    Come, beastly Dr Toomy, O;
        If impudence
        Was common sense
    As you no sage ere knew me, O.

    Come, smirking, smiling Beattie, O,
    Come, smirking, smiling Beattie, O;
        In thee I spy
        An apple eye
    Of cabbage and potaty, O.

    Come, louse-bit Nasom Adams, O,
    Come, louse-bit Nasom Adams, O;
        In jail or dock
        Your face would shock
    It thee as base and bad damus, O.

    Come next, Frank Smyth on cockney, O,
    Come next, Frank Smyth on cockney, O;
        Sweet London's pride,
        I see you ride,
    Despising all who flock nigh, O.

    And bring your partner Bruen, O,
    And bring your partner Bruen, O;
        And with him ride
        All by your side,
    Like two fond turtles cooing, O.

    Come next, Spilsberry Deegan, O,
    Come next, Spilsberry Deegan, O;
        With grace and air
        Come kill the fair,
    Your like we'll never, see 'gain, O.

    Come, Harry Grattan Douglass, O,
    Come, Harry Grattan Douglass, O;
        A doctor's name
        I think you claim,
    With right than my dog pug less, O.

    Come, Oronoko Harkan, O,
    Come, Oronoko Harkan, O;
        I think your face
        Is just the place
    God fix'd the blockhead's mark on, O.

    Come, Christ-denying Taylor, O,
    Come, Christ-denying Taylor, O;
        Hell made your phiz
        On man's a quiz,
    But made it for a jailor, O.

    Come, Packwood, come, Carmichael, O,
    Come, Packwood, come, Carmichael, O;
        Your cancer-paste,
        The fools who taste,
    Whom it kills not does nigh kill, O.

    Come next, Adonis Harty, O,
    Come next, Adonis Harty, O;
        Your face and frame
        Shew equal claim,
    Tam Veneri quam Marti, O.

    Here ends my song on Doctors, O,
    Here ends my song on Doctors, O;
        Who, when all damn'd
        In hell are cramm'd,
    Will beggar all the Proctors, O."

Brenan (to do him justice) was as ready to fell a professional
antagonist and brother with a bludgeon, hunting-whip, or pistol, as he
was to scarify him with doggerel. He was as bold a fellow as Dr.
Walsh, the Hibernian \xC6sculapius, who did his best to lay Dr. Andrew
Marshall down amongst the daisies and the dead men. Andrew Marshall,
when a divinity-student at Edinburgh, was insulted (whilst officiating
for Stewart, the humanity professor) by a youngster named Macqueen.
The insolence of the lad was punished by the professor (_pro tem._)
giving him a caning. Smarting with the indignity offered him, Macqueen
ran home to his father, imploring vengeance; whereupon the irate sire
promptly sallied forth, and entering Marshall's lodgings, exclaimed:--

"Are you the scoundrel that dared to attack my son?"

"Draw and defend yourself!" screamed the divinity student, springing
from his chair, and presenting a sword-point at the intruder's breast.
Old Macqueen, who had expected to have to deal only with a timid
half-starved usher ready to crouch whiningly under personal
castigation, was so astonished at this reception that he turned and
fled precipitately. This little affair happened in 1775. As a
physician Andrew Marshall was not less valiant than he had been when
a student of theology. On Walsh challenging him, he went out and stood
up at ten paces like a gentleman. Walsh, a little short fellow,
invisible when looked at side-ways, put himself in the regular
attitude, shoulder to the front. Marshall disdained such mean
prudence, and faced his would-be murdered with his cheeks and chest
inflated to the utmost. Shots were exchanged, Dr. Andrew Marshall
receiving a ball in his right arm, and Dr. Walsh, losing a lock of
hair--snipped off by his opponent's bullet, and scattered by the
amorous breeze. Being thus the _gainer_ in the affair, Dr. Andrew
Marshall made it up with his adversary, and they lived on friendly
terms ever afterwards. Why don't some of our living _medici_ bury the
hatchet with a like effective ceremony?

An affair that ended not less agreeably was that in which Dr.
Brocklesby was concerned as principal, where the would-be belligerents
left the ground without exchanging shots, because their seconds could
not agree on the right number of paces at which to stick up their man.
When Akenside was fool enough to challenge Ballow, a wicked story went
about that the fight didn't come off because one had determined never
to fight in the morning, and the other that he would never fight in
the afternoon. But the fact was--Ballow was a paltry mean fellow, and
shirked the peril into which his ill-manners had brought him. The
lively and pleasant author of "Physic and Physicians," countenancing
this unfair story, reminds us of the off-hand style of John Wilkes in
such little affairs. When asked by Lord Talbot "How many times they
were to fire?" the brilliant demagogue responded--

"Just as often as your Lordship pleases--I have brought _a bag of
bullets and a flask of gunpowder_ with me."



Honour has flowed to physicians by the regular channels of
professional duty in but scant allowance. Their children have been
frequently ennobled by marriage or for political services. Sir Hans
Sloane's daughter Elizabeth, and manor of Chelsea, passed into the
Cadogan family, the lady marrying the second Baron Cadogan. Like Sir
Hans, Dr. Huck Sanders left behind him two daughters, co-heiresses of
his wealth, of whom one (Jane) was ennobled through wedlock, the tenth
Earl of Westmoreland raising her to be his second wife. Lord
Combermere married the heiress of Dr. Gibbings, of Cork. In the same
way Dr. Marwood's property came to the present Sir Marwood Elton by
the marriage of his grandfather with Frances, the daughter and heiress
of the Devonshire doctor. On the other hand, as instances of the
offspring of physicians exalted to the ranks of the aristocracy for
their political services, the Lords Sidmouth, Denman, and Kingsdown
may be mentioned. Henry Addington, created Viscount Sidmouth, of the
county of Devon, was the eldest son of Anthony Addington, M.D., of
Reading--the physician who objected to fighting any brother physician
who had not graduated at either Oxford or Cambridge. Dr. Anthony was
the enthusiastic toady of the great Earl of Chatham. Devoted to his
own interests and the Pitt family, he rose from the humble position of
keeper of a provincial lunatic asylum to eminence in the medical
profession. Coming up to town in 1754, under the patronage of Pitt, he
succeeded in gaining the confidence of the Court, and was, with Dr.
Richard Warren, Dr. Francis Willis, Dr. Thomas Gisborne, Sir Lucas
Pepys, and Dr. Henry Revell Reynolds, examined, in 1782, by the
committee appointed to examine "the physicians who attended his
illness, touching the state of his Majesty's health." He took a very
hopeful view of the king's case; and on being asked the foundation of
his hopes, alluded to his experience in the treatment of the insane at
Reading. The doctor had himself a passion for political intrigue,
which descended to his son. The career of this son, who raised himself
to the Speaker's chair in the House of Commons, to the dignity of
First Minister of the Crown, and to the peerage of the realm, is
matter of history.

Lord Denman was closely connected with the medical profession by
family ties: his father being Dr. Denman, of Mount Street, Grosvenor
Square, the author of a well-known work on a department of his
profession; his uncle being Dr. Joseph Denman of Bakewell; and his two
sisters having married two eminent physicians, Margaret being the wife
of Sir Richard Croft, Bart., and Sophia the wife of Dr. Baillie. Lord
Kingsdown's medical ancestor was his grandfather, Edward Pemberton,
M.D., of Warrington.

But though the list of the ennobled descendants of medical
practitioners might be extended to the limits of a volume, the writer
of these pages is not aware of any case in which a doctor has, by the
exercise of his calling, raised himself to the peerage. As yet, the
dignity of a baronetcy is the highest honour conferred on the most
illustrious of the medical faculty, Sir Hans Sloane being the first of
the order to whom that rank was presented. More than once a physician
has won admission into the _noblesse_, but the battle resulting in
such success has been fought in the arena of politics or the bustle of
the law courts. Sylvester Douglas deserted the counter, at which he
commenced life an apothecary, and after a prolonged servitude to, or
warfare with, the cliques of the House of Commons, had his exertions
rewarded and his ambition gratified with an Irish peerage and a
patrician wife. On his elevation he was of course taunted with the
humility of his origin, and by none was the reproach flung at him with
greater bitterness than it was by a brother _parvenu_ and brother

"What's his title to be?" asked Sheridan, as he was playing at cards;
"what's Sylvester Douglas to be called?"

"Lord Glenbervie," was the answer.

"Good Lord!" replied Sheridan; and then he proceeded to fire off an
_impromptu_, which he had that morning industriously prepared in bed,
and which he subsequently introduced into one of his best satiric

    "Glenbervie, Glenbervie,
      What's good for the scurvy?
    For ne'er be your old trade forgot.
      In your arms rather quarter
      A pestle and mortar,
    And your crest be a spruce gallipot."

The brilliant partizan and orator displayed more wit, if not better
taste, in his ridicule of Addington, who, in allusion to the rise of
his father from a humble position in the medical profession, was
ordinarily spoken of by political opponents as "The Doctor." On one
occasion, when the Scotch members who usually supported Addington
voted in a body with the opposition, Sheridan, with a laugh of
triumph, fired off a happy mis-quotation from Macbeth,--"Doctor, the
Thanes fly from thee."

Henry Bickersteth, Lord Langdale, was the luckiest of physicians and
lawyers. He used the medical profession as a stepping-stone, and the
legal profession as a ladder, and had the fortune to win two of the
brightest prizes of life--wealth and a peerage--without the
humiliation and toil of serving a political party in the House of
Commons. The second son of a provincial surgeon, he was apprenticed to
his father, and educated for the paternal calling. On being qualified
to kill, he became medical attendant to the late Earl of Oxford,
during that nobleman's travels on the Continent. Returning to his
native town, Kirby Lonsdale, he for awhile assisted his father in the
management of his practice; but resolved on a different career from
that of a country doctor, he became a member of Caius College,
Cambridge, and devoted himself to mathematical study with such success
that, in 1808, when he was twenty-eight years old, he became Senior
Wrangler and First Smith's prizeman. As late as the previous year he
was consulted medically by his father. In 1811 he was called to the
bar by the Inner Temple, and from that time till his elevation to the
Mastership of the Rolls he was both the most hard-working and
hard-worked of the lawyers in the Equity Courts, to which he confined
his practice. In 1827 he became a bencher of his Inn; and, in 1835,
although he was a staunch and zealous liberal, and a strenuous
advocate of Jeremy Bentham's opinions, he was offered a seat on the
judicial bench by Sir Robert Peel. This offer he declined, though he
fully appreciated the compliment paid him by the Tory chieftain. He
had not, however, to wait long for his promotion. In the following
year (1836) he was, by his own friends, made Master of the Rolls, and
created a peer of the realm, with the additional honour of being a
Privy-Councillor. His Lordship died at Tunbridge Wells, in 1851, in
his sixty-eighth year. It would be difficult to point to a more
enviable career in legal annals than that of this medical lawyer, who
won the most desirable honours of his profession without ever sitting
in the House of Commons, or acting as a legal adviser of the
Crown--and when he had not been called quite twenty-five years. To
give another touch to this picture of a successful life, it may be
added, that Lord Langdale, after rising to eminence, married
Elizabeth, daughter of the Earl of Oxford, to whom he had formerly
been travelling medical attendant.

Love has not unfrequently smiled on doctors, and elevated them to
positions at which they would never have arrived by their professional
labours. Sir Lucas Pepys, who married the Countess De Rothes, and Sir
Henry Halford, whose wife was a daughter of the eleventh Lord St. John
of Blestoe, are conspicuous amongst the more modern instances of
medical practitioners advancing their social condition by aristocratic
alliances. Not less fortunate was the farcical Sir John Hill, who
gained for a bride the Honourable Miss Jones, a daughter of Lord
Ranelagh--a nobleman whose eccentric opinion, that the welfare of the
country required a continual intermixture of the upper and lower
classes of society, was a frequent object of ridicule with the
caricaturists and lampoon-writers of his time. But the greatest prize
ever made by an \xC6sculapius in the marriage-market was that acquired by
Sir Hugh Smithson, who won the hand of Percy's proud heiress, and was
created Duke of Northumberland. The son of a Yorkshire baronet's
younger son, Hugh Smithson was educated for an apothecary--a vocation
about the same time followed for several years by Sir Thomas Geery
Cullum, before he succeeded to the family estate and dignity. Hugh
Smithson's place of business was Hatton Garden, but the length of time
that he there presided over a pestle and mortar is uncertain. In 1736
he became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, but he withdrew from
that learned body, on the books of which his signature may be found,
in the year 1740. A few months after this secession, Sir Hugh led to
the altar the only child and heiress of Algernon Seymour, Duke of
Somerset. There still lives a tradition that the lady made the offer
to Sir Hugh immediately after his rejection by a famous belle of
private rank and modest wealth. Another version of the story is that,
when she heard of his disappointment, she observed publicly, "that the
disdainful beauty was a fool, and that no other woman in England would
be guilty of like folly." On hearing this, the baronet, a singularly
handsome man, took courage to sue for that to which men of far higher
rank would not have presumed to aspire. The success that followed his
daring, of course, brought upon him the arrows of envy. He had won so
much, however, that he could, without ill-humour, bear being laughed
at. On being created Duke of Northumberland in 1766, he could afford
to smile at a proposition that his coronet should be surrounded with
senna, instead of strawberry-leaves; for, however much obscure
jealousy might affect to contemn him, he was no fit object for
disdain--but a gentleman of good intellect and a lordly presence, and
(though he had mixed drugs behind a counter) descended from an old and
honourable family. The reproach of being a Smithson, and no Percy, had
more force when applied to the second duke in the Anti-Jacobin, than
it had when hurled vindictively at the ex-doctor himself by the
mediocrities of the _beau monde_, whom he had beaten on their own
ground by superior attractions and accomplishments.

    "Nay," quoth the Duke, "in thy black scroll
      Deductions I espye--
    For those who, poor, and mean, and low,
      With children burthen'd lie.

    "And though full sixty thousand pounds
      My vassals pay to me,
    From Cornwall to Northumberland,
      Through many a fair countree;

    "Yet England's church, its king, its laws,
      Its cause I value not,
    Compared with this, my constant text,
      _A penny saved is got_.

    "No drop of princely Percy's blood
      Through these cold veins doth run;
    With Hotspur's castles, blazon, name,
      I still am _poor_ Smithson."

Considering the opportunities that medical men have for pressing a
suit in love, and the many temptations to gentle emotion that they
experience in the aspect of feminine suffering, and the confiding
gratitude of their fair patients, it is perhaps to be wondered at that
only one medical duke is to be found in the annals of the peerage.
When Swift's Stella was on her death-bed, her physician said,
encouragingly--"Madam, you are certainly near the bottom of the hill,
but we shall endeavour to get you up once more," the _na\xEFve_ reply of
the poor lady was, "Doctor, I am afraid I shall be out _of breath_
before I get to the top again." Not less touching was the fear
expressed by Steele's merry daughter to her doctor, that she should
"die _before the holidays_." Both Stella and Sir Richard's child had
left their personal charms behind them when they so addressed their
physicians; but imagine, my brother, what the effect of such words
would be on your susceptible heart, if they came from the lips of a
beautiful girl. Would you not (think you) try to win other such
speeches from her?--and if you tried, dear sir, surely _you_ would

Prudence would order a physician, endowed with a heart, to treat it in
the same way as Dr. Glynn thought a cucumber ought to be dressed--to
slice it very thin, pepper it plentifully, pour upon it plenty of the
best vinegar, and then--throw it away. A doctor has quite enough work
on his hands to keep the affections of his patients in check, without
having to mount guard over his own emotions. Thackeray says that girls
make love in the nursery, and practise the arts of coquetry on the
page-boy who brings the coals upstairs--a hard saying for simple young
gentlemen triumphing in the possession of a _first_ love. The writer
of these pages could point to a fair dame, who enjoys rank amongst the
highest and wealth equal to the station assigned her by the heralds,
who not only aimed tender glances, and sighed amorously to a young
waxen-faced, blue-eyed apothecary, but even went so far as to write
him a letter proposing an elopement, and other merry arrangements, in
which a carriage, everlastingly careering over the country at the
heels of four horses, bore a conspicuous part. The silly maiden had,
like Dinah, "a fortune in silvyer and gold," amounting to \xA350,000, and
her blue-eyed Adonis was twice her age; but fortunately he was a
gentleman of honour, and, without divulging the mad proposition of the
young lady, he induced her father to take her away for twelve months'
change of air and scene. Many years since the heroine of this little
episode, after she had become the wife of a very great man, and the
mother of children who bid fair to become ornaments to their
illustrious race, expressed her gratitude cordially to this Joseph of
the doctors, for his magnanimity in not profiting by the absurd
fancies of a child, and the delicacy with which he had taken prompt
measures for her happiness; and, more recently, she manifested her
good will to the man who had offered her what is generally regarded as
the greatest insult a woman can experience, by procuring a commission
in the army for his eldest son.

The embarrassments Sir John Eliot suffered under from the emotional
overtures of his fair patients are well known. St. John Long himself
had not more admirers amongst the _\xE9lite_ of high-born English ladies.
The king had a strong personal dislike to Sir John,--a dislike
possibly heightened by a feeling that it was sheer impudence in a
doctor to capture without an effort the hearts of half the prettiest
women amongst his subjects--and then shrug his shoulders with chagrin
at his success. Lord George Germain had hard work to wring a baronetcy
out of his Majesty for this victim of misplaced affection.

"Well," said the king, at last grudgingly promising to make Eliot a
baronet--"my Lord, since you desire it, let it be; but remember he
shall not be my physician."

"No, sir," answered Lord George--"he shall be your Majesty's baronet,
and my physician."

Amongst other plans Sir John resorted to, to scare away his patients
and patronesses, he had a death's-head painted on his carriage-panels;
but the result of this eccentric measure on his practice and on his
sufferings was the reverse of what he desired. One lady--the daughter
of a noble member of a Cabinet--ignorant that he was otherwise
occupied, made him an offer, and on learning to her astonishment that
he was a married man, vowed that she would not rest till she had
assassinated his wife.

Poor Radcliffe's loves were of a less flattering sort, though they
resembled Sir John Eliot's in respect of being instances of
reciprocity all on one side. But the amorous follies of Radcliffe,
ludicrous though they became under the touches of Steele's pen, are
dignified and manly when compared with the senile freaks of Dr. Mead,
whose highest delight was to comb the hair of the lady on whom, for
the time being, his affections were set.

Dr. Cadogan, of Charles the Second's time, was, like Sir John Eliot, a
favourite with the ladies. His wont was to spend his days in shooting
and his evenings in flirtation. To the former of these tastes the
following lines refer:--

    "Doctor, all game you either ought to shun,
    Or sport no longer with the unsteady gun;
    But like physicians of undoubted skill,
    Gladly attempt what never fails to kill,
    Not lead's uncertain dross, but physic's deadly pill."

Whether he was a good shot we cannot say; but he was sufficiently
adroit as a squire of dames, for he secured as his wife a wealthy
lady, over whose property he had unfettered control. Against the
money, however, there were two important points figuring under the
head of "set-off"--the bride was old and querulous. Of course such a
woman was unfitted to live happily with an eminent physician, on whom
bevies of court ladies smiled whenever he went west of Charing Cross.
After spending a few months in alternate fits of jealous hate and
jealous fondness, the poor creature conceived the terrible fancy that
her husband was bent on destroying her with poison, and so ridding his
life of her execrable temper. One day, when surrounded by her friends,
and in the presence of her lord and master, she fell on her back in a
state of hysterical spasms, exclaiming:--

"Ah! he has killed me at last. I am poisoned!"

"Poisoned!" cried the lady-friends, turning up the whites of their
eyes. "Oh! gracious goodness!--you have done it, doctor!"

"What do you accuse me of?" asked the doctor, with surprise.

"I accuse you--of--killing me--ee," responded the wife, doing her best
to imitate a death-struggle.

"Ladies," answered the doctor, with admirable _nonchalance_, bowing to
Mrs. Cadogan's bosom associates, "it is perfectly false. You are quite
welcome to open her at once, and then you'll discover the calumny."

John Hunter administered a scarcely less startling reproof to his
wife, who, though devoted in her attachment to him, and in every
respect a lady worthy of esteem, caused her husband at times no little
vexation by her fondness for society. She was in the habit of giving
enormous routs, at which authors and artists, of all shades of merit
and demerit, used to assemble to render homage to her literary powers,
which were very far from common-place. A lasting popularity has
attested the excellence of her song:--

    "My mother bids me bind my hair
      With bands of rosy hue;
    Tie up my sleeves with ribbons rare,
      And lace my boddice blue.

    "'For why,' she cries, 'sit still and weep,
      While others dance and play?'
    Alas! I scarce can go or creep,
      While Lubin is away.

    "'Tis sad to think the days are gone,
      When those we love are near;
    I sit upon this mossy stone,
      And sigh when none can hear.

    "And while I spin my flaxen thread,
      And sing my simple lay,
    The village seems asleep or dead,
      Now Lubin is away."

John Hunter had no sympathy with his wife's poetical aspirations,
still less with the society which those aspirations led her to
cultivate. Grudging the time which the labours of practice prevented
him from devoting to the pursuits of his museum and laboratory he
could not restrain his too irritable temper when Mrs. Hunter's
frivolous amusements deprived him of the quiet requisite for study.
Even the fee of a patient who called him from his dissecting
instruments could not reconcile him to the interruption. "I must go,"
he would say reluctantly to his friend Lynn, when the living summoned
him from his investigations among the dead, "and earn this d----d
guinea, or I shall be sure to want it to-morrow." Imagine the wrath of
such a man, finding, on his return from a long day's work, his house
full of musical professors, connoisseurs, and fashionable idlers--in
fact, all the confusion and hubbub and heat of a grand party, which
his lady had forgotten to inform him was that evening to come off!
Walking straight into the middle of the principal reception-room, he
faced round and surveyed his unwelcome guests, who were not a little
surprised to see him--dusty, toilworn, and grim--so unlike what "the
man of the house" ought to be on such an occasion.

"I knew nothing," was his brief address to the astounded crowd--"I
knew nothing of this kick-up, and I ought to have been informed of it
beforehand; but, as I have now returned home to study, I hope the
present company will retire."

Mrs Hunter's drawing-rooms were speedily empty.

One of the drollest love stories in medical ana is that which relates
to Dr. Thomas Dawson, a century since alike admired by the inhabitants
of Hackney as a pulpit orator and a physician. Dawson was originally a
Suffolk worthy, unconnected, however, with the eccentric John Dawson,
who, in the reign of Charles the Second, was an apothecary in the
pleasant old town of Framlingham, in that county. His father, a
dissenting minister, had seven sons, and educated six of them for the
Nonconformist pulpit. Of these six, certainly three joined the
Established Church, and became rectors--two of the said three,
Benjamin and Abraham, being controversial writers of considerable
merit. Thomas Dawson adhered to the tenets of his father, and,
combining the vocations of divine and physic-man, preached on Sundays,
and doctored during the rest of the week. He was Mead and Mead's
father in one: though the conditions of human existence, which render
it impossible for one person to be in two places at the same time,
prevented him from leaving chapel to visit his patients, and the next
minute urging the congregation to offer up a prayer for the welfare of
the unfortunate sufferers. Amongst the doctor's circle of acquaintance
Miss Corbett of Hackney was at the same time the richest, the most
devout, and the most afflicted in bodily health. Ministering to her
body and soul, Dr. Dawson had frequent occasions for visiting her. One
day he found her alone, sitting with the large family Bible before
her, meditating on perhaps the grandest chapter in all the Old
Testament. The doctor read the words to which the forefinger of her
right hand pointed--the words of Nathan to David: "_Thou art the
man_." The doctor took the hint; and on the 29th of May, 1758, he
found a wife--and the pious lady won a husband. The only offspring of
this strange match was one son, a Mr. Dawson, who still resides at a
very advanced age of life in the charming village of Botesdale, in
Suffolk. When the writer of these pages was a happy little boy, making
his first acquaintance with Latin and Greek, at the Botesdale Grammar
School, then presided over by the pious, manly, and gentle ----, he
was an especial pet with Mr. Dawson. The worthy gentleman's little
house was in the centre of a large garden, densely stocked with apple
and other fruit trees; and in it he led a very retired life, visited
by only a very few friends, and tended by two or three servants--of
whom one, an ancient serving man, acted as a valet, gardener, and
groom to an antique horse which constituted Mr. Dawson's entire stud.
The small urchin before-mentioned had free access at all times to the
venerable gentleman, and used to bring him the gossip of the town and
school, in exchange for apples and other substantial gifts. Thin and
attenuated, diminutive, so as to be little more than a dwarf, with
vagrant eager eye, hooked as to his nose, and with a long beard,
snowy-white, streaming over his waistcoat, the octogenarian used to
receive his fair-haired child-visitor. May he be happy--as may all old
gentlemen be, who are kind to little schoolboys, and give them apples
and "tips!"

The day that Abernethy was married he went down to the lecture-room to
deliver his customary instruction to his pupils. His selection of a
wife was as judicious as his marriage was happy; and the funny
stories for long current about the mode in which he made his offer are
known to be those most delusive of fabrications, fearless and extreme
exaggerations of a little particle of the truth. The brutality of
procedure attributed to the great surgeon by current rumour was
altogether foreign to his nature. The Abernethy biscuit was not more
audaciously pinned upon his reputation, than was the absurd falsehood
that when he made his offer to his future wife he had only seen her
once, and then wrote saying he should like to marry her, but as he was
too busy to "make love," she must entertain his proposal without
further preliminaries, and let him know her decision by the end of the

Of Sir John Eliot the fortunate, mention has already been made in this
chapter. Let us now speak of John Eliot, the luckless hero of a
biography published in 1787, under the title of "A Narrative of the
Life and Death of John Eliot, M.D., containing an account of the Rise,
Progress, and Catastrophe of his unhappy passion for Miss Mary
Boydell." A native of Somersetshire, John Elliot wrote a tragedy when
only twelve years of age, and after serving an apprenticeship to a
London apothecary, fell in love with one Miss Mary Boydell, a niece of
a city alderman. The course of this gentleman's love ran smoothly till
he chanced, by evil fortune, to read an announcement in a newspaper,
that a Miss Boydell had, on the previous day, been led to the altar by
some gentleman--not called Dr. John Elliot, certainly not himself.
Never doubting that _the_ Miss Boydell of the newspaper was _his_ Miss
Boydell, the doctor, without making any further inquiries after the
perfidious fair one, sold his shop and fixtures, and ran off from the
evil city of heartless women, to commune with beasts of the field and
birds of the air in sylvan retirement. Not a little chagrined was Miss
Boydell at the sudden disappearance of her ideal apothecary, whom her
uncle, the alderman, stigmatized in round, honest, indignant language,
as a big blackguard. After twelve years spent in wandering, "a forlorn
wretch, over the kingdom," Dr. Elliott returned to London, set up once
more in business, and began, for a second time, to drive a thriving
trade, when Delilah again crossed his path. "One day," he says,
telling his own story, "entering my shop (for I had commenced again
the business of apothecary) I found two ladies sitting there, one of
whom I thought I could recognize. As soon as she observed me, she
cried out, 'Mr. Elliot! Mr. Elliot!' and fell back in a swoon. The
well-known voice struck me like a shock of electricity--my affections
instantly gushed forth--I fell senseless at her feet. When I came to
myself, I found Miss Boydell sitting by my side." And _his_ Miss
Boydell was Miss Boydell still--innocent of wedlock.

Imogene being proved true, and Alonzo having come to life, the
youthful couple renewed the engagement entered into more than twelve
years before. The wedding-day was fixed, the wedding-clothes were
provided, when uncle (the alderman), distrustful that his niece's
scranny lover would make a good husband, induced her at the last
moment to jilt him, and marry Mr. Nicols, an opulent bookseller. The
farce was now to wear an aspect of tragedy. Infuriated at being,
after all, _really_ deceived, Dr. Elliot bought two brace of pistols,
and bound them together in pairs. One pair he loaded only with powder;
into the other he put the proper quantum of lead, as well as the
pernicious dust. Armed with these weapons, he lay in wait for the
destroyer of his peace. After some days of watching he saw her in
Prince's Street, walking with the triumphant Nicols. Rushing up, he
fired at her the two pistols (not loaded with ball), and then
snatching the other brace from his pocket, was proceeding to commit
suicide, when he was seized by the bystanders and disarmed.

The next scene in the drama was the principal court of the Old Bailey,
with Dr. Elliot in the dock, charged with an attempt to murder Miss
Boydell. The jury, being satisfied that the pistols were not loaded
with ball, and that the prisoner only intended to create a startling
impression on Miss Boydell's mind, acquitted him of that charge, and
he was remanded to prison to take his trial for a common assault.
Before this second inquiry, however, could come off, the poor man died
in Newgate, July 22, 1787, of a broken heart--or jail fever. Ere his
death, he took a cruel revenge of the lady, by writing an
autobiographic account of his love experiences, in which appeared the
following passage:--"Fascinated as I was by the charms of this
faithless woman, I had long ceased to be sensible to these defects, or
rather my impassioned imagination had converted them into perfections.
But those who did not labour under the power of this magic were struck
by her ungraceful exterior, and mine ears have not unfrequently been
shocked to hear the tongue of indifference pronounce that the object
of my passion was _ugly and deformed_. Add to this, that Miss Boydell
has long since ceased to boast the bloom of youth, and then let any
person, impartial and unprejudiced, decide whether a passion for her,
so violent as that I have manifested, could be the produce of a slight
and recent acquaintance, or whether it must not rather be the
consequence of a long habit and inveterate intimacy." Such was the
absurd sad story of John Elliot, author of "The Medical Almanack,"
"Elements of the Branches of Natural Philosophy," and "Experiments and
Observations on Light and Colours."

The mournful love-story of Dr. John Elliot made a deep impression on
the popular mind. It is found alluded to in ballads and chap-books,
and more than one penny romance was framed upon it. Not improbably it
suggested the composition of the following parody of Monk Lewis's
"Alonzo the Brave and the Fair Imogene," which appeared at the close
of the last century, during the first run of popularity which that
familiar ballad obtained:--

                     SALLY GREEN.

             "A ROMANCE BY M. G. LEWIS.

    "A Doctor so grave and a virgin so bright,
      Hob-a-nobbed in some right marasquin;
    They swallowed the cordial with truest delight,
    Giles Bolus the knave was just five feet in height,
      And four feet the brown Sally Green.

    "'And as,' said Giles Bolus, 'to-morrow I go
      To physic a feverish land,
    At some sixpenny hop, or perhaps the mayor's show,
    You'll tumble in love with some smart city beau,
      And with him share your shop in the Strand.'

    "'Lord! how can you think so?' Brown Sally Green said,
      'You must know mighty little of me;
    For if you be living, or if you be dead,
    I swear, 'pon my honour, that none in your stead,
      Shall husband of Sally Green be.

    "'And if e'er I by love or by wealth led aside
      Am false to Giles Bolus the knave;
    God grant that at dinner so amply suppli'd,
    Over-eating may give me a pain in the side,
      May your ghost then bring rhubarb to physic the bride,
    And send her well-dosed to the grave.'

    "To Jamaica the doctor now hastened for gold,
      Sally wept till she blew her nose sore;
    Yet scarce had a twelvemonth elaps'd, when behold!
    A brewer quite stylish his gig that way roll'd,
      And stopped it at Sally Green's door.

    "His barrels, his bungs, and his brass-headed cane,
      Soon made her untrue to his vows;
    The stream of small beer now bewildered her brain;
    He caught her while tipsy--denials were vain--
      So he carried her home as his spouse.

    "And now the roast-beef had been blest by the priest,
      To cram now the guests had begun;
    Tooth and nail, like a wolf, fell the bride on the feast
    Nor yet had the clash of her knife and fork ceased,
      When a bell (t'was the dustman's) toll'd one.

    "Then first, with amazement, brown Sally Green found,
      That a stranger was stuck by her side.
    His cravat and his ruffles with snuff were embrown'd;
    He ate not--he drank not--but, turning him round,
      Sent some pudding away to be fried.

    "His wig was turned forwards, and wort was his height,
      His apron was dirty to view;
    The women (oh! wondrous) were hushed at the sight,
    The cats as they eyed him drew back (well they might),
      For his body was pea-green and blue.

    "Now, as all wish'd to speak, but none knew what to say,
      They look'd mighty foolish and queer:
    At length spoke the lady with trembling--'I pray,
    Dear sir, that your peruke aside you would lay,
      And partake of some strong or small beer.'

    "The bride shuts her fly-trap--the stranger complies,
      And his wig from his phiz deigns to pull.
    Adzooks! what a squall Sally gave through surprise!
    Like a pig that was stuck, how she opened her eyes,
      When she recognized Giles's bare skull.

    "Each miss then exclaimed, while she turn'd up her snout,
      'Sir, your head isn't fit to be seen!'--
    The pot-boys ran in, and the pot-boys ran out,
    And couldn't conceive what the noise was about,
      While the doctor addressed Sally Green.

    "'Behold me, thou jilt-flirt! behold me!' he cri'd--
      'I'm Bolus, whom some call the 'knave!'
    God grant, that to punish your falsehood and pride,
    You should feel at this moment a pain in your side.
    Quick, swallow this rhubarb!--I'll physic the bride,
      And send her well-dosed to the grave!'

    "Thus saying, the physic her throat he forced down,
      In spite of whate'er she could say:
    Then bore to his chariot the maiden so brown,
    Nor ever again was she seen in that town,
      Or the doctor who whisked her away.

    "Not long lived the brewer, and none since that time
      To inhabit the brew-house presume;
    For old women say that by order sublime
    There Sally Green suffers the pain of her crime,
      And bawls to get out of the room.

    "At midnight four times in each year does her sprite
      With shrieks make the chamber resound.
    'I won't take the rhubarb!' she squalls in affright,
    While a cup in his left hand, a draught in his right,
      Giles Bolus pursues her around.

    "With wigs so well powdered, twelve doctors so grave,
      Dancing hornpipes around them are seen;
    They drink chicken-broth, and this horrible stave
    Is twanged through each nose, 'To Giles Bolus the knave,
      And his patient the sick Sally Green.'"

In the court of love, Dr. Van Buchell, the empiric, may pass muster as
a physician. When that droll charlatan lost his first wife, in 1775,
he paid her the compliment of preserving her body with great care. Dr.
Hunter, with the assistance of Mr. Cruikshank, injected the
blood-vessels of the corpse with a carmine fluid, so that the cheeks
and lips had the hue of healthy life; the cavities of the body were
artistically packed with the antiseptics used by modern embalmers; and
glass eyes were substituted in place of the filmy balls which Death
had made his own. Decked in a dainty apparel of lace and finest linen,
the body was then placed in a bed of thin paste of plaster of Paris,
which, crystallizing, made a most ornamental couch. The case
containing this fantastic horror had a glass lid, covered with a
curtain; and as Van Buchell kept it in his ordinary sitting-room, he
had the pleasure of introducing his visitors to the lifeless form of
his "dear departed." For several years the doctor lived very happily
with this slough of an immortal soul--never quarrelling with it, never
being scolded by it--on the whole, enjoying an amount of domestic
tranquility that rarely falls to one man's lot. Unwisely he made in
advanced years a new alliance, and manifested a desire to be on with
the new and the old love at the same time. To this Mrs. Van Buchell
(No. 2) strongly objected, and insisted that the quaint coffin of Mrs.
Van Buchell (No. 1) should be removed from the parlour in which she
was expected to spend the greatest part of her days. The eccentric
mode in which Buchell displayed his affection for his first wife was
scarcely less repulsive than the devotion to the interests of
anatomical science which induced Rondeletius to dissect the dead body
of his own child in his theatre at Montpelier.

Are there no more loves to be mentioned? Yes; let these concluding
pages tell an interesting story of the last generation.

Fifty years ago the picturesque, sunny town of Holmnook had for its
physician one Dr. Kemp, a grave and reverend \xC6sculapius, punctilious
in etiquette, with an imposing formality of manner, accurate in
costume, in every respect a courtier of the old school. Holmnook is an
antique market-town, square and compact, a capital in miniature, lying
at the foot of an old feudal castle, in which the Bigods once held
sway. That stronghold of moated towers was three centuries since the
abode of a mighty Duke; Surrey, the poet earl, luckless and inspired,
was born within its walls. The noble acres of the princely house fell
into the hands of a _parvenu_--a rich, grasping lawyer;--that was bad.
The lawyer died and went to his place, leaving the land to the
poor;--that was better. And now the produce of the rich soil, which
whilom sent forth a crop of mailed knights, supports a college of toil
and time-worn peasants, saving their cold thin blood from the penury
of the poor-house, and sheltering them from the contumelies
of--Guardians of the Poor. Hard by the college, housing these ancient
humble children of man, is a school, based on the same beneficent
foundation, where the village lads are taught by as ripe a scholar and
true a gentleman as ever came from the banks of Isis; and round which
temple of learning they play their rough, noisy games, under the
observation of the veterans of the bourg--the almsmen and almswomen
who sit in the sun and on benches before their college, clad in the
blue coats of the charity, and feeling no shame in them, though the
armorial badge of that old lawyer is tacked upon them in red cloth.

Holmnook is unlike most other English towns of its size, abounding as
it does in large antique mansions, formerly inhabited by the great
officers and dependents on the ducal household, who in many cases were
blood relations of the duke himself. Under the capacious windows of
these old houses, in the streets, and round the market-square, run
rows of limes, spreading their cool shade over the pinnacles of gabled
roofs, and flinging back bars across the shining shingle which
decorates the plaster walls of the older houses. In the centre of the
town stands an enormous church, large enough to hold an entire army of
Christians, and containing many imposing tombs of earls and leaders,
long since gone to their account.

Think of this old town, its venerable dwellings--each by itself
suggesting a romance. Hear the cooing and lazy flapping of pigeons,
making continual holiday round the massive chimneys. Observe, without
seeming to observe, the mayor's pretty daughter sitting at the open
oriel window of the Guild-hall, merrily singing over her needle-work,
and wondering if her bright ribbon has a good effect on passers below.
Heed the jingle of a harpsichord in the rector's parlour. Be pleased
to remember that the year is 1790--not 1860. Take a glass of stinging
ale at "The Knight of Armour" hostelry--and own you enjoy it. Take
another, creaming good-naturedly up under your lip, and confess you
like it better than its predecessor. See the High Sheriff's carriage
pass through the excited town, drawn by four enormous black horses,
and having three Bacchic footmen hanging on behind. Do all this, and
then you'll have a faint notion of Holmnook, its un-English
picturesqueness, its placid joy, and experience of pomp.

Who is the gentleman emerging from the mansion on the causeway, in
this year 1790--with white peruke and long pig-tail, snuff-coloured
coat and velvet collar, tight dark nether garments, silk stockings,
and shoes with buckles, volumes of white shirt-frill rising up under
his chin? As he taps his shoes on his doorstep you can see he is proud
of his leg, a pleasant pride, whether one has reason for it or not!

Seventy years of age, staid, decorous, and thoroughly versed in the
social proprieties of the old world, now gone clean from us, like
chivalry or chartism, Dr. Kemp was an important personage in Holmnook
and its vicinity. An _\xE9clat_ was his that a country doctor does not
usually possess. For he was of gentle blood, being a cadet of an old
and wealthy family on the other side of the country, the
representative of which hailed him "cousin," and treated him with the
intimacy of kinship--the kinship of 1790.

Michael Kemp's youth had been spent away from Holmnook. Doubtless so
polite and dignified a gentleman had once aimed at a brighter lot than
a rural physician's. Doubtless he had a history, but he kept it to
himself. He had never married! The rumour went that he had been
disappointed--had undertaken the conquest of a high-born lady, who
gave another ending to the game; and having conquered him, went off to
conquer others. Ladies could do such things in the last century--when
men had hearts.

Anyhow, Michael Kemp, M.D., was an old bachelor, of spotless honour,
and a reputation that scandal never dared to trifle with.

A lady, much respected by the simple inhabitants of Holmsnook, kept
his house.

Let us speak of her--fair and forty, comely, with matronly outlines,
but graceful. Pleasant of voice, cheerful in manner, active in
benevolence, Mistress Alice was a great favourite; no christening or
wedding could go off without her for miles around. The doctor's
grandest patients treated her as an equal; for apart from her personal
claims to respect and good-will, she was, it was understood, of the
doctor's blood--a poor relation, gentle by birth as she was by
education. Mistress Alice was a great authority amongst the Holmnook
ladies, on all matters pertaining to dress and taste. Her own ordinary
costume was an artistic one. A large white kerchief, made so as to sit
like a jacket, close and high round the throat, concealed her fair
arms and shoulders, and reached down to the waist of her dress, which,
in obedience to the fashion of the time, ran close beneath her arms.
In 1790 a lady's waist at Holmnook occupied just about the same place
where the drapery of a London belle's Mazeppa harness offers its first
concealment to its wearer's charms. But it was on her foot-gear that
Mistress Alice devoted especial care. The short skirts of that day
encouraged a woman to set her feet off to the best advantage. Mistress
Alice wore natty high-heeled shoes and clocked stockings--bright
crimson stockings with yellow clocks.

Do you know what clocked stockings were, ladies? This writer is not
deeply learned on such matters, but having seen a pair of Mistress
Alice's stockings, he can tell you that they had on either side,
extending from the heel upwards some six inches, flowers gracefully
embroidered with a light yellow silk on the crimson ground. And these
wreaths of broidery were by our ancestors called clocks. This writer
could tell something else about Mistress Alice's apparel. She had for
grand evenings of high festivity white kid gloves reaching up to the
elbow, and having a slit at the tips of the forefinger and thumb of
each hand. It was an ordinary fashion long syne. So, ladies could let
out the tips of those digits to take a pinch of snuff!

One night Michael Kemp, M.D., Oxon., was called up to come with every
possible haste to visit a sick lady, urgently in want of him. The
night-bell was rung violently, and the messenger cried to the doctor
over and over from the pavement below to make good speed. The doctor
did his best to comply; but, as ill-luck would have it, after he had
struck a light the candle illumined by it fell down, and left the
doctor in darkness. This was very annoying to the good man, for he
could not reconcile it to his conscience to consume time in lighting
another, and yet it was hard for such a decorous man to make his hasty
toilet in the dark.

He managed, however, better than he expected. His peruke came to hand
all right; so did the tight inexpressibles; so did the snuff-coloured
coat with high velvet collar; so did the buckled shoes. Bravo!

In another five minutes the active physician had groped his way
down-stairs, emerged from his stately dwelling, and had run to his
patient's house.

In a trice he was admitted; in a twinkle he was up the stairs; in
another second he was by the sick lady's bedside, round which were
seated a nurse and three eminent Holmnook gossips.

He was, however, little prepared for the reception he met with--the
effect his appearance produced.

The sick lady, struggling though she was with severe pain, laughed

The nurse said, "Oh my!--Doctor Kemp!"

Gossip No. 1 exclaimed, "Oh, you'll kill me!"

Gossip No. 2 cried, "I can't believe my eyes!"

Gossip No. 3 exploded with--"Oh, Doctor Kemp, do look at your

And the doctor, obeying, did look at his stockings. One was of black
silk--the other was a crimson one, with yellow clocks.

Was there not merry talk the next day at Holmnook! Didn't one hear
blithe hearty laughter at every street corner--at every window under
the limes?

What did they laugh about? What did they say?

Only this, fair reader--

               "_Honi soit qui mal y pense_."

God bless thee, Holmnook! The bells of thy old church-tower are
jangling in my ears though thou art a hundred miles away. I see the
blue heavens kissing thy limes!



The old proverb says, "Every man is a physician or a fool by forty."
Sir Henry Halford happening to quote the old saw to a circle of
friends, Canning, with a pleasant humour smiling in his eyes,
inquired, "Sir Henry, mayn't he be both?"

John Locke, according to academic registration, was not a physician
till he was past forty. Born in 1632, he took his M.B. degree Feb.
6th, 1674. To what extent he exercised his profession is still a
matter of dispute; but there is no doubt that he was for some period
an active practitioner of it. Of his letters to Hans Sloane, that are
still extant, the following is one:--

     "DEAR SIR,--

     "I have a patient here sick of the fever at this season. It
     seems not violent; but I am told 'tis a sort that is not
     easily thrown off. I desire to know of you what your fevers
     in town are, and what methods you find most successful in
     them? I shall be obliged by your favour if you will give me
     a word or two by to-morrow's post, and direct it to me, to
     be left at Mr Harrison's, in the 'Crown,' at Harlow.

                             "I am, Sir,
                               "Your most humble servant,
                                                    "J LOCKE."

Popularly the name of Locke is as little associated with the
profession of medicine as that of Sir James Mackintosh, who was a
practising physician, till ambition and poverty made him select a more
lucrative vocation, and turn his energies to the bar.

Distinguished amongst literary physicians was Andrew Borde, who
studied Medicine at Oxford and Montpelier, and it is said acted as a
physician in the service of Henry the Eighth. Borde's career has
hitherto been a puzzle to antiquaries who, though interested in it,
have been able to discover only little about it. It was his whim to
sign himself Andrew Perforatus (his name really signifying "a
cottage,"--"bordarius=a cottager"). In the same way after him Robert
Fludd, the Rosicrucian doctor, adopted for his signature Robertus de
Fluctibus. In his works he occasionally gives the reader a glimpse of
his personal adventures; and from contemporary literature, as well as
tradition, we learn enough to feel justified in believing that he
created the cant term "Merry Andrew."

Of his freaks, about the most absurd was his conduct when acting as
foreman of a jury in a small borough town. A prisoner was charged with
stealing a pair of leather breeches, but though appearances were
strongly against the accused (who was a notorious rogue), the evidence
was so defective that to return a verdict of guilty on the charge was
beyond the logic and conscience of the twelve good men and true. No
course seemed open to them but to acquit the knave; when Andrew Borde
prevailed on them, _as_ the evidence of stealing the leather breeches
was so defective, to bring him in guilty of manslaughter.

It is needless to say that the jurymen took Andrew's advice, and
finding a verdict to the best of those abilities with which it had
pleased God to bless them, astonished the judge and the public, not
less than the prisoner, with the strange conclusion at which they had

Anthony \xE0 Wood and Hearne tell us the little that has hitherto been
known of this eccentric physician. To that little an important
addition may be made from the following letter, never before
published, the original of which is in the State-Paper Office. The
epistle is penned to Henry the Eighth's minister, Thomas Cromwell.


     "Offering humbly salutacyon with dew reverance. I certyffy
     yor mastershepp that I am now in Skotlonde in a lyttle
     universite or study namyd Glasko, where I study and practyce
     physyk as I have done in dyverse regyons and servyces for
     the sustentacyon off my lyvyng, assewring you that in ye
     parts that I am yn ye king's grace hath many hundred and in
     manner all men of presence (except some skolastycall men)
     that be hys adversarys. I resortt to ye Skotysh king's howse
     and to ye erle of Aryn, namyd Hamylton, and to ye Lord
     Evyndale, namyd Stuerd, and to many lords and lards as well
     spyrytuall as temporal, and truly I know their mynds, for
     they takyth me for a Skotysh man's sone, for I name my
     selff Karre, and so ye Karres kallyth me cosyn, thorow ye
     which I am in the more favor. Shortly to conclude; trust you
     no Skott for they wyll yowse flatterying wordes and all ys
     falshold. I suppose veryly that you have in Ynglond by
     hundred and thowsand Skotts and innumerable other alyons,
     which doth (specyally ye Skotts) much harme to the king's
     leege men throw their evyll wordes, for as I went thorow
     Ynglond I mett and was in company off many rurall felows,
     Englishmen that love nott our gracyose kyng. Wold to Jesu
     that some were ponyshed to geve others example. Wolde to
     Jesu also that you had never an alyen in yor realme,
     specyally Skotts, for I never knew alyen good for Ynglond
     except they knew proffytt and lucre should come to them so.
     In all parts of Chrystyndome that I have travylled in I know
     nott V Englishmen inhabytants except only scholers for
     learning. I pray to Jesu that alyens do in Ynglond no more
     harme to Ynglonde, and yff I myght do Ynglonde any servyce,
     specyally to my soveryn lord the kyng and to you, I would do
     ytt to spend and putt my lyfe in danger and jeberdy as far
     as any man. God be my judge. You have my hartt and shall be
     sure of me to the uttermost of my pore power. for I am never
     able to make you amends, for when I was in greatt thraldom,
     both bodyly and goastly, you of yor gentylnes sett me att
     liberte. Also I thank yor mastershepp for yor grett kyndnes
     that you have shewed me att Bysshopps Waltham, and that you
     gave me lycense to come to you ons in a qwarrtter. as sone
     as I come home I intende to come to you to submytt my selff
     to you to do with me what you wyll. for for lak of wytt
     paradventter I may in this wrettyng say that shall nott
     content you. but god be my judge I mene trewly both to my
     sovereyngne lord the kyng and to you. when I was kept in
     thrawldom in ye charterhouse and know neither ye kyngs noble
     acts nor you, then stultycyusly throw synstrall wordes I dyd
     as man of the others doth, butt after I was att lyberte
     manyfestly I aparsevyd ye ignorance and blyndnes that they
     and I wer yn. for I could never know no thynge of no maner
     of matter butt only by them, and they wolde cawse me wrett
     full incypyently to ye prior of London when he was in ye
     tower before he was putt to exicuyon. for ye which I trustt
     yor mastershepp hath pardonyd me, for god knoweth I was
     keppt in prison straytly, and glad I was to wrett att theyr
     request, but I wrott nothyng that I thought shold be agenst
     my prince nor you nor no other man. I pray god that you may
     provyde a good prior for that place of London, for truly
     there be many wylfull and obstynatt yowng men that stondeth
     to much in their owne consaytt and wyll nott be reformyd
     butt playth ye chyldryn, and a good prior wolde so serve
     them lyke chyldryn. News I have to wrett to you butt I
     yntende to be with ou shortly. for I am half wery off this
     baryn contry, as Jesu Chryst knowth, who ever keppe you in
     helthe and honor. a myle from Edynborough, the fyrst day off
     Apryll, by the hand of yor poer skoler and servantt,--Andrew
     Boorde Preest."

Literary physicians have, as a rule, not prospered as medical
practitioners. The public harbour towards them the same suspicious and
unfavourable prejudices as they do to literary barristers. A man, it
is presumed, cannot be a master of two trades at the same time, and
where he professes to carry on two it is usually concluded that he
understands neither. To display the injustice of such views is no part
of this writer's work, for the task is in better hands--time and
experience, who are yearly adding to the cases that support the
converse proposition that if a man is really a proficient in one
subject, the fact is of itself a reason for believing him a master of
a second.

Still, the number of brilliant writers who have enrolled themselves in
the medical fraternity is remarkable. If they derived no benefit from
their order, they have at least generously conferred lustre upon it.
Goldsmith--though no one can say on what his claim to the title of
doctor rested, and though in his luckless attempts to get medical
employment he underwent even more humiliation and disgrace than fell
to his lot as the drudge of Mrs. Griffiths--is one of the most
pleasant associations that our countrymen have in connection with the
history of "the Faculty." Smollett, like Goldsmith, tried
ineffectually to escape from literary drudgery to the less irksome and
more profitable duties that surround the pestle and mortar. Of Garth,
Blackmore, Arbuthnot, and Akenside, notice has already been taken.

Anything like a complete enumeration of medical men who have made
valuable contributions to _belles lettres_ would fill a volume, by the
writing of which very little good would be attained. By no means the
least of them was Armstrong, whose portrait Thomson introduced into
the "Castle of Indolence."

    "With him was sometimes joined in silken walk
      (Profoundly silent--for they never spoke),
    One shyer still, who quite detested talk;
      If stung by spleen, at once away he broke
      To grove of pine and broad o'ershadowing oak.
    There, inly thrilled, he wandered all alone,
      And on himself his pensive fury woke:
    He never uttered word, save when first shone
    The glittering star of eve--'Thank Heaven, the day is done.'"

His medical writings, and his best known poem, "The Art of Health,"
had he written nothing else, would in all probability have brought him
patients, but the licentiousness of "The Economy of Love" effectually
precluded him from ever succeeding as a family physician. Amongst
Armstrong's poet friends was Grainger, the amiable and scholarly
physician who enjoyed the esteem of Percy and Samuel Johnson,
Shenstone and Sir Joshua. Soon after the publication of his
translation of the "Elegies of Tibullus," (1758), Grainger went to the
island of St. Christopher's, and established himself there as a
physician. The scenery and industrial occupations of the island
inspired him to write his most important poem, "The Sugar-Cane,"
which, in escaping such derision as was poured on Blackmore's
effusions, owed its good fortune to the personal popularity of the
author rather than its intrinsic merits. The following sample is a
fair one:--

    "Destructive on the upland groves
    The monkey nation preys: from rocky heights,
    In silent parties they descend by night,
    And posting watchful sentinels, to warn
    When hostile steps approach, with gambols they
    Pour o'er the cane-grove. Luckless he to whom
    That land pertains! in evil hour, perhaps,
    And thoughtless of to-morrow, on a die
    He hazards millions; or, perhaps, reclines
    On luxury's soft lap, the pest of wealth;
    And, inconsiderate, deems his Indian crops
    Will amply her insatiate wants supply.

      "From these insidious droles (peculiar pest
    Of Liamigia's hills) would'st thou defen
    Thy waving wealth, in traps put not thy trust,
    However baited: treble every watch,
    And well with arms provide them; faithful dogs,
    Of nose sagacious, on their footsteps wait.
    With these attack the predatory bands;
    Quickly, th' unequal conflict they decline,
    And chattering, fling their ill-got spoils away.
    So when, of late, innumerous Gallic hosts,
    Fierce, wanton, cruel, did by stealth invade
    The peaceable American's domains,
    While desolation mark'd their faithless rout;
    No sooner Albion's martial sons advanc'd,
    Than the gay dastards to their forests fled,
    And left their spoils and tomahawks behind.
      "_Nor with less haste the whisker'd vermin race,
    A countless clan, despoil the low-land cane._
      "These to destroy, &c."

When the poem was read in MS. at Sir Joshua's house, the lines printed
in italics were not part of the production, but in their place stood--

              "Now, Muse, let's sing of _rats_."

The immediate effect of such _bathos_ was a burst of inextinguishable
laughter from the auditors, whose sense of the ridiculous was by no
means quieted by the fact that one of the company, slyly overlooking
the reader, discovered that "the word had originally been _mice_, and
had been altered to _rats_, as more dignified."

Above the crowd of minor medical _litterateurs_ are conspicuous,
Moore, the author of "Zeluco"; Dr. Aikin, one of whose many works has
been already referred to; Erasmus Darwin, author of "The Botanic
Garden"; Mason Good, the translator of "Lucretius," and author of the
"Study of Medicine"; Dr. Ferriar, whose "Illustrations of Sterne" just
doubled the value in the market of "Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy";
Cogan, the author of "Life and Opinions of John Buncle, jun."; Dr.
Harrington, of Bath, editor of the "Nug\xE6 Antiqu\xE6"; Millingen, who
wrote "The Curiosities of Medical Practice," and "The History of
Duelling"; Dr. Paris, whose "Life of Sir Humphrey Davy,"
unsatisfactory as it is in many places, is still a useful book, and
many of whose other writings will long remain of great value; Wadd,
the humourous collector of "Medical Ana"; Dr. Merriman, the late
contributor to the _Gentleman's Magazine_ and _Notes and Queries_; and
Pettigrew, the biographer of Lettsom. If the physicians and surgeons
still living, who have openly or anonymously written with good effect
on subjects not immediately connected with their profession, were
placed before the reader, there would be found amongst them many of
the most distinguished of their fraternity.

_Apropos_ of the Dr. Harrington mentioned above, a writer says--"The
Doctor for many years attended the Dowager Lady Trevor, relict of Lord
Trevor, and last surviving daughter of Sir Richard Steele. He spoke of
this lady as possessing all the wit, humour, and gaiety of her father,
together with most of his faults. She was extravagant, and always in
debt; but she was generous, charitable, and humane. She was
particularly partial to young people, whom she frequently entertained
most liberally, and delighted them with the pleasantry and volubility
of her discourse. Her person was like that which her pleasant father
described himself in the _Spectator_, with his short face, &c. A
little before her death (which was in the month of December) she sent
for her doctor, and, on his entering her chamber, he said, 'How fares
your Ladyship!' She replied, 'Oh, my dear Doctor, ill fare! I am
going to break up before the holidays!' This agreeable lady lived many
years in Queen's Square, Bath, and, in the summer months, at St. Ann's
Hill, Surrey, the late residence of Rt. Hon. Chas. James Fox."

Wolcot, better known as Peter Pindar, was a medical practitioner, his
father and many of his ancestors having followed the same calling in
Devonshire and Cornwall, under the names of Woolcot, Wolcott,
Woolacot, Walcot, or Wolcot. After acquiring a knowledge of his
profession in a somewhat irregular manner Wolcot found a patron in Sir
William Trelawny, Bart., of Trelawny, co. Cornwall, who, on going out
to assume the governorship of Jamaica, took the young surgeon with him
to act as medical officer to his household. In Jamaica Wolcot figured
in more characters than one. He was the governor's grand-master of the
ceremonies, private secretary, and chaplain. When the King of the
Mosquitoes waited on the new governor to express his loyal devotion to
the King of England's representative, Wolcot had to entertain the
royal guest--no difficult task as long as strong drink was in the way.

His Majesty--an enormously stout black brute--regarded intoxication as
the condition of life most fit for kings.

    "Champagne the courtier drinks, the spleen to chase,
    The colonel Burgundy, and port his Grace."

The autocrat of the Mosquitoes, as the greatest only are, in his
simplicity sublime, was contented with rum or its equivalent.

"Mo' drink for king! Mo' drink for king!" he would bellow, dancing
round the grand-master of the governor's household.

"King," the grand-master would reply, "you are drunk already."

"No, no; king no drunk. Mo' drink for king! Broder George" (_i. e._
George III.) "love drink!"

_Grand-Master._--"Broder George does not love drink: he is a sober

_Autocrat._--"But King of Musquito love drink. Me will have mo' drink.
Me love drink like devil. Me drink whole ocean!"

The different meagre memoirs of Peter Pindar are conflicting as to
whether he ever received ordination from the hands of the Bishop of
London. It seems most probable that he never did. But, consecrated or
not, there is no doubt that he officiated as a colonial rector for
some time. Droll stories of him as a parish priest used to circulate
amongst his friends, as well as amongst his enemies. He read prayers
and preached whenever a congregation appeared in his church, but three
Sundays out of every four not a soul came to receive the benefit of
his ministrations.

The rector was an admirable shot, and on his way from his house to
church used to amuse himself with shooting pigeons, his clerk--also an
excellent shot--walking behind with a fowling-piece in his hand, and
taking part in the sport. Having reached the sacred edifice, his
reverence and attendant opened the church door and waited in the porch
ten minutes for the advent of worshippers. If none had presented
themselves at the end of ten minutes, the pastor beat a retreat. If
only a few black Christians straggled up, the rector bought them off
with a few coins and then went home. One cunning old negro, who saw
that the parson's heart was more with the wild-fowl of the neighboring
bay than bent on the discharge of his priestly functions, after a
while presented himself every Sunday, when the following interview and
arrangement were regularly repeated:--

"What do you come here for, blackee?" the parson would exclaim.

"Why, massa, to hear your good sermon and all de prayer ob de church."

"Would not a _bit_ or two do you more good?"

"Yes, massa doctor--me lub prayer much, but me lub money too."

The "bit or two" would then be paid, and the devotee would retire
speedily from the scene. For an entire twelve-month was this
_black_-mail exacted.

On his return to England, Wolcot, after a few unsuccessful attempts to
establish himself in practice, relinquished the profession of physic
as well as that of divinity, and, settling himself in London, made
both fame and a good income by his writings. As a political satirist
he was in his day almost without a rival, and the popularity of his
numerous works would have placed a prudent man in lasting affluence.
Improvidence, however, necessitated him to sell the copyright of his
works to Messrs. Robinson, Golding, and Walker for an annuity of \xA3250,
payable half-yearly, during the remainder of his life. Loose
agreements have always been the fashion between authors and
publishers, and in the present case it was not clearly stated what
"copyright of his works" meant. The publishers interpreted it as the
copyright of both what the author had written at the time of making
the agreement, and also of what he should subsequently write. Wolcot,
however, declared that he had in the transaction only had regard to
his prior productions. After some litigation and more squabbling, the
publishers consented to take Wolcot's view of the case; but he never
forgave them the discomfort they had caused him. His rancour against
"the trade" increased with time, and inspired some of his most violent
and unjust verses:--

    "Fired with the love of rhyme, and, let me say,
    Or virtue, too, I sound the moral lay;
    Much like St. Paul (who solemnly protests
    He battled hard at Ephesus with beasts),
    I've fought with lions, monkeys, bulls, and bears,
    And got half Noah's ark about my ears;
    Nay, more (which all the courts of justice know),
    Fought with the brutes of Paternoster Row."

For medicine Peter Pindar had even less respect than Garth had. He
used to say "that he did not like the practice of it as an art. He was
entirely ignorant, indeed, whether the patient was cured by the vis
_medicatrix natur\xE6_, or the administration of a little pill, which was
either directly or indirectly to reach the part affected." And for the
practitioners of the art held in such low esteem, he cherished a
contempt that he would at times display with true Pindaric warmth. In
his two-act farce, "Physic and Delusion; or Jezebel and the Doctors,"
the dialogue is carried on in the following strain:--

    "_Blister._--    By God, old prig!
    Another word, and by my wig----

    "_Bolus._--Thy wig? Great accoucheur, well said,
    'Tis of more value than thy head;
    And 'mongst thy customers--poor ninnies!
    Has helped thee much to bag thy guineas."

Amongst Peter Pindar's good services to the world was the protection
he afforded to Opie (or Oppy, as it was at one time less euphoniously
spelt and pronounced) the artist, when he was a poor country clown,
rising at three o'clock in the summer mornings, to pursue his art with
rude pieces of chalk and charcoal. Wolcot presented the boy with his
first pencils, colours, and canvas, and put him in the way to paint
portraits for the magnificent remuneration of half-a-guinea, and
subsequently a guinea a-head. And it was to the same judicious friend
that Opie, on leaving the provinces, owed his first success in London.

Wolcot used to tell some droll stories about his artist friend. Opie's
indiscreet manner was a source of continual trouble to those who
endeavoured to serve him; for, priding himself on being "a rough
diamond," he took every pains that no one should fail to see the
roughness. A lady sitter was anxious that her portrait should be "very
handsome," and frankly told the painter so. "Then, madam," was the
reply, "you wish to be painted otherwise than you are. I see you do
not want your own face." Not less impudent was he at the close of his
first year in London, in taking out writs against several sitters who
were rather tardy in their payments.

Opie was not the only artist of celebrity deeply indebted to Peter
Pindar. Bone, the painter in enamel, found an efficient friend in the
same discerning lover of the arts. In this respect Wolcot was worthy
of the profession which he deserted, and affected to despise; and his
name will ever be honourably mentioned amongst those physicians who
have fostered art, from the days of picture-loving Mead, down to those
of the writer's very kind friend, Dr. Diamond, who gathered from
remote quarters "The Diamond Collection of Portraits," which may be
seen amongst the art treasures of Oxford.

One of the worthies of Dr. Diamond's family was Robertus Fludd, or De
Fluctibus, the writer of Rosicrucian celebrity who gave Sterne more
than one lesson in the arts of eccentricity. Sir Thomas Fludd of
Milgate, Bearsted, co. Kent (grandson of David Fludd, _alias_ Lloyd of
Morton, in Shropshire), had five sons and a daughter. Of this
offspring, one son, Thomas, purchased Gore Court, and fixed there a
family, the vicissitudes of which may be learnt by a reference to
Hasted's Kent. From this branch of the Fludds descended Dr. Diamond,
who, amongst other curious family relics, possesses the diploma of
Robertus de Fluctibus.

When Robertus de Fluctibus died, Sept. 8, 1637, in Coleman St.,
London, his body, under the protection of a herald of arms, was
conveyed to the family seat in Kent, and was then buried in Bearsted
Church, under a stone which he had before laid for himself. The
monument over his ashes was ordered by him in his last will to be made
after that of William Camden in the Abbey at Westminster. The
inscription which marks his resting-place declares his, rather than
our, estimate of his intellectual greatness;

    Magnificus non h\xE6c sub odoribus urna vaporat,
    Crypta tegit cineres nec speciosa tuos.
    Quod mortale minus, tibi te committimus unum;
    Ingenii vivent hic monumenta tui
    Nam tibi qui similis scribit, moriturque, sepulchrum
    Pro tot\xE2 \xE6ternum posteritate facit.

More modest, and at the same time more humorous, is the epitaph, in
Hendon Church, of poor Thomas Crossfield, whose name, alike as surgeon
and politician, has passed from among men:--

    "Underneath Tom Crossfield lies,
    Who cares not now who laughs or cries.
    He always laughed, and when mellow
    Was a harum scarum sort of fellow.
    To none gave designed offence,
    So--_Honi soit qui mal y pense_."

Amongst the medical poets there is one whom all scholarly physicians
jealously claim as of their body--John Keats; he who, dying at Rome,
at the age of twenty-six, wished his epitaph to be, "Here lies one
whose name was writ in water." After serving his apprenticeship under
an Edmonton surgeon, the author of "Endymion" became a medical student
at St. Thomas's hospital.

Mention here, too, may be made of Dr. Macnish, the author of "The
Anatomy of Drunkenness," and "The Modern Pythagorean"; and of Dr.
Moir, the poet, whose death, a few years since, robbed the world of a
simple and pathetic writer, and his personal acquaintance of a
noble-hearted friend.

But of all modern English poets who have had an intimate personal
connection with the medical profession, the greatest by far is

         "Nature's sternest painter, yet the best."

In 1754 George Crabbe was born in the old sea-faring town of
Aldborough, in the county of Suffolk. His father, the collector of
salt-duties, or salt-master of the town, was a churlish sullen fellow
at the best of times; but, falling upon adversity in his old days, he
became the _beau-ideal_ of a domestic tyrant. He was not, however,
without his respectable points. Though a poor man, he did his best to
educate his children above the ranks of the very poor. One of them
became a thriving glazier in his native town; another went to sea, and
became captain of a Liverpool slave-ship; and a third, also a sailor,
met with strange vicissitudes--at one time enjoying a very
considerable amount of prosperity, and then suffering penury and
persecution. A studious and a delicate lad, George, the eldest of the
party, was designed for some pursuit more adapted to his disposition
and physical powers than the avocations of working mechanics, or the
hard duties of the marine service. When quite a child, he had, amongst
the inhabitants of Aldborough, a reputation for mental superiority
that often did him good service. On one occasion he chanced to offend
a playmate--his senior and "master," as boys and savages term it--and
was on the point of receiving a good thrashing nigh the roaring waves
of old ocean, when a third boy, a common acquaintance, exclaimed in a
voice of affright:--

"Yar marn't middle a' him; lit him aloone--he ha' got l'arning."

The plea was admitted as a good one, and the future bard, taking his
benefit of clergy, escaped the profanation of a drubbing.

George was sent to two respectable schools, the one at Bungay, in
Suffolk, and the other (the better of the two) at Stowmarket, in the
same county. The expense of such an education, even if it amounted to
no more than \xA320 per annum, was no small undertaking for the
salt-master of a fishing-village; for Aldborough--now a handsome and
much frequented provincial watering-place--was in 1750 nothing better
than a collection of huts, whose humble inhabitants possessed little
stake in the commonweal beyond the right of sending to parliament two
members to represent their interests and opinions. On leaving school,
in his fourteenth year, George was apprenticed to a country doctor of
a very rough sort, who plied his trade at Wickham Brook, a small
village near Bury St. Edmunds. It is a fact worthy of note, as
throwing some light on the state of the profession in the provinces,
that the apprentice shared the bed of his master's stable-boy. At
Wickham Brook, however, the lad did not remain long to endure such
indignity. He was removed from that scene of trial, and placed under
the tutelage of Mr. Page, a surgeon of Woodbridge, a gentleman of good
connections and polite tastes, and through the marriage of his
daughter with the late famous Alderman Wood, an ancestor of a learned
judge, who is not more eminent as a lawyer than beloved as a man.

It was during his apprenticeship to Mr. Page of Woodbridge that Crabbe
made his first important efforts in poetry, publishing, in the year
1772, some fugitive pieces in _Wheble's Magazine_, and in 1775
"Inebriety, a poem, in three parts. Ipswich: printed and sold by C.
Punchard, bookseller, in the Butter-market." While at Woodbridge, too,
his friend Levett, a young surgeon of the neighborhood, took him over
to Framlingham, introducing him to the families of that picturesque
old town. William Springall Levett was at that time engaged to Alethea
Brereton, a lady who, under the _nom de plume_ of "Eugenia Acton,"
wrote certain novels that created a sensation in their brief day.
Amongst them were "Vicissitudes of Genteel Life," "The Microcosm,"
and "A Tale without a Title." The love-making of Mr. Levett and Miss
Eugenia de Acton was put a stop to by the death of the former, in
1774. The following epitaph, transcribed from the History of
Framlingham, the work of the able antiquarian, Mr. Richard Green, is
interesting as one of Crabbe's earlier compositions.

    "What! though no trophies peer above his dust,
    Nor sculptured conquests deck his sober bust;
    What! though no earthly thunders sound his name,
    Death gives him conquest, and our sorrows fame!
    One sigh reflection heaves, but shuns excess,
    More should we mourn him, did we love him less."

Subsequently Miss Brereton married a gentleman named Lewis, engaged in
extensive agricultural operations. However brief her literary
reputation may have been, her pen did her good service; for, at a
critical period of her husband's career, it brought her sums of
much-needed money.

Mr. Levett's romance closed prematurely together with his life, but
through him Crabbe first became acquainted with the lovely girl whom
he loved through years of trial, and eventually made his wife. Sarah
Elmy was the niece of John Tovell, _yeoman_, not _gentleman_--he would
have scorned the title. Not that the worthy man was without pride of
divers kinds, or that he did not hold himself to be a gentleman. He
believed in the Tovells as being one of the most distinguished
families of the country. A Tovell, by mere right of being a Tovell,
could thrash more Frenchmen than any Englishman, not a Tovell, could.
When the good man said, "I am nothing more than a plain yeoman," he
never intended or expected any one to believe him, or to regard his
words in any other light than as a playful protest against being
deemed "a plain yeoman," or that modern hybrid, "a gentleman farmer."

He was a well-made, handsome, pleasant fellow--riding a good horse
with the hounds--loving good cheer--enjoying laughter, without being
very particular as to the cause of it--a little too much addicted to
carousing, but withal an agreeable and useful citizen; and he lived at
Parham Lodge, a house that a peer inhabited after him, without making
any important alterations in the place.

On Crabbe's first introduction to Parham Lodge he was received with
cordiality; but when it was seen that he had fallen in love with the
squire's niece, it was only natural that "his presumption" should not
at first meet the approval either of Mrs. Tovell or her husband. But
the young people plighted troth to each other, and the engagement was
recognized by the lady's family. It was years, however, before the
wedding bells were set ringing. Crabbe's apprenticeship to Mr. Page
finished, he tried ineffectually to raise the funds for a regular
course of hospital instruction in London. Returning to Aldborough, he
furnished a shop with a few bottles and a pound's worth of drugs, and
set up as "an apothecary." Of course it was only amongst the poor of
his native town that he obtained patients, the wealthier inhabitants
of the borough distrusting the knowledge of a doctor who had not
walked the hospitals. In the summer of 1778, however, he was appointed
surgeon to the Warwickshire militia, then stationed at Aldborough, and
in the following winter, on the Warwickshire militia being moved and
replaced by the Norfolk militia, he was appointed surgeon to the
latter regiment also. But these posts were only temporary, and
conferred but little emolument on their holder. At length poverty
drove the poet from his native town. The rest of his career is matter
of notoriety. Every reader knows how the young man went to London and
only escaped the death of Otway or Chatterton by the generous
patronage of Burke, how through Burke's assistance he was ordained,
became the Duke of Rutland's chaplain, obtained comfortable church
preferment, and for a long span enjoyed an amount of domestic
happiness that was as great and richly deserved as his literary

Crabbe's marriage with Sarah Elmy eventually conferred on him and his
children the possession of Parham Lodge, which estate, a few years
since, passed from them into the hands of wealthy purchasers. The poet
also succeeded to other wealth through the same connection, an
old-maid sister of John Tovell leaving him a considerable sum of
money. "I can screw Crabbe up and down like an old fiddle," this
amiable lady was fond of saying; and during her life she proved that
her boast was no empty one. But her will was a handsome apology for
all her little tiffs.



"Then, sir," said Mrs. Mallet, "if you'll only not look so frightened,
I'll tell you how it was. It is now twenty years ago that I was very
unfortunate. I was not more than thirty years of age, but I was old
enough to have just lost a good husband and a dear little babe; and
then, when I hadn't a sixpence in my pocket, I caught the fever, and
had to go to a hospital. I wasn't used to trouble; for although I was
nothing better than a poor man's child, I had known all my life
nothing but kindness. I never had but one mistress,--my lady, who when
she was the most beautiful young lady in all Devonshire, took me out
of a village school, and raised me to be her maid; and her maid I was
for twelve years--first down in Devonshire, and afterwards up in
London, when she married (somewhat against the will of her family) a
thorough good gentleman, but a poor one, who after a time took her out
to India, where he became a judge, and she a grand lady. My dear
mistress would have taken me out to India with her, only she was then
too poor to pay for my passage out, and bear the expense of me there,
where labour can be got so cheap, and native servants can live on a
handful of rice a day. She, sir, is Lady Burridge--the same who gave
me the money to start in this house with, and whose carriage you saw
yesterday at my door.

"So my mistress went eastward, and I was left behind to marry a young
man I had loved for some few years, and who had served during that
time as clerk to my lady's husband. I was a young woman, and young
women, to the end of the chapter, will think it a brave thing to fall
in love. I thought my sweetheart was a handsomer and cleverer man than
any other of his station in all London. I wonder how many girls have
thought the same of their favourites! I went to church one morning
with a fluttering heart and trembling knees, and came out under the
porch thinking that all my life would ever afterwards be brighter, and
lighter, and sunnier than it had been before. Well! in dancing into
that pretty blunder, I wasn't a bigger fool than lots of others.

"And if a good husband is a great blessing (and she must be a paltry
woman who can say nay to that), I was born to luck; for my husband was
kind, good, and true--his temper was as sweet at home as his manners
were abroad--he was hard-working and clever, sober and devout;
and--though you may laugh at a woman of my age talking so like a
romance--I tell you, sir, that if my life had to come all over again,
I'd rather have the mischance of marrying my dear Richard, that the
good fortune of wedding a luckier man.

"There's no doubt the game turned out ill for me. At first it seemed
as if it would be just otherwise, for my husband had good health,
plenty of work, and sufficient pay; so that, when my little girl came,
her sweet face brought no shadow of anxiety with it, and we hoped she
would be followed in due course by half-a-dozen more. But ere the dear
babe had learned to prattle, a drear change came over the happy
prospect. The fever crept over the gentle darling, and after she had
suffered for a week or more, lying on my arms, God raised her from me
into his happy home, where the beauty of summer reigns for ever, and
the coldness of winter never enters. Richard and I took the body of
our babe to the burial-ground, and saw it covered up in the earth
which by turns gives all we get, and takes away from us all we have;
and as we walked back to our deserted home, arm-in-arm, in the light
of the summer's evening, we talked to each other more solemnly and
tenderly than we had done for many a day. And the next morning he went
back to his work in the office, from which he had absented himself
since our child's death; and I encouraged him to cheer up, and not to
give way to sorrow when I was not nigh to comfort him, but toil
bravely and hopefully, as a man should; and in so advising him, I do
not blush to say that I thought not only of what was best for his
spirits, but also of what our necessity required--for we were only
poor people, not at any time beforehand in the world, and now reduced
by the cost of our little one's illness and funeral; and, sir, in this
hard world we women, most times, have the best of it, for when the
house is full of sorrow, we have little else to do but weep, but the
men have to grieve and toil too.

"But poor Richard could not hold up his head. He came back from work
that day pale and faint, and in the evening he had a chill and a
heat-fit, that let me know the fever which had killed our little one
had passed into him. The next day he could not leave his bed, and the
doctor (a most kind man, who was always making rough jokes in a rough
voice--just to hide his womanliness) said to me, 'If your husband goes
down to his master's chambers in the Temple to-day, he had better stop
at the coffin-maker's, in the corner of Chancery Lane, and leave his
measure.' But Richard's case was not one for a jest, and he rapidly
became worse than the doctor fancied he would be when he made that
light speech. He was ill for six weeks, and then began slowly to mend;
he got on so far as to sit up for two days for half-an-hour while he
had his tea, and we were hoping that soon he would be able to be moved
into the country--to my sister's, whose husband was an engineer at
Stratford; but, suddenly, he had a relapse, and on the morning that
finished the tenth week from his being seized, his arms let go their
hold on my neck--and I was left alone!

"All during my babe's and Richard's long illness my sister Martha had
behaved like a true sister to me. She was my only sister, and, to the
best of my knowledge, the only relation I had in the world--and a good
one she was; from girl to woman her heart always rung out clear like a
bell. She had three young children, but even fear of contagion
reaching them could not keep her from me in my trouble. She kept
making the journey backwards and forwards, at least once a week, in
the carrier's cart; and, though she had no money to spare, she
brought me, with her husband's blessing, presents of wine, and
jellies, and delicate meat, to buy which, I knew right well, she and
her husband and her children must have pinched themselves down to
scanty rations of bread and water. Her hands helped mine to put the
flowers in poor Richard's coffin; she bore me up while I followed it,
pale and trembling, to the grave; and when that horrible day was
coming to an end, and she was about to return home, she took me into
her arms, and covering me with kisses and caressings, and a thousand
gentle sayings, as if I had been a child of her own, instead of her
sister and a grown woman, she made me promise to come down to her at
Stratford at the end of the week, and stay with her till God should
give me strength and spirits and guidance, to work for myself again.

"But that promise was not kept. Next morning the rough-tender doctor
came in, out of his mere goodness, to give me a friendly look, and a
'God speed you,' and found me, too, sickening for an illness. I knew,
sir, he had made the discovery before his lips confessed a word; for
when he had taken my wrist and felt my pulse, and looked up into my
worn face, he turned pale, as if almost frightened, and such a look of
grief came on his eyes and lips that he could not have said plainer,
'My poor woman! my poor woman! what I feared from the beginning, and
prayed God not to permit, has come to pass at last.'

"Then I fairly broke down and cried bitterly; and I told the doctor
how sore afflicted I was--how God had taken my husband and babe from
me--how all my little means had been consumed in the expenses of
nursing--how the little furniture in my rooms would not pay half what
I owed to honest folk--and how, even in my unspeakable wretchedness, I
could not ask the Almighty to take away my life, for I could not rest
in death if I left the world without paying my just debts. Well, sir,
the doctor sate down by me, and said, in his softest and simplest

"'Come, come, neighbour, don't you frighten yourself. Be calm, and
listen to me. Don't let the thought of debts worry you. What little I
have done in the way of business for your poor child and husband I
never wish to be paid for--so there's your greatest creditor disposed
of. As for the others, they won't trouble you, for I'll undertake to
see that none of them shall think that you have wronged 'em. I wish I
could do more, neighbor; but I ain't a rich man, and I have got a wife
and a regiment of little ones at home, who won't help, in the long
run, to make me richer--although I am sure they'll make me happier.
But now for yourself; you must go to the fever-hospital, to have your
illness out; the physician who'll take care of you there is the
cleverest in all London; and, as he is an old friend of mine, I can
ask him to pay especial attention to you. You'll find it a pleasant,
cheerful place, much more cool and comfortable than your rooms here;
the nurses are all of them good people; and while lying on your bed
there you won't have to fret yourself with thinking how you are to pay
for the doctors, and medicine, and kitchen physic.'

"I was only too thankful to assent to all the doctor said; and
forthwith he fetched a coach, put me into it, and took me off to the
fever-hospital, to which his influence procured me instant
admittance. Without delay I was conveyed to a large and comfortable
bed, which, with another similar bed parallel to it, was placed
against the wall at the end of a long gallery, containing twenty other
beds. The first day of my hospital life I spent tranquilly enough; the
languor of extreme exhaustion had soothed me, and my malady had not
robbed me of my senses. So I lay calmly on my couch and watched all
the proceedings and arrangements of the great bed-room. I noticed how
clean and white all the beds looked, and what kindly women the nurses
were; I remarked what a wide space there was down the middle of the
room between the two rows of beds, and again what large intervals
there were between the beds on each side; I observed, too, that over
every bed there was a ventilator set in the wall, and beneath the
ventilator a board, on which was pinned a paper, bearing, in a
filled-up printed form, the number of the bed to which it belonged,
the date when the occupant was admitted to the ward, the names of the
physician and nurse under whose charge she was, the medicine she was
taking, and the diet on which she was put. It made me smile, moreover,
to note how the nurses, when giving physic or nourishment, or
otherwise attending to their charges, would frequently address them by
the numbers on their boards, instead of their names.

"'Nurse, dear,' I asked, with a smile, when my attendant came near me,
'what's my name?'

"'Oh, dear!' said she, looking up at the board which had already been
fixed over my head, 'your name is Number Eleven.'

"It would be hard for me to give you, sir, any notion of how these
words, _Number Eleven_, took possession of my mind. This was the more
strange, because the nurse did not usually call me by them; for she
was a motherly creature, and almost always addressed me as 'poor
dear,' or 'poor child'; and the doctors who had the charge of me spoke
to me as 'friend,' or 'old friend,' or 'neighbor.' But all the same
for that, I always thought of myself as Number Eleven; and ere many
days, if any one had asked me what my name was, I could not for the
life of me have remembered Abigail Mallet, but should have answered
Number Eleven. The patient in the next bed to me was Number
Twenty-two; she was, like myself, a poor woman who had just lost a
husband and child by the fever, and both of us were much struck, and
then drawn to each other, by discovering how we had suffered alike. We
often interchanged a few words during the sorrowful hours of the long,
hot nights, but our whisperings always turned on the same subject.
'Number Eleven,' I used to hear her poor thin lips murmur, 'are you
thinking of your baby, dear?' 'To be sure, darling,' I would answer;
'I am awake, and when I am awake, I am always thinking of her.' Then
most times she would inquire, 'Number Eleven, dear, which do you think
of most--the little one or her father?' Whereto I would reply, 'I
think of both alike, dear, for whenever I look at her, a fair young
angel in heaven--she seems to be lying in her father's arms.' And
after we had conversed so, No. 22 would be quiet for a few minutes;
and often, in the silence of the night, I could at such times hear
that which informed me the poor woman was weeping to herself--in such
a way that she was happier for her tears.

"But my malady progressed unfavourably. Each succeeding night was
worse to endure; and the morning light, instead of bringing
refreshment and hope, only gave to me a dull, gloomy consciousness
that I had passed hours in delirium, and that I was weaker and heavier
in heart, and more unlikely than ever to hold my head up again. They
cut all the hair off my head, and put blisters at the back of my neck;
but the awful weight of sorrow and the gnawing heat kept on my brain
all the same. I could no longer amuse myself with looking at what went
on in the ward; I lost all care for the poor woman who lay in the next
bed; and soon I tossed to and fro, and heeded nothing of the outer
world except the burning, and aching, and thirst, and sleeplessness
that encased me.

"One morning I opened my eyes and saw the doctor standing between me
and No. 22, talking to the nurse. A fit of clearness passed over my
understanding, such as people suffering under fever often experience
for a few seconds, and I heard the physician say softly to the nurses,
'We must be careful and do our best, sister, and leave the rest to
God. They are both very ill; this is now the fourth day since either
of them recognized me. They must have more wine and brandy to help
them through. Here, give me their boards.' On this, the nurse took
down the boards, and handed them, one after the other, to the
physician, and he, taking a pen from a clerk, who always attended him,
wrote his directions on the papers, and handed them back to the nurse.
Having heard and seen all this, I shifted in my bed, and after a few
weak efforts to ponder on my terrible condition, and how awful a thing
it is to die, I fell back into my former state of delirium and

"The next distinct memory I have of my illness was when I opened my
eyes and beheld a wooden screen standing between me and the next bed.
My head felt as if it had been put into a closely fitting cap of ice;
but apart from this strange sensation, I was free from pain. My body
was easy, and my mind was tranquil. My nurse was standing at the foot
of my bed, looking towards me with an expression of solemn tenderness;
and by her side was another woman--as I afterwards found out, a new
nurse, unaccustomed to the ways of the hospital.

"'What is that screen there for?' asked the novice.

"My nurse lowered her voice, and answered slowly, 'Number Eleven, poor
soul, is dying; she'll be dead in half an hour; and the screen is
there so that Number Twenty-Two mayn't see her.'

"'Poor soul!' said the novice, 'may God have mercy upon her!'

"They spoke scarcely above a whisper, but I heard them distinctly; and
a solemn gladness, such as I used to feel, when I was a young girl, at
the sound of church music, came over me at learning that I was to die.
Only half an hour, and I should be with baby and Richard in heaven!
Mixed with this thought, too, there was a pleasant memory of those I
had loved and who had loved me--of sister Martha and her husband and
children, of the doctor who had been so good to me and brought me to
the hospital, of my lady in India, of many others; and I silently
prayed the Almighty with my dying heart to protect and bless them.
Then passed through me a fluttering of strange, soft fancies, and it
was revealed to me that I was dead.

"By-and-by the physician came his round of the ward, stepping lightly,
pausing at each bed, speaking softly to nurses and patients, and,
without knowing it, making many a poor woman entertain kinder thoughts
than she had ever meant to cherish of the wealthy and gentle. When he
came to the end of the ward, his handsome face wore a pitiful air, and
it was more by the movement of his lips than by the sound of his mouth
that I knew what passed from him to the nurse.

"'Well, sister, well,' he said, 'she sleeps quietly at last. Poor
thing! I hope and believe the next life will be a fairer one for her
than this has been.'

"'Her sister has been written to,' observed the nurse.

"'Quite right; and how is the other?'

"'Oh, No. 22 is just the same--quite still, not moving at all,
scarcely breathing, sir!'

"'Um!--you must persevere. Possibly she'll pull through. Good-bye,

"Late in the evening my sister Martha came. She was dressed in black,
and led with her hand Rhoda, her eldest daughter. Poor Martha was very
pale, and worn, and ill; when she approached the bed on which I lay,
she seemed as if she would faint, and she trembled so painfully that
my kind nurse led her behind the screen, so that she might recover
herself out of my sight. After a few seconds--say two minutes--she
stood again at the foot of my bed--calmer, but with tears in her eyes,
and such a mournful loveliness in her sweet face as I had never seen

"'I shouldn't have known her, nurse,' she said, gazing at me for a
short space and then withdrawing her eyes--'she is so much altered.'

"'Ah, dear!' answered the nurse, 'sickness alters people much--and
death more.'

"'I know it, nurse--I know it. And she looks very calm and
blissful--her face is so full of rest--so full of rest!'

"The nurse fetched some seats, and made Martha and Rhoda sit down side
by side; and then the good woman stood by them, ready to afford them
all comfort in her power.

"'How did she bear her illness?' inquired Martha.

"'Like an angel, dear,' answered the nurse. 'She had a sweet,
grateful, loving temper. Whatever I did for her, even though my duty
compelled me to give her pain, she was never fretful, but always
concealed her anguish and said, "Thank you, dear, thank you, you are
very good; God will reward you for all your goodness"; and as the end
came nigher I often fancied that she had reasonable and happy moments,
for she would fold her hands together, and say scraps of prayers which
children are taught.'

"'Nurse,' replied my sister after a pause, 'she and I were the only
children of our father, and we were left orphans very young. She was
two years older than I, and she always thought for me and did for me
as if she had been my mother. I could fill whole hours with telling
you all the goodness and forbearance and love she displayed to me,
from the time I was little or no bigger than my child here. I was
often wayward and peevish, and gave her many hours of trouble, but
though at times she could be hot to others she never spoke an unkind
word to me. There was no sacrifice that she would not have made for
me; but all the return I ever made was to worry her with my evil
jealous temper. I was continually imagining unchristian things against
her: that she slighted me; that, because she had a mistress who made
much of her, she didn't care for me; that she didn't think my children
fit to be proud of. And I couldn't keep all these foolish thoughts in
my head to myself, but I must needs go and speak them out to her, and
irritate her to quarrel with me. But she always returned smooth words
to my angry ones, and I had never a fit of my unjust temper but she
charmed me out of it, and showed me my error in such a way that I was
reproved, without too much humiliation, and loved her more than ever.
Oh! dear friend, dear good nurse, if you have a sister, don't treat
her, as I did Abigail, with suspicion and wicked passion; for should
you, all the light speeches of your frowardness will return to you,
and lie heavy on your heart when hers shall beat no more.'

"When Martha had said this she cried very bitterly; and as I lay dead
on my bed, and listened to her unfair self-reproaches, I longed to
break the icy bonds that held me, and yearned to clasp her to my
breast. Still, though I could neither move nor utter a sound, it
thrilled me with gladness to see how she loved me.

"'Mother,' said little Rhoda, softly, 'don't cry. We shan't be long
away from Aunt and her baby, for when this life is done we shall go
to them. You know, mother, you told me so last night.'

"It was not permitted to me to hear any more. A colder chill came over
my brain--and, wrapt in unconsciousness and deep stillness, I lay upon
my bed.

"My next recollection is of beholding the gray dawn stream in through
the half-opened windows, and of wondering, amid vague reminiscences of
my previous sensations, how it was that a dead person could take
notice of the world it moved in when alive. It is not enough to say
that my experience of the last repose was pleasant to me; I was
rejoiced and greatly delighted by it. Death, it seemed then, was no
state of cold decay for men to shudder at with affright--but a
condition of tranquility and mental comfort. I continued to muse on
this remarkable discovery for an hour and more, when my favourite
nurse reappeared to relieve the woman who had taken the night-watch,
and approached me.

"'Ah!' she surprised me by saying, as a smile of congratulation
lighted her face, 'then you are alive this morning, dear, and have
your handsome eyes wide open.'

"This in my opinion was a singularly strange and inappropriate
address; but I made no attempt to respond to it, for I knew that I was
dead. and that the dead do not speak.

"'Why, dear heart,' resumed the nurse, kneeling by my side and kissing
me, 'can't you find your tongue? I know by your eyes that you know me;
the glassy stare has left them. Come, do say a word, and say you are

"Then a suspicion flashed across my brain, and raising my right hand
slightly, I pointed to the bed of No. 22, and asked, 'How is she?--how
is she?'

"'Don't frighten yourself, dear,' answered the nurse, 'she isn't
there. She has been moved. She doesn't have that bed my longer!'

"'Then it is _she_ who is dead, nurse; and all the rest was a dream?
It is she who is dead?'

"'Hush, hush, dear! she has gone to rest--'

"Yes! it was all clear to me. Not I but my unfortunate companion had
died; and in my delirious fancy I had regarded the friends who came to
see her, and convey her to the grave, as my sister Martha and her
little daughter Rhoda. I did not impart to the nurse the delusion of
which I had been the victim; for, as is often the case with the sick,
I was sensitive with regard to the extreme mental sickness into which
I had fallen, and the vagaries of my reason. So I kept my secret to
the best of my power; and having recognised how much better I was, how
the fever had quitted my veins and the weight had left my head, I
thanked God in my heart for all his mercies, and once more cherished a
hope that he might see fit to restore me to health.

"My recovery was rapid. At the end of a fortnight I was moved into the
convalescents' ward, and was fed up with wine and meat in abundance. I
had every reason to be thankful for all the kindness bestowed on me in
the hospital, and all the good effect God permitted that kindness to
have. But one thing troubled me very much and cut me to the quick.
Ever since I had been in the hospital my sister had neither been to
see me, nor sent to inquire after me. It was no very difficult
business to account for her neglect of me. She had her good qualities
(even in the height of my anger I could not deny that), but she was of
a very proud high temper. She could sacrifice anything but her pride
for love of me. I had gone into an hospital, had received public
charity, and she hadn't courage to acknowledge a sister who had sunk
so low as that! But if she was proud so was I; I could be as high and
haughty as she; and, what was more, I would show her that I could be
so! What, to leave her own sister--her only sister--who had worked for
her when she was little, and who had loved her as her own heart! I
would resent it! Perhaps fortune might yet have a turn to make in my
favour; and if so I would in my prosperity remember how I had been
treated in my adversity. I am filled with shame now, when I think on
the revengeful imaginations which followed each other through my
breast. I am thankful that when my animosity was at its height my
sister did not present herself before me; for had she done so, I fear
that, without waiting for an explanation from her, I should have
spoken hasty words that (however much I might have afterwards repented
them, and she forgiven them) would have rendered it impossible for us
to be again the same as we were before. I never mentioned to any
one--nurse or patient--in the convalescent ward, the secret of my
clouded brows, or let out that I had a friend in the world to think of
me or to neglect me. Hour after hour I listened to women and girls and
young children, talking of home pleasures and longing to be quite
well, and dismissed from the confinement of the hospital, and
anticipating the pleasure which their husbands, or mothers, or
sisters, or children, would express at welcoming them again; but I
never gave a word of such gossip; I only hearkened, and compared their
hopes with my desolation, morosely and vindictively. Before I was
declared perfectly restored I got very tired of my imprisonment;
indeed the whole time I was in the convalescent ward my life was
wearisome, and without any of the pleasures which the first days of my
sickness had had. There was only one inmate of the ward to which I was
at first admitted, as yet, amongst the convalescents; none of them
knew me, unless it was by my number--a new one now, for on changing my
ward I had changed my number also. The nurses I didn't like so well as
my first kind attendant; and I couldn't feel charitably, or in any way
as a Christian ought to feel, to the poor people by whom I was

"At length the day came for my discharge. The matron inquired of me
where I was going; but I would not tell her; I would not acknowledge
that I had a sister--partly out of mere perverseness, and partly out
of an angry sense of honour; for I was a country-bred woman, and
attached to the thought of 'going into a hospital' a certain idea of
shame and degradation, such as country people attach to 'going on the
parish', and I was too proud to let folk know that my sister had a
sister in an hospital, when she clearly flinched from having as much
said of her.

"Well, finding I was not in a communicative humour, the matron asked
no more questions; but, giving me a bundle containing a few articles
of wearing apparel, and a small donation of money, bade me farewell;
and without saying half as much in the way of gratitude as I ought to
have said, I walked out from the hospital garden into the wide streets
of London. I did not go straight to my old lodgings, or to the house
of the doctor who had been so kind to me; but I directed my steps to
an inn in Holborn, and took a place in the stage-cart for Stratford.
As I rode slowly to my sister's town I thought within myself how I
should treat her. Somehow my heart had softened a great deal towards
her during the few last days; a good spirit within me had set me
thinking of how she had helped me to nurse my husband and baby--how
she had accompanied me when I followed them to their graves--how she
and her husband had sacrificed themselves so much to assist me in my
trial; and the recollection of these kindnesses and proofs of sisterly
love, I am thankful to know, made me judge Martha much less harshly.
Yes! yes! I would forgive her! She had never offended me before! She
had not wronged me seven times, or seventy times seven, but only
_once_! After all, how much she had done for me! Who was I, that I
should forget all that she had done, and judge her only by what she
had left undone?

"The stage-cart reached Stratford as the afternoon began to close into
evening; and when I alighted from it, I started off at a brisk pace,
and walked to my sister's cottage that stood on the outskirts of the
town. Strange to say, as I got nearer and nearer to her door my angry
feelings became fainter and fainter, and all my loving memories of her
strong affection for me worked so in me that my knees trembled beneath
me, and my eyes were blinded with tears--though, if I had trusted my
deceitful, wicked, malicious tongue to speak, I should still have
declared she was a bad, heartless, worthless, sister.

"I reached the threshold, and paused on the step before it, just to
get my breath and to collect as much courage and presence of mind as
would let Martha know that, though I forgave her, I still was fully
aware she might have acted more nobly. When I knocked, after a few
seconds, little Rhoda's steps pattered down the passage, and opened
the door. Why, the child was in black! What did that mean? Had
anything happened to Martha or her husband, or little Tommy? But
before I could put the question Rhoda turned deadly white, and ran
back into the living-room. In another instant I heard Tommy screaming
at the top of his voice; and in a trice I was in the room, with
Martha's arms flung round my neck, and her dear blessed eyes covering
me with tears.

"She was very ill in appearance; white and haggard, and, like Rhoda
and Tommy, she too was dressed in black. For some minutes she could
not speak a word for sobbing hysterically; but when at last I had
quieted her and kissed Rhoda, and cossetted Tommy till he had left off
screaming, I learnt that the mourning Martha and her children wore was
in my honour. Sure enough Martha had received a notice from the
hospital of my death; and she and Rhoda had not only presented
themselves at the hospital, and seen there a dead body which they
believed to be mine, but they had also, with considerable expense, and
much more loving care, had it interred in the Stratford churchyard,
under the impression that in so doing they were offering me the last
respect which it would be in their power to render me. The worst of
it was that poor Martha had pined and sorrowed so for me that she
seemed likely to fall into some severe illness.

"On inquiry it appeared that the morning when I and No. 22 were so
much worse, and the doctor altered the directions of our boards, the
nurse by mistake put the No. 22 board over my bed, and my board (No.
11) over the bed of the poor woman who had died. The consequence was
that, when the hospital clerk was informed that No. 11 had died, he
wrote to the doctor who placed me in the hospital, informing him of my
death, and the doctor communicated the sad intelligence to my sister.

"The rest of the story you can fill up, sir, for yourself, and without
my assistance you can imagine how it was that, while in a state of
extreme exhaustion, and deeming myself dead, I heard my sister, in a
strong agony of sorrow and self-reproach, say to my nurse, 'Oh, dear
friend--dear good nurse--if you have a sister, don't treat her, as I
did Abigail, with suspicion and wicked passion; for should you, all
the light speeches of your frowardness will return to you, and lie
heavy on your heart when hers shall beat no more.'"



The medical buildings of London are seldom or never visited by the
sight-seers of the metropolis. Though the science and art of nursing
have recently been made sources of amusement to the patrons of
circulating libraries, the good sense and delicacy of the age are
against converting the wards of an hospital into galleries for public
amusement. In the last century the reverse was the case. Fashionable
idlers were not indeed anxious to pry into the mysteries of
Bartholomew's, Guy's, and St. Thomas's hospitals; for a visit to those
magnificent institutions was associated in their minds with a risk of
catching fevers or the disfiguring small-pox. But Bethlehem, devoted
to the entertainment and cure of the insane, was a favourite haunt
with all classes. "Pepys," "The London Spy," "The Tatler," and "The
Rake's Progress," give us vivid pictures of a noisy rout of Pall Mall
beaus and belles, country fly-catchers, and London scamps, passing up
and down the corridors of the great asylum, mocking its unhappy
inmates with brutal jests, or investigating and gossiping about their
delusions and extravagances with unfeeling curiosity. Samuel Johnson
enlivened himself with an occasional stroll amongst the lunatics, just
as he periodically indulged himself with witnessing a hanging, a
judicial flogging, or any other of the pleasant spectacles with which
Hogarth's London abounded. Boswell and he once strolled through the
mansions of the insane; and on another occasion, when he visited the
same abode with Murphy, Foote, and Wedderburne (afterwards Lord
Loughborough), the philosopher's "attention was arrested by a man who
was very furious, and who, while beating his straw, supposed it was
William, Duke of Cumberland, whom he was punishing for his cruelties
in Scotland in 1746." Steele, when he took three schoolboys (imagine
the glee of Sir Richard's schoolboy friends out with him for a frolic)
in a hackney coach to show them the town, paid his respects to "the
lions, the tombs, Bedlam, and the other places, which are
entertainments to raw minds because they strike forcibly on the
fancy." In the same way Pepys "stept into Bedlam, and saw several poor
miserable creatures in chains, one of whom was _mad with making
verses_," a form of mental aberration not uncommon in these days,
though we do not deem it necessary to consign the victims of it to
medical guardianship.

The original Bethlehem hospital was established by Henry VIII., in a
religious house that had been founded in 1246, by Simon Fitz-Mary,
Sheriff of London, as an ecclesiastical body. The house was situated
at Charing-cross, and very soon the king began to find it (when used
for the reception of lunatics) disagreeably near his own residence.
The asylum was therefore removed, at a "cost nigh \xA317,000," to
Bishopgate Without, where it remained till 1814, and the inmates were
removed to the present noble hospital in St. George's Fields, the
first stone of which was laid April 18th, 1812.

One of the regulations of old Bedlam has long since been disused. The
harmless lunatics were allowed to roam about the country with a tin
badge--the star of St. Bethlehem--on the right arm. Tenderness towards
those to whom the Almighty has denied reason is a sentiment not
confined to the East. Wherever these poor creatures went they received
alms and kindly entreatment. The ensign on the right arm announced to
the world their lamentable condition and their need of help, and the
appeal was always mercifully responded to. Aubrey thus describes their
appearance and condition:--

"Till the breaking out of the Civil Wars Tom o' Bedlams did travel
about the country. They had been poor distracted men, but had been put
into Bedlam, where recovering some soberness, they were licentiated to
go a-begging, _i. e._ they had on their left arm an armilla of tin,
about four inches long; they could not get it off. They wore about
their necks a great horn of an ox in a string of baudry, which, when
they came to an house for alms, they did wind, and they did put the
drink given them into this horn, whereto they did put the stopple.
Since the wars I do not remember to have seen any one of them."

The custom, however, continued long after the termination of the Civil
War. It is not now the humane practice to label our fools, so that
society may at once recognise them and entertain them with kindness.
They still go at large in our public ways. Facilities are even given
them for effecting an entrance into the learned professions.
Frequently they are docketed with titles of respect, and decked with
the robes of office. But however gratifying this plan may be to their
personal vanity it is not unattended with cruelty. Having about them
no external mark of their sad condition, they are often, through
carelessness and misapprehension--not through hardness of
heart--chastised with undue severity. "Poor Tom, thy horn is dry,"
says Edgar, in "Lear." Never may the horn of mercy be dry to such poor

It is needless to say that Easter holiday-makers are no longer
permitted in swarms, on the payment of two-pence each, to race through
the St. Bethlehem galleries, insulting with their ribaldry the most
pitiable of God's afflicted creatures. A useful lesson, however, is
taught to the few strangers who still, as merely curious observers,
obtain admission for a few minutes within the walls of the asylum--a
lesson conveyed, not by the sufferings of the patients, so much as by
the gentle discipline, the numerous means of innocent amusement, and
the air of quiet contentment, which are the characteristics of a
well-managed hospital for the insane.

Not less instructive would it be for many who now know of them only
through begging circulars and charity dinners, to inspect the
well-ventilated, cleanly--and it may be added, _cheerful_--dwellings
of the impoverished sick of London. The principal hospitals of the
capital, those, namely, to which medical schools are attached, are
eleven in number--St. George's, the London (at Mile End), University
College, King's, St. Mary's, Westminster, Middlesex, and
Charing-cross, are for the most part dependent on voluntary
contributions for support, the Westminster Hospital (instituted 1719)
being the first hospital established in this kingdom on the voluntary
system. The three other hospitals of the eleven have large endowments,
Bartholomew's and Guy's being amongst the wealthiest benevolent
foundations of the country.

Like Bethlehem, St. Thomas's Hospital was originally a religious
house. At the dissolution of the monasteries it was purchased by the
citizens of London, and, in the year 1552, was opened as an hospital
for the sick. At the commencement of the last century it was rebuilt
by public subscription, three wards being erected at the cost of
Thomas Frederick, and three by Guy, the founder of Guy's Hospital.

The first place of precedency amongst the London Hospitals is
contended for by St. Bartholomew's and Guy's. They are both alike
important by their wealth, the number of patients entertained within
their walls, and the celebrity of the surgeons and physicians with
whom their schools have enriched the medical profession; but the
former, in respect of antiquity, has superior claims to respect.
Readers require no introduction to the founder of Bartholomew's, for
only lately Dr. Doran, in his "Court Fools," gave a sketch of
Rahere--the minstrel and jester, who spent his prime in the follies
and vices of courts, and his riper years in the sacred offices of the
religious vocation. He began life a buffoon, and ended it a
prior--presiding over the establishment to the creation of which he
devoted the wealth earned by his abused wit. The monk chronicler says
of him: "When he attained the flower of youth he began to haunt the
households of noblemen and the palaces of princes; where, under every
elbow of them, he spread their cushions with apeings and flatterings,
delectably anointing their eyes--by this manner to draw to him their
friendships. And yet he was not content with this, but often haunted
the king's palace; and, among the press of that tumultuous court,
enforced himself with jollity and carnal suavity, by the which he
might draw to him the hearts of many one." But the gay adventurer
found that the ways of mirth were far from those of true gladness;
and, forsaking quips, and jeers, and wanton ditties for deeds of
mercy, and prayer, and songs of praise, he long was an ensample unto
men of holy living; and "after the years of his prelacy (twenty-two
years and six months), the 20th day of September (A. D. 1143), the
clay-house of this world forsook, and the house everlasting entered."

In the church of St. Bartholomew may still be seen the tomb of Dr.
Francis Anthony, who, in spite of the prosecutions of the College of
Physicians, enjoyed a large practice, and lived in pomp in Bartholomew
Close, where he died in 1623. The merits of his celebrated nostrum,
the _aurum potabile_, to which Boyle gave a reluctant and qualified
approval, are alluded to in the inscription commemorating his

    "There needs no verse to beautify thy praise,
      Or keep in memory thy spotless name.
    Religion, virtue, and thy skill did raise
      A three-fold pillar to thy lasting fame.

    Though poisonous envy ever sought to blame
      Or hide the fruits of thy intention,
    Yet shall all they commend that high design
    Of purest gold to make a medicine,
      That feel thy help by that thy rare invention."

Boyle's testimony to the good results of the _aurum potabile_ is
interesting, as his philosophic mind formed a decided opinion on the
efficacy of the preparation by observing its operation in _two_
cases--persons of great note. "Though," he says, "I have long been
prejudiced against the _aurum potabile_, and other boasted
preparations of gold, for most of which I have no great esteem, yet I
saw such extraordinary and surprising effects from the tincture of
gold I spake of (prepared by two foreign physicians) upon persons of
great note, with whom I was particularly acquainted, both before they
fell sick and after their dangerous recovery, that I could not but
change my opinion for a very favourable one as to some preparations of

Attached to his priory of St. Bartholomew's, Rahere founded an
hospital for the relief of poor and sick persons, out of which has
grown the present institution, over the principal gateway of which
stands, burly and with legs apart--like a big butcher watching his
meat-stall--an effigy of Henry VIII. Another of the art treasures of
the hospital is the staircase painted by Hogarth.

If an hospital could speak it could tell strange tales--of misery
slowly wrought, ambition foiled, and fair promise ending in shame.
Many a toilworn veteran has entered the wards of St. Bartholomew's to
die in the very couch by the side of which in his youth he daily
passed--a careless student, joyous with the spring of life, and
little thinking of the storm and unkind winds rising up behind the
smiles of the nearer future. Scholars of gentle birth, brave soldiers
of proud lineage, patient women whose girlhood, spent in luxury and
refinement, has been followed by penury, evil entreatment, and
destitution, find their way to our hospitals--to pass from a world of
grief to one where sorrow is not. It is not once in awhile, but daily,
that a physician of any large charitable institution of London reads a
pathetic tale of struggle and defeat, of honest effort and bitter
failure, of slow descent from grade to grade of misfortune--in the
tranquil dignity, the mild enduring quiet, and noiseless gratitude of
poor sufferers--gentle once in fortune, gentle still in nature. One
hears unpleasant stories of medical students, their gross dissipations
and coarse manners. Possibly these stories have their foundation in
fact, but at best they are broad and unjust caricatures. This writer
in his youth lived much amongst the students of our hospitals, as he
did also amongst those of our old universities, and he found them
simple and manly in their lives, zealous in the pursuit of knowledge,
animated by _a professional esprit_ of the best sort, earnestly
believing in the dignity of their calling, and characterised by a
singular ever-lively compassion for all classes of the desolate and
distressed. And this quality of mercy, which unquestionably adorns in
an eminent degree the youth of our medical schools, he has always
regarded as a happy consequence of their education, making them
acquainted, in the most practical and affecting manner, with the sad
vicissitudes of human existence.

Guy's hospital was the benevolent work of a London bookseller, who, by
perseverance, economy, and lucky speculation, amassed a very large
fortune. Thomas Guy began life with a stock of about \xA3200, as a
stationery and bookseller in a little corner house between Cornhill
and Lombard-st., taking out his freedom of the Stationers' Company in
1668. He was a thrifty tradesman, but he won his wealth rather by
stock-jobbing than by the sale of books, although he made important
sums by his contract with the University of Oxford for their privilege
of printing bibles. Maitland informs us, "England being engaged in an
expensive war against France, the poor seamen on board the royal navy,
for many years, instead of money received tickets for their pay, which
those necessitous but very useful men were obliged to dispose of at
thirty, forty, and sometimes fifty in the hundred discount. Mr. Guy,
discovering the sweets of this traffick, became an early dealer
therein, as well as in other government securities, by which, and his
trade, he acquired a very great estate." In the South-sea stock he was
not less lucky. He bought largely at the outset, held on till the
bubble reached its full size, and ere the final burst sold out. It may
be questioned whether Guy's or Rahere's money was earned the more
honourably,--whether to fawn, flatter, and jest at the table of
princes was a meaner course of exertion than to drive a usurious trade
with poor sailors, and fatten on a stupendous national calamity. But
however basely it may have been gathered together, Guy's wealth was
well expended, in alleviating the miseries of the same classes from
whose sufferings it had been principally extracted. In his old age
Guy set about building his hospital, and ere his death, in 1724, saw
it completed. On its erection and endowment he expended \xA3238,292
16_s._ 5_d._ To his honour it must be stated that, notwithstanding
this expenditure and his munificent contributions to other charities,
he had a considerable residue of property, which he distributed
amongst his poor relations.

Of the collegiate medical buildings of London, the one that belongs to
the humblest department of the profession is the oldest, and for that
reason--apart from its contents, which are comparatively of little
value--the most interesting. Apothecaries' Hall, in Water Lane,
Blackfriars, was built in 1670. Possibly the size and imposing aspect
of their college stimulated the drug-vendors to new encroachments on
the prescriptive and enacted rights of the physicians. The rancour of
"The Dispensary" passes over the merits (graces it has none) of the
structure, and designates it by mentioning its locality--

    "Nigh where Fleet Ditch descends in sable streams,
    To wash his sooty Naiads in the Thames,
    There stands a structure on a rising hill,
    Where tyros take their freedom out to kill."

Amongst the art-treasures of the hall are a portrait of James I. (who
first established the apothecaries as a company distinct from the
grocers), and a bust of Delaune, the lucky apothecary of that
monarch's queen, who has already been mentioned in these pages.

The elegant college of the physicians, in Pall Mall east, was not
taken into use till the 25th of June, 1825, the doctors migrating to
it from Warwick Hall, which is now in the occupation of the butchers
of Newgate Market. Had the predecessors of the present tenants been
"the surgeons," instead of "the physicians," the change of masters
would have given occasion for a joke. As it is, not even the
consolation of a jest can be extracted from the desecration of an
abode of learning that has many claims on our affection.

In "The Dispensary," the proximity of the college dome to the Old
Bailey is playfully pointed at:--

    "Not far from that most celebrated place,
    Where angry justice shows her awful face,
    Where little villains must submit to fate,
    That great ones may enjoy the world in state,
    There stands a dome, majestic to the sight,
    And sumptuous arches bear its oval height;
    A golden globe, placed high with artful skill,
    Seems, to the distant sight, a gilded pill:
    This pile was, by the pious patron's aim,
    Raised for a use as noble as its frame.
    Nor did the learn'd society decline
    The propagation of that great design;
    In all her mazes, Nature's face they view'd,
    And, as she disappear'd, their search pursued.
    Wrapt in the shade of night, the goddess lies,
    Yet to the learn'd unveils her dark disguise,
    But shuns the gross access of vulgar eyes."

The Warwick Lane college was erected on the college at Amen Corner (to
which the physicians removed on quitting their original abode in
Knight-Rider Street), being burnt to the ground in the great fire of
1666. Charles II. and Sir John Cutler were ambitious of having their
names associated with the new edifice, the chief fault of which was
that, like all the other restorations following the memorable
conflagration, it was raised near the old site. Charles became its
pious patron, and Sir John Cutler its munificent benefactor. The
physicians duly thanked them, and honoured them with statues, Cutler's
effigy having inscribed beneath it, "Omnis Cutleri cedat labor

So far, so good. The fun of the affair remains to be told. On Sir
John's death, his executors, Lord Radnor and Mr. Boulter, demanded of
the college \xA37000, which covered in amount a sum the college had
borrowed of their deceased benefactor, and also the sum he pretended
to have given. Eventually the executors lowered their claim to \xA32000
(which, it is reasonable to presume, had been _lent_ by Sir John), and
discontinued their demand for the \xA35000 given. Such being the stuff of
which Sir John was made, well might Pope exclaim:--

    "His Grace's fate sage Cutler could foresee,
    And well (he thought) advised him, 'Live like me.'
    As well his Grace replied, 'Like you, Sir John?
    That I can do when all I have is gone.'"

In consideration of the \xA35000 retained of the niggard's money, the
physicians allowed his statue to remain, but they erased the
inscription from beneath it.

The Royal College of Surgeons in London was not incorporated till the
year 1800--more than half a century after the final disruption of the
surgeons from the barbers--and the college in Lincoln's Inn Fields was
not erected till 1835. Its noble museum, based on the Hunterian
Collection, which the nation purchased for \xA315,000, contains, amongst
its treasures, a few preparations that are valuable for their
historical associations or sheer eccentricity, rather than for any
worth from a strictly scientific point of view. Amongst them are
Martin Van Buchell's first wife, whose embalmment by William Hunter
has already been mentioned; the intestines of Napoleon, showing the
progress of the disease which was eventually fatal to him; and the
fore-arms (preserved in spirits) of Thomas Beaufort, third son of John
of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

The writer had recently submitted to his notice, by Dr. Diamond of
Twickenham, a very interesting and beautifully penned manuscript,
relating to these remains, of which the following is a copy:--

                        "BURY ST EDMUNDS.

  "_Joseph Pater scripsit, when thirteen years of age._

"On the 20th of February, 1772, some labourers, employed in breaking
up part of the old abbey church, discovered a leaden coffin, which
contained an embalmed body, as perfect and entire as at the time of
its death; the features and lineaments of the face were perfect, which
were covered with a mask of embalming materials. The very colour of
the eyes distinguishable; the hairs of the head a brown, intermixed
with some few gray ones; the nails fast upon the fingers and toes as
when living; stature of the body about six feet tall, and genteelly
formed. The labourers, for the sake of the lead (which they sold to Mr
Faye, a plummer, in this town, for about 15s), stript the body of its
coffin, and threw it promiscuously amongst the rubbish. From the place
of its interment it was soon found to be the remains of Thomas
Beaufort, third son of John de Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, by his third
duchess, Lady Catherine Swineford, relict of Sir Otho de Swineford, of
Lincolnshire. He took the name of Beaufort from the place of his
birth, a castle of the duke's, in France. He was half-brother to King
Henry IV., created Duke of Exeter and Knight of the Garter; in 1410,
Lord Chancellor of England; in 1412, High Admiral of England, and
Captain of Calais; he commanded the Rear-Guard of his nephew King
Henry the Fifth's army at the battle of Agincourt, on the 25th of
October, 1415; and in 1422, upon the death of King Henry the Fifth,
was jointly with his brother, Henry, Cardinal Bishop of Winchester,
appointed by the Parliament to the government, care, and education of
the royal infant, Henry the Sixth. He married Margaret, daughter of
Sir Thomas Nevil, by whom he had issue only one son, who died young.
He was a great benefactor to this church, died at East Greenwich,
1427, in the 5th year of King Henry ye Sixth, and was interred in this
Abbey, near his duchess (as he had by his will directed), at the
entrance of the Chapel of our Lady, close to the wall. On the 24th of
February following, the mangled remains were enclosed in an oak
coffin, and buried about eight feet deep, close to the north side of
the north-east pillar, which formerly assisted to support the Abbey
belfry. Before its re-interment, the body was mangled and cut with the
most savage barbarity by Thomas Gery Cullum, a young surgeon in this
town, lately appointed Bath King-at-Arms. The skull sawed in pieces,
where the brain appeared it seemed somewhat wasted, but perfectly
contained in its proper membranes; the body ript open from the neck to
the bottom, the cheek cut through by a saw entering at the mouth; his
arms chopped off below the elbows and taken away. One of the arms the
said Cullum confesses to have in spirits. The crucifix, supposed to be
a very valuable one, is missing. It is believed the body of the
duchess was found (within about a foot of the Duke's) on the 24th of
February. If she was buried in lead she was most likely conveyed away
clandestinely the same night. In this church several more of the
antient royal blood were interred, whose remains are daily expected to
share the same fate. Every sensible and humane mind reflects with
horror at the shocking and wanton inhumanity with which the princely
remains of the grandson of the victorious King Edward the Third have
been treated--worse than the body of a common malefactor, and 345
years after his death. The truth of this paragraph having been
artfully suppressed, or very falsely represented in the county
newspapers, and the conveyance of public intelligence rendered
doubtful, no method could be taken to convey a true account to the
public but by this mode of offering it."

The young surgeon whose conduct is here so warmly censured was the
younger son of a Suffolk baronet. On the death of his brother he
succeeded to the family estate and honours, and having no longer any
necessity to exert himself to earn money, relinquished medical
practice. He was born in 1741 and died in 1831. It is from him that
the present baronet, of Hawstead Place and Hardwicke House, in the
county of Suffolk, is descended.

The fore-arms, now in the custody of the College of Surgeons, were for
a time separated. One of them was retained by Mr. Cullum, and the
other, becoming the property of some mute inglorious Barnum, was taken
about to all the fairs and wakes of the county, and exhibited as a
raree-show at a penny a peep. The vagrant member, however, came back
after a while to Mr. Cullum, and he presented both of the mutilated
pertions to their present possessors.



The country doctor, such as we know him--a well-read and observant
man, skilful in his art, with a liberal love of science, and in every
respect a gentleman--is so recent a creation, that he may almost be
spoken of as a production of the present century. There still linger
in the provinces veteran representatives of the ignorance which, in
the middle of the last century, was the prevailing characteristic of
the rural apothecary. Even as late as 1816, the law required no
medical education in a practitioner of the healing art in country
districts, beyond an apprenticeship to an empiric, who frequently had
not information of any kind, beyond the rudest elements of a
druggist's learning, to impart to his pupils. Men who commenced
business under this system are still to be found in every English
county, though in most cases they endeavour to conceal their lack of
scientific culture under German or Scotch diplomas--bought for a few

Scattered over these pages are many anecdotes of provincial doctors in
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, from which a truthful but
not complimentary picture of their order may be obtained. Indeed, they
were for the most part vulgar drunken knaves, with just learning
enough to impose on the foolish crowds who resorted to them. The most
brilliant of the fraternity in Henry the Eighth's reign was Andrew
Borde, a Winchester practitioner. This gentleman was author and
buffoon, as well as physician. He travelled about the country from
market to fair, and from fair to market, making comic orations to the
crowds who purchased his nostrums, singing songs, and enlivening the
proceedings when they were becoming dull with grimaces of
inexpressible drollery. It was said of Sir John Hill,

    "For physic and farces
      His equal there scarce is;
    His farces are physic,
      His physic a farce is."

Borde's physic doubtless was a farce; but if his wit resembled physic,
it did so, not (like Hill's) by making men sick, but by rousing their
spirits and bracing their nerves with good hearty laughter. Everywhere
he was known as "Merry Andrew," and his followers, when they mounted
the bank, were proud to receive the same title.

Mr. H. Fleetwood Sheppard communicated in the year 1855, some amusing
anecdotes to "Notes and Queries" about the popular Dorsetshire
doctor--little Dr. Grey. Small but warlike, this gentleman, in the
reign of James the First, had a following of well-born roisterers that
enabled him to beard the High Sheriff at the assizes. He was always in
debt, but as he always carried a brandy-flask and a brace of loaded
pistols in his pocket or about his neck, he neither experienced the
mental harass of impecuniosity nor feared bailiffs. In the hour of
peril he blew a horn, which he wore suspended to his person, and the
gentlemen of his body-guard rallied round him, vowing they were his
"sons," and would die for him. Says the MS.--"This Doctor Grey was
once arreste by a pedler, who coming to his house knocked at ye dore
as yey (he being desirous of Hobedyes) useth to doe, and ye pedler
having gartars upon his armes, and points, &c., asked him whether he
did wante any points or gartars, &c., pedler like. Grey hereat began
to storme, and ye other tooke him by ye arme, and told him that he had
no neede be so angry, and holdinge him fast, told him y he had ye
kinge's proces for him, and showed him his warrant. 'Hast thou?' quoth
Grey, and stoode stil awhile; but at length, catchinge ye fellowe by
both ends of his collar before, held him fast, and _drawinge out a
great rundagger, brake his head in two or three places_."

Again, Dr. Grey "came one day at ye assizes, wheare ye sheriffe had
some sixty men, and he wth his twenty sonnes, ye trustyest young
gentlemen and of ye best sort and rancke, came and drancke in
Dorchester before ye sheriffe, and bad who dare to touch him; _and so
after awhile blew his horn and came away_." On the same terms who
would not like to be a Dorsetshire physician?

In 1569 (_vide_ "Roberts' History of the Southern Counties") Lyme had
no medical practitioner. And at the beginning of the seventeenth
century Sir Symonds D'Ewes was brought into the world at Coxden Hall,
near Axminster, by a female practitioner, who deformed him for life by
her clumsiness. Yet more, Mrs. D'Ewes set out with her infant for
London, when the babe, unable to bear the jolting of the carriage,
screamed itself into a violent illness, and had to be left behind at
Dorchester under the care of another doctress--Mrs. Margaret Waltham.
And two generations later, in 1665, the Rev. Giles Moore, of Essex,
had to send twenty-five miles for an ordinary medical man, who was
paid 12_s._ per visit, and the same distance for a physician, whose
fee was \xA31--a second physician, who came and stayed two days, being
paid \xA31 10_s._

Of the country doctors of the middle and close of the last century,
Dr. Slop is a fair specimen. They were a rude, vulgar, keen-witted set
of men, possessing much the same sort of intelligence, and disfigured
by the same kind of ignorance, as a country gentleman expects now to
find in his farrier. They had to do battle with the village nurses at
the best on equal terms, often at a disadvantage; masculine dignity
and superior medical erudition being in many districts of less account
than the force of old usage, and the sense of decorum that supported
the lady practitioners. Mrs. Shandy had an express provision in her
marriage settlement, securing her from the ignorance of country
doctors. Of course, in respect to learning and personal acquirements,
the rural practitioners, as a class, varied very much, in accordance
with the intelligence and culture of the district in which their days
were spent, with the class and character of their patients, and with
their own connections and original social condition. On his Yorkshire
living Sterne came in contact with a rought lot. The Whitworth Taylors
were captains and leaders of the army in which Dr. Slop was a
private. The original of the last-mentioned worthy was so ill-read
that he mistook Lithop\xE6dii Senonensis Icon for the name of a
distinguished surgical authority, and, under this erroneous
impression, quoted Lithop\xE6dus Senonensis with the extreme of gravity.

This Lithop\xE6dus Senonensis story is not without its companions. A
prescription, in which a physician ordered _extract, rad valer._, and
immediately under it, as an ingredient in the same mixture, a certain
quantity of _tinctura ejusdem_, sorely perplexed the poor apothecary
to who it was sent to be dispensed. _Tinctura ejusdem!_ What could it
be! _Ejusdem!_ In the whole pharmacopoeia such a drug was not named.
Nothing like it was to be found on any label in his shop. At his wits'
end, the poor fellow went out to a professional neighbour, and asked,
in an off-hand way, "How are you off for _Tinctura Ejusdem_? I am out
of it. So can you let me have a little of yours." The neighbour, who
was a sufficiently good classical scholar to have _idem_, _eadem_,
_idem_ at his tongue's end, lamented that he too was "out of the
article." and sympathizingly advised his _confr\xE8re_, without loss of
time, to apply for some at Apothecaries' Hall. What a delightful
blunder to make to a _friend_, of all the people in the world! The
apothecary must have been a dull as well as an unlettered fellow, or
he would have known the first great rule of his art--"When in
doubt--_Use water!_" A more awkward mistake still was that made by the
young dispenser, who, for the first time in his life, saw at the end
of a prescription the words _pro re nat\xE2_. What could they mean? _pro
re nat\xE2!_ What could _pro re nat\xE2_ have to do with a mixture sent to
a lady who had just presented her husband with an heir. With the aid
of a Latin Dictionary, the novice rendered _pro re nat\xE2_ "for the
thing born." Of course. Clearly the mixture was for the baby. And in a
trice the compound to be taken by an adult, as circumstances should
indicate a necessity for a dose, was sent off for the "little

May not mention here be made of thee, ancient friend of childhood,
Roland Trevor? The whole country round, for a circle of which the
diameter measured thirty fair miles, thou wert one of the most popular
doctors of East Anglia. Who rode better horses? Who was the bolder in
the hunt, or more joyous over the bottle? Cheery of voice, with hearty
laughter rolling from purple lips, what company thou wert to festive
squires! The grave some score years since closed over thee, when
ninety-six years had passed over thy head--covering it with silver
tresses, and robbing the eye of its pristine fire, and the lip of its
mirthful curl. The shop of a country apothecary had been thy only
_Alma Mater_; so, surely, it was no fault of thine if thy learning was
scanty. Still, in the pleasant vales of Loes and Wilford is told the
story of how, on being asked if thou wert a believer in _phrenology_,
thou didst answer with becoming gravity, "I never keep it, and I never
use it. But I think it highly probable that, given frequently and in
liberal doses, it would be very useful in certain cases of irregular

Another memory arises of a country doctor of the old school. A huge,
burly, surly, churlish old fellow was Dr. Standish. He died in
extremely advanced age, having lived twenty-five years in the present
century. A ferocious radical, he was an object of considerable public
interest during the period of political excitement consequent on the
French Revolution. Tom Paine, the Thetford breeches-maker of whom the
world has heard a little, was his familiar friend and correspondent.
It was rumoured throughout the land that "government" had marked the
doctor out for destruction.

"Thar sai," the humbler Suffolk farmers used to gossip amongst
themselves, "thar sai a picter-taikin chap hav guv his poortright to
the King. And Billy Pitt ha'sin it. And oold King Georgie ha' swaren
as how that sooner nor later he'll hav his hid" (_i. e._ head).

The "upper ten" of Holmnook, and the upper ten-times-ten of the
distance round about Holmnook, held themselves aloof from such a
dangerous character. But the common folk believed in and admired him.
There was something of romance about a man whom George III. and Billy
Pitt were banded together to destroy.

Standish was a man of few words. "Down with the bishops!" "Up with the
people!" were his stock sentiments. He never approached nearer poetry
than when (yellow being then the colour of the extreme liberal party
in his district) he swore "there worn't a flower in the who' o'
crashun warth lookin' at but a sunflower, for that was yallow, and a
big un."

The man had no friends in Holmnook or the neighbourhood; but every
evening for fifty years he sate, in the parlour of the chief inn,
drinking brandy-and-water, and smoking a "churchwarden." His
wife--(his wooing must have been of a queer sort)--a quiet,
inoffensive little body, sometimes forgot she was but a woman, and
presumed to have an opinion of her own. On such occasions Standish
thrashed her soundly with a dog-whip. In consequence of one of these
castigations she ran away from her tyrant. Instead of pursuing her,
Dr. Standish merely inserted the following advertisement in the county

"_Dr Standish to all whom it may concern._--Dr Standish's wife having
run away, he wants a housekeeper. Dr Standish doesn't want good looks
in a woman: but she must know how to hold her tongue and cook a plain
joint. He gives ten pounds. Mrs Standish needn't apply--she's too much
of a lady."

But poor Mrs. Standish did apply, and, what is more, obtained the
situation. She and her lord never again had any quarrel that obtained
publicity; and so the affair ended more happily than in all
probability it would have done had Sir Creswell Creswell's court been
then in existence. Standish's practice lay principally amongst the
mechanics and little farmers of the neighborhood. Much of his time was
therefore spent in riding his two huge lumbering horses about the
country. In his old age he indulged himself in a gig (which, out of
respect to radical politics, he painted with a flaring yellow paint);
but, at the commencement of the present century, the by-roads of
Suffolk--now so good that a London brougham drawn by one horse can
with ease whisk over the worst of them at the rate of ten miles an
hour--were so bad that a doctor could not make an ordinary round on
them in a wheeled carriage. Even in the saddle he ran frequent risk
of being mired, unless his horse had an abundance of bone and pluck.

Standish's mode of riding was characteristic of the man. Straight on
he went, at a lumbering six miles an hour trot--dash, dosh,
dush!--through the muddy roads, sitting loosely in his seat, heavy and
shapeless as a sack of potatoes, looking down at his brown corduroy
breeches and his mahogany top-boots (the toes of which pointed in
directly opposite directions), wearing a perpetual scowl on his brows,
and never either rising in his stirrups or fixing himself to the
saddle with his knees. Not a word would he speak to a living creature
in the way of civil greeting.

"Doctor, good morning to you," an acquaintance would cry out; "'tis a
nice day!"

"Ugh!" Standish would half grunt, half roar, trotting straight
on--dish, dosh, dush!

"Stop, doctor, I am out of sorts, and want some physic," would be the
second form of address.

"Then why the ---- ---- didn't you say so, instead of jawing about the
weather?" the urbane physician would say, checking his horse.

Standish never turned out an inch for any wayfarer. Sullen and
overbearing, he rode straight on upon one side of the road; and,
however narrow the way might be, he never swerved a barley-corn from
his line for horse or rider, cart or carriage. Our dear friend Charley
Halifax gave him a smart lesson in good manners on this point. Charley
had brought a well-bred hackney, and a large fund of animal spirits,
down from Cambridge to a title for orders in mid-Suffolk. He had met
Standish in the cottages of some of his flock, and afterwards meeting
elsewhere, had greeted him, and had no greeting in return. It was not
long ere Charley learnt all about the clownish apothecary, and
speedily did he devise a scheme for humbling him. The next time he saw
Standish in the distance, trotting on towards him, Charley put his
heels to his horse, and charged the man of drugs at full gallop.
Standish came lumbering on, disdaining to look before him and
ascertain who was clattering along at such a pace. On arriving within
six feet of Standish's horse, Halifax fell back on his curb-rein, and
pulled up sharp. Astonished, but more sensible than his master,
Standish's horse (as Charley knew would be the case) suddenly came to
a dead stop, on which Standish rolled over its head into the muddy
highway. As he rolled over, he threw out a volley of oaths. "Ah,
doctor," cried Charley, good-humoredly, "I said I would make you speak
to me." Standish was six feet high, and a powerful man. For a few
moments, on recovering his legs, he looked as if he contemplated an
assault on the young parson. But he thought better of it; and,
climbing into his seat once more, trotted on, without another
word--dish, dosh, dush! The incident didn't tend to soften his
feelings toward the Established Church.

The country doctor of the last century always went his rounds on
horseback booted and spurred. The state of the roads rendered any
other mode of travelling impracticable to men who had not only to use
the highways and coach-roads, but to make their way up bridle-paths,
and drifts, and lanes, to secluded farmsteads and outlying villages.
Even as late as the last generation, in Suffolk, where now people
drive to and fro at the rate of twelve miles an hour, a doctor (whom
the writer of these pages has reason to think of with affection) was
more than once mired, on a slightly-built blood horse, so effectually,
that he had to dismount ere the animal could be extricated; and this
happened in roads that at the present time are, in all seasons, firm
as a garden walk.

Describing the appearance of a country doctor of this period, a writer
observes--"When first I saw him, it was on Frampton Green. I was
somewhat his junior in years, and had heard so much of him that I had
no small curiosity to see him. He was dressed in a blue coat and
yellow buttons, buckskins, well-polished jockey-boots, with handsome
silver spurs, and he carried a smart whip with a silver handle. His
hair, after the fashion, was done up in a club, and he wore a
broad-brimmed hat." Such was the appearance of Jenner, as he galloped
across the vale of Gloucester, visiting his patients. There is little
to remind us of such a personage as this in the statue in Trafalgar
Square, which is the slowly-offered tribute of our gratitude to Edward
Jenner for his imperishable services to mankind. The opposition that
Jenner met with in his labours to free our species from a hideous
malady that, destroying life and obliterating beauty, spared neither
the cottage nor the palace, is a subject on which it is painful to
reflect. The learned of his own profession and the vulgar of all ranks
combined to persecute and insult him; and when the merit of his
inestimable discovery was acknowledged by all intelligent persons, he
received from his country a remuneration that was little better than
total neglect.

While acting as an apprentice to a country surgeon he first conceived
the possibility of checking the ravages of small-pox. A young servant
woman, who accidentally said that she was guarded from that disease by
having "had cow-pox," first apprized him that amongst the servants of
a rural population a belief existed that the virus from the diseased
cow, on being absorbed by the human system, was a preventive against
small-pox. From that time, till the ultimate success of his inquiries,
he never lost sight of the subject.

The ridicule and misrepresentation to which he was subjected are at
this date more pleasant for us to laugh at than, at the time, they
were for him to bear. The ignorant populace of London was instructed
that people, on being vaccinated, ran great risks of being converted
into members of the bovine family. The appearance of hair covering the
whole body, of horns and a tail, followed in many cases the operation.
The condition of an unhappy child was pathetically described, who,
brutified by vaccine ichor, persisted in running on all-fours and
roaring like a bull. Dr. Woodville and Dr. Moseley opposed Jenner, the
latter with a violence that little became a scientific inquirer.
Numerous were the squibs and caricatures the controversy called forth.
Jenner was represented as riding on a cow--an animal certainly not
adapted to show the doctor ("booted and spurred" as we have just seen
him) off to the best advantage. Of Moseley the comic muse sung:

    "Oh, Moseley! thy book, nightly phantasies rousing,
      Full oft makes me quake for my heart's dearest treasure;
    For fancy, in dreams, oft presents them all browsing
      On commons, just like little Nebuchadnezzar.
    _There_, nibbling at thistle, stand Jem, Joe, and Mary,
      On their foreheads, O horrible! crumpled horns bud:
    There Tom with his tail, and poor William all hairy,
      Reclined in a corner, are chewing the cud."

If London was unjust to him, the wiseacres of Gloucestershire thought
that burning was his fit punishment. One dear old lady, whenever she
saw him leaving his house, used to run out and attack him with
indescribable vivacity. "So your book," cried this charming matron, in
genuine Gloucestershire dialect, "is out at last. Well! I can tell you
that there bean't a copy sold in our town, nor shan't neither, if I
can help it." On hearing, subsequent to the publication of the book (a
great offence to the old lady!), some rumours of vaccination failures,
the same goodie bustled up to the doctor and cried, with galling
irony, "Shan't us have a general inoculation now?"

But Jenner was compensated for this worthy woman's opposition in the
enthusiastic support of Rowland Hill, who not only advocated
vaccination in his ordinary conversation, but from the pulpit used to
say, after his sermon to his congregation, wherever he preached, "I am
ready to vaccinate to-morrow morning as many children as you choose;
and if you wish them to escape that horrid disease, the small-pox, you
will bring them." A Vaccine Board was also established at the Surrey
Chapel--_i. e._ the Octagon Chapel, in Blackfriars Road.

"My Lord," said Rowland Hill once to a nobleman, "allow me to present
to your Lordship my friend, Dr. Jenner, who has been the means of
saving more lives than any other man."

"Ah!" observed Jenner, "would that I, like you, could say--souls."

There was no cant in this. Jenner was a simple, unaffected, and devout
man. His last words were, "I do not marvel that men are grateful to
me, but I am surprised that they do not feel gratitude to God for
making me a medium of good."

Of Jenner's more sprightly humour, the following epigrams from his pen
(communicated to the writer of these pages by Dr. E. D. Moore of
Salop), are good specimens.

              "TO MY SPANISH CIGAR.

    "Soother of an anxious hour!
      Parent of a thousand pleasures!
    With gratitude I owe thy power
      And place thee 'mongst my choicest treasures.
    Thou canst the keenest pangs disarm
      Which care obtrudes upon the heart;
    At thy command, my little charm,
      Quick from the bosom they depart."


    "Why, neighbours, thus mournfully sorrow and fret?
    Here lie snug and cosy old John and his Bet;
    Your sighing and sobbing ungodly and rash is,
    For two knobs of coal that have now gone to ashes."


    "The greatest curse that hath a name
    Most certainly from woman came.
    Two of the sex the other night--
    Well arm'd with talons, venom, spite,--
    Pull'd caps, you say?--a great wonder!
    By Jove, they pull'd the globe asunder!"

Dr. Jenner was very fond of scribbling _currente calamo_ such verses
as these. The following specimens of his literary prowess have, we
believe, never before been published.

                HANNAH BALL.--A SONG.

    "Farewell, ye dear lasses of town and of city,
      Sweet ladies, adieu to you all!
    Don't show a frown, though I tune up a ditty
      In praise of fair Hannah Ball.

    "T'other eve, as I rambled her snug cottage by,
      Sly Cupid determined my fall,
    The rogue, 'stead of darts, shot the beams of her eye,
      The eye of my fair Hannah Ball.

    "So sweetly she look'd, when attired so fine,
      In her Dunstable hat and her shawl,
    Enraptured I cried--''Tis a Goddess divine.'
      'No indeed'--she replied--'Hannah Ball.'

    "The bosom of Delia, tho' whiter than snow,
      Is no more than black velvet pall--
    Compared with my Hannah's--I'd have you to know--
      The bosom of fair Hannah Ball.

    "The honey the bee from her jessamine sips
      You'd swear was as bitter as gall,
    Could you taste but the sweets that exhale from the lips,
      From the lips of the fair Hannah Ball.

    "What's rouge, or carmine, or the blush of the rose?
      Why, dead as the lime on the wall,
    Compared with the delicate colour that glows
      On the cheek of my fair Hannah Ball.

    "When David melodiously play'd to appease
      The troubled emotions of Saul,
    Were his sounds more enchanting--ah, tell me, than these?
      'Hannah Ball, oh! the fair Hannah Ball.'

    "Near yonder fair copse as I pensively rove
      In an eve, when the dews 'gin to fall;
    To my sighs how kind echo responds from the grove--
      'Hannah Ball, oh! the fair Hannah Ball.'

    "With graces so winning see Rossi advance
      But what's all his grace?--Why a sprawl--
    With my Hannah compared, as she skims through the dance--
      The lovely, the fair Hannah Ball.

    "The song of the Mara--tho' great is her skill,
      Believe me's no more than a squall,
    Compared with the rapturous magical trill
      Of my charming, my fair Hannah Ball.

    "For oft in the meads at the close of the day,
      Near yon murmuring rivulet's fall,
    Have I heard the soft nightingale's soul-piercing lay,
      And thought 'twas my fair Hannah Ball.

    "To her eyes in Love's language I've told a soft tale,
      But, alas! they replied not at all;
    Yet bashfulness oft will our passions conceal;
      Oh! the modest, the fair Hannah Ball.

    "Ye Gods! would you make the dear creature my wife,
      With thanks would I bow to you all;
    How smoothly would then run the wheels of my life,
      With my charming, my fair Hannah Ball.

    "But should my petition be flung from the skies,
      I'll take the bare bodkin or awl;
    Yes! the cold seal of Death shall be fix'd on my eyes,--
      What's Life without fair Hannah Ball."

This is a happy little satire on a vilage scandal. The Methodist
parson and Roger were amongst the doctor's rustic neighbours.

     On a quarrel between Butler, the Methodist parson of
     Frampton, and Roger his clerk. Butler accused the clerk of
     stealing his liquors, and the clerk accused Butler of
     stealing his bacon.

    "Quoth good parson Butler to Rogers his clerk,
    'How things come to light that are done in the dark!
    My wine is all pilfer'd,--a sad piece of work,--
    But a word with thee, Richard--I see thou'rt no Turk.'

    "'What evil befall us!'--quoth Dick in reply,
    Whilst contempt methodistical glanced from his eye,--
    'My bacon's slipt off too--alas, sir! 'tis true,
    And the fact seems to whisper that--you are no Jew.'"

The most daring of Jenner's epigrams, out of the scores that we have
perused, is the following--

                    ON READING ADAM SMITH.

    "The priests may exclaim against cursing and swearing,
    And tell us such things are quite beyond bearing;
    But 'tis clear as the day their denouncing's a sham;
    For a thousand good things may be learnt from _Adam_."

Babbage, in his "Decline of Science in England," has remarked that
"some of the most valuable names which adorn the history of English
science have been connected with this (the medical) profession." Of
those names many have belonged to country doctors; amongst which
Jenner has a conspicuous place.[22]

  [22] Medical readers will be amused with the following letter, written
  by Dr. Jenner, showing as it does the excess of caution with which he
  prepared his patients for the trifling operation of vaccination.


       "I was absent from home when your obliging letter of the
       24th November arrived; but I do not think this is likely to
       occur again for some time, and I shall therefore be very
       happy to take your little family under my care at the time
       you mention--the latter end of January. Our arrangements
       must be carefully made, as the children must be met here by
       proper subjects for transferring the Vaccine Lymph; for on
       the accuracy of this part of the process much depends. It
       may be necessary to observe also, that among the greatest
       impediments to vaccination (indeed the greatest) is an
       eruptive state of the skin on the child intended to receive
       the infection. On this subject I wrote a paper so long ago
       as the year 1804, and took much pains to circulate it; but I
       am sorry to say the attention that has been paid to it by
       the Faculty in general has been by no means equal to its
       importance. This is a rock on which vaccination has been
       often wreck'd; but there is no excuse, as it was so clearly
       laid down in the chart.

                            "I am, Sir, your obedient
                                     "and very humble servant,
                                                 "EDWARD JENNER."

Jenner was a bright representative of that class of medical
practitioners--sagacious, well-instructed, courageous, and
self-dependent in intellect--who, at the close of the last century,
began to spring up in all parts of the country, and have rapidly
increased in number; so that now the prejudiced, vulgar, pedantic
doctors of Sterne's and Smollett's pages are extinct--no more to be
found on the face of the earth than are the drunken squires who
patronized and insulted them.

Of such a sort was Samuel Parr, the father of the famous classic
scholar and Whig politician of the same name. The elder Parr was a
general practitioner at Harrow, "a man" (as his son described him) "of
a very robust and vigorous intellect." Educated in his early years at
Harrow School, Samuel Parr (the son) was taken from that splendid
seminary at the age of fourteen years and apprenticed to his father.
For three or four years he applied himself to the mastery of the
elements of surgical and medical knowledge--dispensing medicines,
assisting at operations, and performing all the duties which a country
doctor's pupil was expected to perform. But he had not nerve enough
for the surgical department of the profession. "For a physician," he
used to say, "I might have done well, but for a surgeon never." His
father consequently sent him to Cambridge, and allowed him to turn his
intellects to those pursuits in which Nature had best fitted him to
excel. Dr. Parr's reminiscences of this period of medical instruction
were nearly all pleasant--and some of them were exquisitely droll. At
that early age his critical taste and faculty caused him to subject
the prescriptions that came under his notice to a more exact scrutiny
than the dog-Latin of physicians usually undergoes.

"Father," cried the boy, glancing his eye over a prescription, "here's
another mistake in the grammar!"

"Sam," answered the irritable sire, "d---- the prescription, make up
the medicine."

Laudanum was a preparation of opium just then coming into use. Mr.
Parr used it at first sparingly and cautiously. On one occasion he
administered a small quantity to a patient, and the next day, pleased
with the effects of the dose, expressed his intention (but
hesitatingly) to repeat it.

"You may do that safely, sir," said the son.

"Don't be rash, boy. Beginners are always too bold. How should you
know what is safe?" asked the father.

"Because, sir," was the answer, "when I made up the prescription
yesterday, I doubled the dose."

"Doubled the dose! How dared you do that?" exclaimed the angry senior.

"Because, sir," answered little Sam, coolly, "_I saw you hesitate._"

The father who would not feel pride in such a son would not deserve to
have him.

Though Parr made choice of another profession he always retained a
deep respect for his father's calling and the practitioners of it;
medical men forming a numerous and important portion of his
acquaintance. In his years of ripest judgment he often declared that
"he considered the medical professors as the most learned,
enlightened, moral, and liberal class of the community."

How many pleasant reminiscences this writer has of country surgeons--a
class of men interesting to an observer of manners, as they comprise
more distinct types of character than any other professional body.
Hail to thee, Dr. Agricola! more yeoman than _savant_, bluff, hearty,
and benevolent, hastening away from fanciful patients to thy farm,
about which it is thy pleasure, early and late, to trudge, vigilant
and canny, clad in velveteen jacket and leathern gaiters, armed with
spud-stick or double-barrel gun, and looking as unlike Andrew Borde
or Dr. Slop as it is possible to conceive mortal! What an eccentric,
pious, tyrannical, most humane giant thou art! When thou wast mayor of
thy borough, what lawless law didst thou maintain! With thine own arm
and oaken stick didst thou fustigate the drunken poacher who beat his
wife; and the little children, who made a noise in the market-square
on a Sunday, thou didst incarcerate (for the sake of public morality)
in "the goose-house" for two hours; but (for the sake of mercy) thou
didst cause to be served out to each prisoner one large gingerbread
bun--to soften the hardships of captivity. When the ague raged, and
provisions were scarce in what the poor still refer to as "the bad
year," what prescriptions didst thou, as parish doctor, shower down on
the fever-ridden?--Mutton and gin, beef and wine--such were thy
orders! The parsons said bravo! and clapt thee on the back; but the
guardians of the poor and the relieving officers were up in arms, and
summoned thee before a solemn tribunal at the union-house--"the
board!" in fact. What an indignant oath and scream of ridicule didst
thou give, when an attorney (Sir Oracle of "the board") endeavoured to
instil into thy mind the first principles of supply and demand, and
that grandest law of political economy--to wit, if there are too many
poor people in a neighbourhood, they must be starved out of it into
one where they will not be in the way; and if there are too many poor
people in the entire world, they must be starved out of that also into
another, where there'll be more room for them! And what was thy answer
to the chairman's remark, "Doctor, if mutton and gin are the only
medicines that will cure the sick poor, you must supply them
yourself, in accordance with your contract"? What was thy answer? Why,
a shower of butchers' and vintners' bills, pulled from the pockets of
thy ancient gray coat--bills all receipted, and showing that, before
asking the ratepayers for a doit, thou hadst expended every penny of
thy salary of \xA3150 on mutton and gin, beef and wine--for the sick
poor! What a noble answer to a petty taunt! The chairman blushed. The
attorney hurried away, saying he had to be present at an auction. The
great majority of "the board" came to a resolution, engaging to
support you in your schemes for helping the poor through the bad year.
But the play was not yet at an end. Some rumours of what had occurred
at the board reaching the ears of a few poor peasants, they made bold
to thank thee for thy exertions in their behalf. How didst thou
receive them?--With a violent harrangue against their incorrigible
laziness and dishonesty--an assurance that half their sufferings
sprung from their own vices--and a vehement declaration that, far from
speaking a good word for them to the guardians, thou didst counsel the
sternest and cruellest of measures.

A man of another mould and temper was the writer's dear friend, Felix.
Gentle and ardent, tranquil as a summer evening, and unyielding as a
rock, modest but brave, unobtrusive but fearless, he had a mind that
poets only could rightly read. Delicate in frame, as he was refined in
intellect, he could not endure rude exertion or vulgar pleasure.
Active in mind, he still possessed a vein of indolence, thoroughly
appreciating the pleasure of dreaming the whole day long on a sunny
chair in a garden, surrounded with bright flowers and breathing a
perfumed air. In the hot season the country people used to watch their
doctor traversing the country in his capacious phaeton. Alone, without
a servant by his side, he held the reins in his hands, but in his
reveries altogether forgot to use them. Sometimes he would fall
asleep, and travel for miles in a state of unconsciousness, his great
phlegmatic horse pounding the dust at the rate of five miles an hour.
The somni-driverous doctor never came to harm. His steed knew how to
keep on the left-hand side of the road, under ordinary circumstances
passing all vehicles securely, but never thinking of overtaking any;
and the country people, amongst whom the doctor spent his days, made
his preservation from bodily harm an object of their especial care.
Often did a rustic wayfarer extricate the doctor's equipage from a
perilous position, and then send it onwards without disturbing the
gentleman by waking him. The same placid, equable man was Felix in
society, that he was on these professional excursions--nothing
alarming or exciting him. It was in his study that the livelier
elements of his nature came into play. Those who, for the first time,
conversed with him in private on his microscopic and chemical
pursuits, his researches in history, or his labours in speculative or
natural philosophy, caught fire from his fire and were inspired with
his enthusiasm.

Felix belonged to a class daily becoming more numerous; Miles was of a
species that has already become rare--the army surgeon. The
necessities of the long war caused the enrolment of numbers of young
men in the ranks of the medical profession, whose learning was not
their highest recommendation to respect. An old navy surgeon, of no
small wit, and an infinite capacity for the consumption of strong
liquors--wine, brandy, whisky, usquebaugh (anything, so long as it was
strong)--gave a graphic description to this writer of his examination
on things pertaining to surgery by the Navy Board.

"Well," said the narrator, putting down his empty glass and filling it
again with Madeira--"I was shown into the examination-room. Large
table, and half-a-dozen old gentlemen at it. 'Big-wigs, no doubt,'
thought I; 'and sure as my name is Symonds, they'll pluck me like a

"'Well, sir, what do you know about the science of your profession?'
asked the stout man in the chair.

"'More than he does of the practice, I'll be bound,' tittered a little
wasp of a dandy--a West End ladies' doctor.

"I trembled in my shoes.

"'Well, sir,' continued the stout man, 'what would you do if a man was
brought to you during action with his arms and legs shot off? Now,
sir, don't keep the Board waiting! What would you do? Make haste!'

"'By Jove, sir!' I answered--a thought just striking me--'I should
pitch him overboard, and go on to some one else I could be of more
service to.'

"By -- --! every one present burst out laughing; and they passed me
directly, sir--passed me directly!"

The examiners doubtless felt that a young man who could manifest such
presence of mind on such an occasion, and so well reply to a
terrorizing question, might be trusted to act wisely on other

Many stories of a similar kind are very old acquaintances of most of
our readers.

"What"--an examiner of the same Board is reported to have said to a
candidate--"would you have recourse to if, after having ineffectually
tried all the ordinary diaphoretics, you wanted to throw your patient,
in as short a time as possible, into a profuse perspiration?"

"I should send him here, sir, to be examined," was the reply.

Not less happy was the audacity of the medical student to Abernethy.

"What would you do," bluntly inquired the surgeon, "if a man was
brought to you with a broken leg?"

"Set it, sir," was the reply.

"Good--very good--you're a very pleasant, witty young man; and
doubtless you can tell me what muscles of my body I should set in
motion if I kicked you, as you deserve to be kicked, for your

"You would set in motion," responded the youth, with perfect coolness,
"the flexors and extensors of my right arm; for I should immediately
knock you down."

If the gentlemen so sent forth to kill and cure were not overstocked
with professional learning, they soon acquired a knowledge of their
art in that best of all schools--experience. At the conclusion of the
great war they were turned loose upon the country, and from their body
came many of the best and most successful practitioners of every
county of the kingdom. The race is fast dying out. A Waterloo banquet
of medical officers, serving in our army at that memorable battle,
would at the present time gather together only a small number of
veterans. This writer can remember when they were plentiful; and, in
company with two or three of the best of their class, he spent many of
the happiest days of his boyhood. An aroma of old camp life hung about
them. They rode better horses, and more boldly, than the other doctors
round about. However respectable they might have become with increased
years and prosperity, they retained the military knack of making
themselves especially comfortable under any untoward combination of
external circumstances. To gallop over a bleak heath, through the cold
fog of a moonless December night; to sit for hours in a stifling
garret by a pauper's pallet; to go for ten days without sleeping on a
bed, without undressing, and with the wear of sixteen hours out of
every twenty-four spent on horseback--were only features of "duty,"
and therefore to be borne manfully, and with generous endurance, at
the time--and, in the retrospect, to be talked of with positive
contentment and hilarity. They loved the bottle, too--as it ought to
be loved: on fit occasions drinking any given quantity, and, in
return, giving any quantity to drink; treating claret and the thinner
wines with a levity at times savouring of disdain; but having a deep
and unvarying affection for good sound port, and, at the later hours,
very hot and very strong whisky and water, _with_ a slice of lemon in
each tumbler. How they would talk during their potations! What stories
and songs! George the Fourth (even according to his own showing) had
scarce more to do in bringing about the victory at Waterloo than
they. Lord Anglesey's leg must have been amputated thrice; for this
writer knew three surgeons who each--separately and by himself--performed
the operation. But this sort of boasting was never indulged in before
the --th tumbler.

May a word not be here said on the toping country doctor? Shame on
these times! ten years hence one will not be able to find a bibulous
apothecary, though search be made throughout the land from Dan to
Beersheba! Sailors, amongst the many superstitions to which they cling
with tenacity, retain a decided preference for an inebrious to a sober
surgeon. Not many years since, in a fishing village on the eastern
coast, there flourished a doctor in great repute amongst the poor; and
his influence over his humble patients literally depended on the fact
that he was sure, once in the four-and-twenty hours, to be handsomely
intoxicated. Charles Dickens has told the public how, when he bought
the raven immortalised in "Barnaby Rudge," the vendor of that
sagacious bird, after enumerating his various accomplishments and
excellences, concluded, "But, sir, if you want him to come out very
strong, you must show him a drunk man." The simple villagers of
Flintbeach had a firm faith in the strengthening effects of looking at
a tipsy doctor. They always postponed their visits to Dr. Mutchkin
till evening, because then they had the benefit of the learned man in
his highest intellectual condition. "Dorn't goo to he i' the mornin',
er can't doctor noways to speak on tills er's had a glass," was the
advice invariably given to a stranger not aware of the doctor's little

Mutchkin was unquestionably a shrewd fellow, although he did his best
to darken the light with which nature had endowned him. One day,
accompanied by his apprentice, he visited a small tenant farmer who
had been thrown on his bed with a smart attack of bilious fever. After
looking at his patient's tongue and feeling his pulse, he said
somewhat sharply:--

"Ah! 'tis no use doing what's right for you, if you will be so

"Goodness, doctor, what do you mean?" responded the sick man; "I have
done nothing imprudent."

"What!--nothing imprudent? Why, bless me, man, you have had green peas
for dinner."

"So I have, sir. But how did you find that out?"

"In your pulse--in your pulse. It was very foolish. Mind, you mayn't
commit such an indiscretion again. It might cost you your life."

The patient, of course, was impressed with Mutchkin's acuteness, and
so was the apprentice. When the lad and his master had retired, the
former asked:--

"How did you know he had taken peas for dinner, sir? Of course it
wasn't his pulse that told you."

"Why, boy," the instructor replied, "I saw the pea-shells that had
been thrown into the yard, and I drew my inference."

The hint was not thrown away on the youngster. A few days afterwards,
being sent to call on the same case, he approached the sick man, and,
looking very observant, felt the pulse.

"Ah!--um--by Jove!" exclaimed the lad, mimicking his master's manner,
"this is very imprudent. It may cost you your life. Why, man, you've
eaten a horse for your dinner."

The fever patient was so infuriated with what he naturally regarded as
impertinence, that he sent a pathetic statement of the insult offered
him to Mutchkin. On questioning his pupil as to what he meant by
accusing a man, reduced with sickness, of having consumed so large and
tough an animal, the doctor was answered--

"Why, sir, as I passed through from the yard I saw the saddle hanging
up in the kitchen."

This story is a very ancient one. It may possibly be found in one of
the numerous editions of Joe Miller's faceti\xE6. The writer has,
however, never met with it in print, and the first time he heard it,
Dr. Mutchkin, of Flintbeach, was made to figure in it in the matter
above described.

The shrewdness of Mutchkin's apprentice puts us in mind of the
sagacity of the hydropathic doctor, mentioned in the "Life of Mr
Assheton Smith." A gentleman devoted to fox-hunting and deep potations
was induced, by the master of the Tedworth Hunt, to have recourse to
the water cure, and see if it would not relieve him of chronic gout,
and restore something of the freshness of youth. The invalid acted on
the advice, and in obedience to the directions of a hydropathic
physician, proceeded to swathe his body, upon going to his nightly
rest, with wet bandages. The air was chill, and the water
looked--very--cold. The patient shivered as his valet puddled the
bandages about in the cold element. He paused, as a schoolboy does,
before taking his first "header" for the year on a keen May morning;
and during the pause much of his noble resolve oozed away.

"John," at last he said to his valet, "put into that d---- water half
a dozen bottles of port wine, to warm it."

John having carried out the direction, the bandages, saturated with
port wine and water, were placed round the corpulent trunk of the
invalid. The next morning the doctor, on paying his visit and
inspecting the linen swathes, instead of expressing astonishment at
their discoloration with the juice of the grape, observed, with the
utmost gravity:--

"Ah, the system is acting beautifully. See, the port wine is already
beginning to leave you!"

A different man from Dr. Mutchkin was jovial Ambrose Harvey. Twenty
years ago no doctor throughout his county was more successful--no man
more beloved. By natural strength of character he gained leave from
society to follow his own humours without let, hindrance, or censure.
Ladies did not think the less highly of his professional skill because
he visited them in pink, and left their bedsides to ride across the
country with Lord Cheveley's hounds. Six feet high, handsome, hearty,
well-bred, Ambrose had a welcome wherever there was joy or sickness.
To his little wife he was devotedly attached and very considerate; and
she in return was very fond, and--what with woman is the same
thing--very jealous of him. He was liked, she well knew, by the
country ladies, many of whom were so far her superiors in rank and
beauty and accomplishments, that it was only natural in the good
little soul to entertain now and then a suspicious curiosity about the
movements of her husband. Was it nothing but the delicate health of
Lady Ellin that took him so frequently to Hove Hall? How it came
about, from what charitable whisperings on the part of kind friends,
from what workings of original sin in her own gentle breast, it would
be hard to say; but 'tis a fact that, when Hove Hall was mentioned, a
quick pain seized the little wife's heart and colour left her cheek,
to return again quickly, and in increased quantity. The time came when
she discovered the groundlessness of her fears, and was deeply
thankful that she had never, in any unguarded moment, by clouded brow,
or foolish tears, or sharp reply, revealed the folly of her heart.
Just at the time that Mrs. Ambrose was in the midst of this trial of
her affection, Ambrose obtained her permission to drive over to a town
twelve miles distant, to attend the hunt dinner. The night of that
dinner was a memorable one with the doctor's wife. Ambrose had
promised to be home at eleven o'clock. But twelve had struck, and here
he had not returned. One o'clock--two o'clock! No husband! The
servants had been sent to bed four hours ago; and Mrs. Ambrose sate
alone in her old wainscotted parlour, with a lamp by her side, sad,
and pale, and feverish--as wakeful as the house-dog out of doors, that
roamed round the house, barking out his dissatisfaction at the
prolonged absence of his master.

At length, at half-past two, a sound of wheels was at the door, and in
another minute Ambrose entered the hall, and greeted his little wife.
Ah, Mrs. Ellis, this writer will not pain you by entering into details
in this part of his story. In defence of Ambrose, let it be said that
it was the only time in all his married life that he paid too
enthusiastic homage to the god of wine. Something he mumbled about
being tired, and having a headache, and then he walked, not
over-steadily, upstairs. Poor Mrs. Ambrose! It was not any good asking
_him_, what had kept him out so late. Incensed, frightened, and
jealous, the poor little lady could not rest. She must have one doubt
resolved. Where had her husband been all this time? Had he been round
by Hove Hall? Had she reflected, she would have seen his Bacchic
drowsiness was the best possible evidence that he had not come from a
lady's drawing-room. But jealousy is love's blindness. A thought
seized the little woman's head; she heard the step of Ambrose's man in
the kitchen, about to retire to rest. Ah, he could tell her. A word
from him would put all things right. Quick as thought, without
considering her own or her husband's dignity, the angry little wife
hastened down-stairs, and entered the kitchen where John was paying
his respects to some supper and mild ale that had been left out for
him. As evil fortune would have it, the step she had taken to mend
matters made them worse.

"Oh, John," said the lady, telling a harmless fib, "I have just come
to see if cook left you out a good supper."

John--most civil and trustworthy of grooms--rose, and posing himself
on his heels, made a respectful obeisance to his mistress, not a
little surprised at her anxiety for his comfort. But, alas! the
potations at the hunt-dinner had not been confined to the gentlemen of
the hunt. John had, in strong ale, taken as deep draughts of gladness
as Ambrose had in wine. At a glance his mistress saw the state of the
case, and in her fright, losing all caution, put her question
point-blank, and with imperious displeasure--"John, where have you and
your master been?--tell me instantly."

An admirable servant--honest and well-intentioned at all times--just
then confused and loquacious--John remembered him how often his master
had impressed upon him that it was his duty not to gossip about the
places he stopped at in his rounds, as professional secrecy was a
virtue scarcely less necessary in a doctor's man-servant than in a
doctor. Acting on a muddle-headed reminiscence of his instructions,
John reeled towards his mistress, endeavouring to pacify her with a
profusion of duteous bobbings of the head, and in a tone of piteous
sympathy, and with much incoherence, made this memorable answer to her
question: "I'm very sorry, mum, and I do hope, mum, you won't be
angry. I allus wish to do you my best duty--that I do, mum--and you're
a most good, affable missus, and I, and cook, and all on us are very
grateful to you."

"Never mind that. Where have you and your master been? That's my

"Indeed, mum--I darnatellye, it would bes goodasmeplace wi' master. I
dare not say where we ha' been. For master rekwested me patikler not
to dewulge."

But thou hadst not wronged thy wife. It was not thine to hurt any
living thing, dear friend. All who knew thee will bear witness that to
thee, and such as thee, Crabbe pointed not his bitter lines:--

    "But soon a loud and hasty summons calls,
    Shakes the thin roof, and echoes round the walls;
    Anon a figure enters, quaintly neat,
    All pride and business, bustle and conceit,
    With looks unalter'd by these scenes of woe,
    With speed that entering speaks his haste to go;
    He bids the gazing throng around him fly,
    And carries Fate and Physic in his eye;
    A potent quack, long versed in human ills,
    Who first insults the victim whom he kills,
    Whose murd'rous hand a drowsy bench protect,
    And whose most tender mercy is neglect.
    Paid by the Parish for attendance here,
    He wears contempt upon his sapient sneer.
    In haste he seeks the bed where misery lies,
    Impatience mark'd in his averted eyes;
    And, some habitual queries hurried o'er,
    Without reply, he rushes to the door;
    His drooping patient, long inured to pain,
    And long unheeded, knows remonstrance vain;
    He ceases now the feeble help to crave
    Of man, and mutely hastens to the grave."

                         THE END.


  Abernethy, Dr. John, 48, 158, 159, 180, 213, 214, 216, 375, 407.

  Abernethy, Biscuit, 162.

  Addington, Dr. Anthony, 394.

  Agricola, Dr., 496.

  Agrippa, Cornelius, 87.

  Aikin, Dr., 48, 428.

  Ailhaud's Powder, 102.

  Akenside, Dr., 327, 381.

  Albemarle, Duke of, 54, 118.

  Alexander, William, 320.

  Allan, 43.

  Alston, Sir Richard, 257.

  Alured, Thomas, 274.

  Andrew, Merry, 29, 422.

  Anne, Queen, 92, 93, 94, 116, 117, 119, 131, 163, 189, 242, 262.

  Anthony, Dr. Francis, 467.

  Antiochus, 168.

  Arbuthnot, Dr., 62, 72, 132, 138, 144, 163, 186, 187, 190, 191, 192.

  Archer, Dr. John, 148, 149, 150, 225.

  Argent, Dr., 17.

  Armstrong, Dr., 426.

  Arnold, Dr., 345.

  Askew, Dr., 10, 244.

  Atkins, Dr. Henry, 66, 204.

  Atkins, Will, 15.

  Aubrey, John, 25, 464.

  Augustus, 13, 168.

  Ayliffe, Sir John, 165, 166.

  Ayre, William, 74.

  Bacon, Lord, 82, 255, 287.

  Baillie, Dr., 10, 244, 394.

  Baker, Dr., 161, 332.

  Ballow, Mr., 381.

  Baltrop, Dr. Robert, 29.

  Bancroft, Dr. John, 139.

  Barber--surgeons, 12.

  Baring, Sir F., 178.

  Barrowby, Dr., 155, 156.

  Barrymore, Lord, 154.

  Bartley, Dr., 29.

  Barton, Mr. 278.

  Bayle, Dr., 78.

  Beauclerc, Lady Vere, 289.

  Beauford, Dr., 154, 155.

  Beauford, Thomas, 474.

  Beckford, 45.

  Beddoes, Dr. 146.

  Bedford, Duke of, 96, 309.

  Behn, Afra, 200.

  Bennet, Dr., 382.

  Bentham, Jeremy, 397.

  Bentley, 184, 185, 252.

  Berkeley, Bishop, 96.

  Berry, Miss, 318.

  Betterton, 139.

  Bickersteth, Dr. Henry, 396.

  Bidloe, Dr., 118.

  Blackmore, Sir Richard, 39, 51, 73, 74, 113, 115, 117, 186,
        193, 375, 427.

  Bleeding, 225.

  Blizard, Sir William, 114, 245.

  Blood, Mrs., 309.

  Blount, Col., 195.

  Bohn, Mr., 26.

  Bond, John, M. A., 183.

  Borcel, William de, 55.

  Borde, Andrew, 29, 423, 479.

  Boswell, James, 140, 308, 333, 339, 463.

  Boulter, Mr., 473.

  Bourdier, Dr., 205.

  Bouvart, Dr., 169.

  Boydell, Mary, 408.

  Boyle, Mr., 57, 58, 272, 467.

  Brennen, Dr. John, 386.

  Brocklesby, Dr., 16, 211, 381.

  Brodie, Sir Benjamin, 107, 166, 366, 370.

  Bruce, Robert, 193.

  Browne, Sir Thomas, 38.

  Buckle, Mr., 333.

  Buckingham, Duchess of, 152.

  Buckingham, Duke of, 47, 58.

  Buckinghampshire, Countess of, 370.

  Bulleyn, Richard, 37.

  Bulleyn, Dr. William, 25, 26, 29, 37, 64, 165, 229.

  Bungalo, Prof., 92.

  Buns, Dr., 29.

  Burke, Edmund, 211, 441.

  Burnet, Gilbert, 131.

  Burton, Dr., 67.

  Burton, Robert, 263, 428.

  Burton, Sim, 292.

  Busby, Dr., 9.

  Butler, Dr., 211.

  Butler, Samuel, 260.

  Butler, Dr. William, 25, 179.

  Butts, Sir William, 25, 164, 166.

  Byron, Lord, 193, 328.

  Cadogan, Lord, 290, 393.

  Cains, 22.

  Calfe, Thomas, 29.

  Chambre, Dr. John, 21.

  Campan, Madame, 283.

  Campanella, Thomas, 13, 264.

  Cane, 11.

  Canker, 33.

  Canning, 421.

  Cardan, 264.

  Caroline, Queen, 174.

  Carr, Dr., 29.

  Carriages, 17.

  Carteret, George, 55.

  Case, John, 167.

  Cashin, Catherine, 364, 370.

  Catherine, Empress, 179.

  Cavendish, Lord C., 161.

  Chalon, Comtesse de, 349.

  Charles I., 23, 42, 173, 204.

     "    II., 15, 17, 23, 38, 40, 57, 148, 157, 173, 174, 234, 472.

     "    VI., 221.

     "    IX., 173.

     "    XI., 203.

  Charleton, Dr., 58.

  Chartres, Francis, 191.

  Chatham, Earl of, 394.

  Chaucer, 20.

  Cheke, Sir John, 138.

  Chemberline, 79.

  Cheselden, Dr., 68, 215, 292.

  Chester, Richard, 332.

  Chesterfield, Lord, 233, 314.

  Cheyne, Dr., 146, 247, 377, 399.

  Cholmondley, Miss, 238.

  Churchill, General, 180, 290.

  Clarke, Mr., 233.

  Clarke, Sir James, 18, 107.

  Clermont, Lady, 349.

  Clopton, Roger, 312.

  Coakley, Dr., 339.

  Codrington, Col., 195, 199.

  Cogan, Dr., 428.

  Coke, 11.

  Coldwell, Dr., 229.

  Coleridge, S. T., 41.

  Coles, William, 178.

  Collier, Jeremy, 200.

  Collington, Sir James, 193.

  Colomb\xE8ire, De la, 380.

  Combermer, Lord, 393.

  Congreve, 201.

  Conolly, Dr., 221.

  Conway, Lady, 271, 272.

  Conway, Lord, 273.

  Cooper, Sir Astley, 13, 70, 177, 362, 375.

  Cooper, Bransby, 375.

  Cooper, Dr. William, 216.

  Cordus, Euricus, 168.

  Cordus, Valerius, 65.

  Cornwallis, Lord, 290.

  Corvisart, Dr., 205.

  Cotgrave, 85.

  Coytier, Dr., 203.

  Crabbe, George, 436.

  Cranworth, Lord, 311, 320.

  Creswell, Sir Creswell, 485.

  Croft, Sir Richard, 394.

  Cromwell, 83.

  Crossfield, Thomas, 435.

  Crowe, Mrs., 290.

  Cruikshank, George, 413.

      "    Dr., 211.

  Cudworth, Dr., 272.

  Cullum, Sir Thomas Geery, 398.

  Cumberland, Earl of, 171.

  Curran, John Philpot, 213.

  Curray, Dr. "Calomel," 162.

  Cutler, Sir John, 472.

  Dalmahoy, Colonel, 15.

  Darrell, Lady, 33, 165.

  Darwin, Dr. Erasmus, 428.

  Davy, Sir Humphrey, 59, 60, 61, 62, 429.

  Davy, Lady, 62.

  Dawson, John, 406.

  Dawson, Dr. Thomas, 406.

  Dee, Dr., 42.

  Delaune, 471.

  Denman, Dr. Joseph, 394.

  Denman, Lord, 393, 394.

  Dennis, 375.

  Denton, Dr., 272.

  Derby, Edward, Earl of, 44, 165.

  De Rothes, Countess, 398.

  Derwentwater, Earl of, 111.

  Desault, 13.

  Desmond, Countess of, 254.

  Devonshire, Duchess, 349.

  D'Ewes, Sir Symonds, 480.

  Diamond, Dr., 41, 321, 434.

  Dickens, Charles, 503.

  Digby, Sir Everard, 42.

  Digby, Sir Kenelm, 38, 57, 58, 282.

  Dilly, Charles, 339.

  Dimsdale, Dr., 179.

  Dioscorides, 64.

  Dodds, James, 357.

  Dodsley, 328.

  Doran, John, 167, 466.

  Dorset, Richard, Earl of, 343.

  Douglas, Sylvester, 395.

  Drake, Dr. James, 125.

  Dryden, John, 38, 74, 194, 197, 201, 379.

  Dubois, Dr., 205.

  Ducrow, Andrew, 372.

  Dum\xE9ny, 381.

  Dumoulin, Dr., 104.

  Dunoyer, Madame, 380.

  Dureux, Madame, 381.

  Dwyer, J. W., 277.

  Dyson, Dr., 328.

  Edmunds, Dr., 29.

  Edward I., 40.

      "    II., 258.

      "    III., 166, 170, 476.

      "    VI., 21, 173.

  Edwards, Dr., 29.

  Edwards, George, 56.

  Eliot, Sir John, 402, 403, 408.

  Elizabeth, Queen, 40, 164, 173, 203.

  Elliot, Sir Thomas, 29, 33, 165, 229.

  Elmy, Sarah, 438.

  Elton, Sir Marwood, 393.

  Embrocations, 30.

  Ent, Dr., 58.

  Erasistratus, 168.

  Erskine, 180, 194.

  Eugene, Prince, 153.

  Evelyn, John, 57, 174.

  Everard, Dr., 150, 225.

  Faber, Dr., 272.

  Fairclough, Dr. James, 272, 274.

  Faire, Thomas, 29.

  Fallopius, Gabriel, 144.

  Fees, 163.

  Ferriar, Dr., 428.

  Fielding, Beau, 42, 186.

  Fielding, Henry, 96, 316.

  Fielding, Sir John, 316.

  Flemyng, Dr., 146.

  Fludd, Dr. Robert, 422, 436.

  Fludd, Dr. Thomas, 435.

  Foote, Samuel, 463.

  Ford, Charles, 132.

  Fordyce, Dr. George, 153.

  Forster, Dr., 320.

  Fothergill, Dr. John, 207, 335, 337.

  Fox, Charles James, 430.

  Fox, Simeon, 17.

  Francis II., 173.

  French, Mrs., 288.

  Frere, Dr., 29.

  Freind, Dr., 152, 186, 251, 252, 318, 375.

  Froissart, 221.

  Fuller, Thomas, 25, 180.

  Gaddesden, John of, 258.

  Galen, 13.

  Galileo, 369.

  Gardiner, Joseph, 292.

  Garrick, David, 314.

  Garth, Sir Samuel, 63, 92, 113, 152, 186, 194, 199, 333,
        375, 376, 433, 472.

  Gascoigne, Sir William, 33, 165.

  Gaskin, Dr., 155.

  Gay, John, 186.

  Geber, 255.

  Gee, Dr., 29.

  George I., 243.

    " III., 160, 173, 174, 340, 350, 431.

    " IV., 170, 173.

  Germain, Lord George, 402.

  Getseus, John Daniel, 265.

  Gibbons, Dr., 113, 117, 139, 152, 375.

  Gilbert, Dr., 276.

  Gisborne, Dr. Thomas, 394.

  Gloucester, Duke of, 118.

  Glynn, Dr., 162, 208, 400.

  Goddard, Dr., 58.

  Godolphin, Sir John, 272, 313, 316.

  Goldsmith, Oliver, 86, 115, 185, 189, 426.

  Good, Dr. Mason, 428.

  Goodwin, Mr., 78.

  Gordonius, 13.

  Gout, 23.

  Gower, Lord, 156.

  Grafton, Duke of, 317.

  Graham, Dr. James, 345, 350, 351.

  Grainger, 427.

  Grant, Roger, 94, 95.

  Gray, Thomas, 333.

  Greatrakes, Valentine, 265-273.

  Greaves, Sir Edmund, 55.

  Green, Richard, 439.

  Gregory, Dr. James, 193, 209.

  Grenville, Lord, 207.

  Grey, Dr., 479.

  Griffith, Mrs., 426.

  Gungeland, Coursus de, 170.

  Guy, Thomas, 466, 470.

  Guyllyam, Dr., 221.

  Gwynn, Nell, 157.

  Gyer, Nicholas, 228.

  Hale, Dr., 252.

  Hales, Stephen, 291.

  Halford, Sir Henry, 173, 393, 421.

  Halifax, Charley, 486.

  Halley, Dr., 185.

  Hamey, Baldwin, 63.

  Hamilton, Sir William, 348.

  Hancock, The Rev. John, 95.

  Handel, 161.

  Hannes, Sir Edward, 113, 114, 115, 249, 375, 384.

  Harrington, Dr., 429.

  Harris, Sir Edward, 265.

  Harris, Edmund, 265.

  Hartley, Dr. D., 292.

  Hartman, George, 45.

  Harvey, Dr. John, 24, 369.

  Harvey, Dr. Ambrose, 506.

  Harward, Simon, 228.

  Hastings, Mrs. Sarah, 288.

  Hatcher, Dr., 29, 164.

  Haveningham, Sir Anthony, 33, 165.

  Hawkins, Dr. C., 292.

  Hawkins, Sir John, 330.

  Haygarth, Dr., 277.

  Hearne, Thomas, 225, 423.

  Heberden, Dr. W., 51, 53, 161, 211.

  Hel, Dr. Maximilian, 283.

  Henry III., 40, 173.

    " IV., 23, 173.

    " VII., 21.

    " VIII., 21, 164, 171, 422, 468.

  Heraclius, Prince, 303.

  Herfurth, Earl of, 166.

  Hermes, 9, 11.

  Hertford, Marquis of, 235.

  Hill, Sir John, 59, 398, 479.

  Hill, Sir Rowland, 490.

  Hilton, Sir Thomas, 36.

  Hilton, William, 36.

  Hippocrates, 226.

  Hobart, Sir Nathaniel, 272.

  Hogarth, 463, 468.

  Hook, Mrs., 99.

  Horace, 308.

  Howe, Dr., 212.

  Howell, James, 46.

  Hughes, Mary Ann, 99.

  Hulse, Dr. Edward, 72, 252.

  Hunter, Dr. John, 23, 215, 295, 355, 369, 375, 405, 413.

  Hunter, Dr. William, 175.

  Huyck, Dr., 29.

  Hyatt, Mr., 178.

  Ingestre, Lord, 370.

  Inverness, Lady, 303.

  Ivan, Dr., 205.

  James I., 42, 47, 173, 204, 225, 471, 479.

    " II., 198.

    " IV., 166.

  James, Dr., 251.

  Jebb, Dr. John, 160.

  Jebb, Sir Richard, 159, 160, 205.

  Jeffcott, Sir John, 384.

  Jeffries, Dr., 383.

  Jenkins, Henry, 254.

  Jenner, Dr. Edward, 295, 369, 375, 488.

  Jermaine, Lady Betty, 289.

  Johnson, Samuel, 16, 39, 53, 67, 115, 140, 194, 201, 232,
        239, 262, 308, 330, 333, 427, 463.

  Jonson, Ben, 42, 44.

  Joseph, Emperor, 179.

  Jurin, Dr. James, 184.

  Katterfelts, Dr., 103.

  Kavanaugh, Lady Harriet, 370.

  Kaye, John, 22, 29.

  Keats, John, 436.

  Keill, 184.

  Kellet, Alexander, 181.

  Kemp, Dr. Mitchell, 415.

  Kennix, Margaret, 288.

  King, Sir Edmund, 72, 113, 117, 234.

  King, Dr., 299.

  Kingsdown, Lord, 393, 394.

  Kitchener, Dr., 42.

  Kahn, Thamas Kouli, 303.

  Kneller, Sir Godfrey, 118, 119.

  Knightley, Sir Richard, 203.

  Kunyngham, Dr. William, 29.

  Lambert, Daniel, 145.

  Langdale, Lord, 396.

  Langton, Dr., 19, 29.

  Lawrence, Sir Thomas, 358.

  Lax, Mr., 278.

  Leake, Robert, 247.

  Lettsom, Dr. John Coakley, 178, 207, 335, 375, 385.

  Levit, John, 78, 252.

  Levitt, William Springall, 438.

  Lewis, Jenkin, 115.

  Lewis, M. G., 411.

  Linacre, 22, 29, 138.

  Lloyd, Mrs., 369.

  Locke, Dr. John, 421.

  Locock, Dr., 287.

  Lodge, Edmund, 43.

  Long, John St. John, 356, 402.

  Louis XIII., 23, 173.

    " XIV., 205, 235.

  Louis XV., 146.

  Loutherbourg, Mr. and Mrs., 97, 98, 99, 100, 101.

  Lovell, Dr., 277.

  Lovkin, Dr., 29.

  Lower, Dr., 157.

  Lowther, Sir James, 290.

  Ludford, Dr. Simon, 29.

  Luff, Dr., 113.

  Macartney, Dr., 370.

  Macaulay, Catherine, 345.

  M'Dougal, Peter, 108, 109, 110.

  Macilwain, George, 214, 375.

  Mackintosh, Lady, 303.

  Macnish, Dr., 436.

  M\xE6cenas, 48.

  Mahomet, 83.

  Mandeville, 140.

  Manfield, Dr., 28.

  Manley, Mrs., 200.

  Mapletoft, Dr., 52.

  Mapp, Mrs., 295.

  Marie Louise, 205.

  Marlborough, Duke of, 77, 248, 313.

    " Duchess of, 140.

  Marshall, Dr., 112, 389.

  Martial, 186.

  Marvel, Andrew, 272.

  Mary, Queen, 175.

  Marwood, Dr., 393.

  Masham, Lady, 132, 137.

  Mason, William, 333.

  Masters, Dr., 29.

  Maupin, 381.

  Maxwell, Dr. William, 281.

  Mayerne, Sir Theodore, 23, 25, 48, 66, 146, 170.

  Mead, The Rev. Matthew, 240.

  Mead, Dr. Richard, 10, 68, 81, 97, 134, 136, 137, 142, 152,
        207, 239, 292, 377, 403, 434.

  Meade, Dr. William G., 254.

  Meagrim, Molly, 354.

  Mercurius, 11.

  Mercury, 9.

  Meredith, Sir Amos, 373.

  Mesmer, Dr. Frederick Anthony, 256, 264, 265, 275, 280, 345.

  Messenger, Elizabeth, 312.

  Messenger, Thomas, 312.

  Migaldus, 264.

  Miller, Joseph, 143.

  Millingen, Dr., 382, 429.

  Millington, Sir Thomas, 72.

  Moir, Dr., 436.

  Monsey, Dr. Messenger, 311.

  Monsey, Dr. Robert, 312.

  Montague, Lord, 42.

    " Mrs., 318, 321.

  Montaigne, 263.

  Moore, Dr. E. D., 491.

  Moore, Rev. Giles, 481.

  Moore, Dr. John, 428.

  Morgan, Hugo, 203.

  Morrison, Mr., 83.

  Morrison's pills, 373.

  Moseley, Dr., 489.

  Moussett, Dr., 21.

  Munchausen, 236.

  Murphy, Arthur, 463.

  Musa, Antonius, 13.

  Mutchkin, Dr., 503.

  Myersbach, Dr., 102.

  Myrepsus, Nicholas, 65.

  Napoleon, 205.

  Nash, Beau, 378.

  Nelson, Dr., 178.

  Nelson, Lord, 193.

  Nesbitt, Dr., 240, 292.

  Nesle, Marquise de, 381.

  Newton, Sir Isaac, 185, 252, 255.

  Nicholson, Anthony, 273.

  Noble, J. P., 277.

  Northumberland, Earl of, 44.

  Nutley, Billy, 125.

  Opie, John, 433.

  Ormond, Marchioness, 368, 370.

  Orrery, Earl of, 266, 271.

  Osborn, Jack, 311.

  Page, Mr., 438.

  Palmery, Dr., 236.

  Pannel, Dr. Thomas, 29.

  Paracelsus, 226, 256, 257, 264.

  Pare, Ambrose, 173.

  Park, Judge, 367.

  Parnell, 186.

  Parr, Samuel, 67, 345, 494.

  Paris, Sir Philip, 165.

  Paris, Sir William, 33, 66.

  Pedagogues, 183.

  Peel, Sir Robert, 397.

  Pellet, Dr. Thomas, 241, 292.

  Pemberton, Dr. Edward, 395.

  Peni\xE9, Dr., 229.

  Pepys, Sir Lucas, 238, 394, 397.

  Pepys, Samuel, 465.

  Percy, Thomas, 44, 427.

  Perkins's tractors, 276, 283.

  Pettigrew, Dr., 375.

  Phillips, 285.

  Phreas, Dr. John, 20.

  Pindar, Peter, 430.

  Pitcairn, Dr., 20, 244.

  Placaton, Johannes, 65.

  Plasters, 30.

  Polhill, David, 241.

  Polignac, Countess, 381.

  Pooley, Thomas, 274.

  Pope, Alexander, 53, 67, 68, 93, 186, 190, 194, 198, 200,
        252, 318, 334, 370, 473.

  Popple, W., 274.

  Porter, Dr. John, 29.

  Portland, Earl of, 118.

  Pratt, Mary, 97, 98, 99, 100.

  Precious water, 30.

  Pringle, Sir John, 59, 161.

  Quacks, 82.

  Quarin, Dr., 179.

  Quarrels, 374.

  ?., 11.

  Radcliffe, Dr. John, 10, 111, 152, 153, 204, 242, 243, 244,
        249, 314, 375, 403.

  Radnor, Lord, 232, 473.

  Rahere, Dr., 468.

  Raleigh, Sir Walter, 203.

  Ramadge, Dr., 370.

  Ranby, Mr., 316.

  Ranelagh, Lady, 273.

  Ranelagh, Lord, 398.

  Read, Henry, 254.

  Reade, Sir William, 93, 95.

  Redshaw, Mrs. Hannah, 123.

  Reynolds, Baron, 96, 180.

  Reynolds, Dr. Henry Revel, 13, 394.

  Reynolds, Sir Joshua, 427.

  Richardson, Daniel, 356, 357.

  Richelieu, 381.

  Robertson, William, 193.

  Robinson, Mr., 317.

  Robinson, Thomas, 98.

  Rochford, Earl of, 118.

  Rock, Dr., 212.

  Rogers, Tom, 225.

  Rolfe, The Rev. Edmund, 320.

  Rolfe, Robert Monsey, 320.

  Rose, Mr., 78.

  Rushe, Sir Thomas, 25.

  Rust, Dean, 273, 274.

  Rutland, Duke of, 441.

  Saffold, Dr. Thomas, 90, 91.

  Sally, Crazy, 296.

  Sanders, Dr. Huck, 393.

  Saville, Sir George, 290.

  Savoy, Duke of, 235.

  Saxby, Dr., 330.

  Scott, Claude and Co., 363.

  Scott, Reginald, 229.

  Scott, Sir Walter, 50, 315.

  Sedley, Sir Charles, 195.

  Seleucus, 168.

  Seymour, Algernon, 398.

  Shandy, Mrs., 481.

  Sharp, Dr. Sam, 292.

  Shaw, Peter, 292.

  Sheffield, Lady, 238.

  Sheldon, Dr. John, 158.

  Shenstone, 39, 427.

  Sheppard, H. Fleetwood, 479.

  Sheridan, R. B., 395.

  Shirley, Dr. Thomas, 23.

  Short, Dr. Thomas, 117.

  Sidmouth, Lord, 393.

  Sligo, Lord, 368, 370.

  Sloane, Sir Hans, 51, 68, 72, 96, 161, 297, 393, 395, 421.

  Slop, Dr., 481.

  Smart, Dr., 316.

  Smith, Adam, 493.

  Smith, Sir William, 272.

  Smith, Dr., 383.

  Smithson, Sir Hugh, 398.

  Smollett, T. G., 69, 233, 333, 426.

  Soissons, Chevalier, 152.

  Somerset, Duke of, 398.

  Southcote, Joanna, 347.

  Spencer, Lady, 349.

  Sprat, Bishop, 129.

  Stafford, Dr., 145, 146.

  Standish, Dr., 484.

  Stanley, Sir Edward, 44.

  Stanley, Venetia, 43.

  Steele, Sir Richard, 101, 120, 199, 400, 428, 463.

  Stephens, Joanna, 288, 289.

  Sterne, Laurence, 193, 428, 481.

  Stowe, John, 19, 171.

  Strickland, Agnes, 243.

  Stuart, Charles Edward, 193.

  Stubbe, Dr. Henry, 169, 273.

  Sutcliffe, Dr., 335.

  Swartenburgh, Dr. Sieur, 153.

  Swift, Jonathan, 72, 73, 93, 132, 186, 187, 188, 197, 314, 375, 400.

  Sydenham, Dr., 51, 52.

  Sydney, Sir Philip, 42.

  Sympathetic powder, 45.

  Tailor, Lady, 33, 165.

  Talbot, Sir G., 58, 381.

  Tantley, 378.

  Tatler, The, 126.

  Taylor, Chevalier, 297, 299, 310, 352, 355.

  Taylor, John, Jr., 302.

  Thackeray, 401.

  Theveneau, Dr., 236.

  Thompson, Dr., 67.

  Thornton, Bonnel, 14.

  Thurlow, Bishop, 355.

  Thurlow, Lord, 12.

  Tissot, 102.

  Tovell, John, 439.

  Townsend, Dr., 83.

  Trelawny, Sir William, 430.

  Trevor, Lord, 429.

  Tuke, Col., 37, 58.

  Turner, Dr., 29, 229.

  Turton, Dr. J., 161.

  Tyson of Hackney, 143.

  Valleriola, 264.

  Van Buchell, Dr., 413.

  Vandeput, Sir George, 156.

  Vanninus, 264.

  Ventadour, M. De, 235.

  Vespasian, 261.

  Victoria, Dr. Fernandus de, 21.

  Victoria, Queen, 173.

  Villars, 105, 106, 107, 351.

  Von Ellekon, Dr., 283.

  Wadd, Dr. William, 174, 228.

  Wakley, Mr., 366.

  Walker, Obadiah, 129, 130.

  Walpole, Horace, 234, 333.

  Walpole, Robert, 252, 314.

  Walsh, Dr., 380.

  Waltham, Mrs. Margaret, 481.

  Ward, 248, 295, 297, 308.

  Ward's pills, 96.

  Warren, Dr., 211, 394.

  Watson, Sir William, 161.

  Weatherby, Jo., 156.

  Wedderburne, 465.

  Weld, Charles, 57.

  Wellington, Duke of, 193.

  Wendy, Dr. Thomas, 29, 164.

  Whichot, Dr. Benjamin, 272, 274.

  Whistler, Dr., 113, 117.

  Whitaker, Dr. Tobias, 148.

  Whitefood, The Rev. John, 40.

  Wierus, 264.

  Wigs, 15.

  Wilkes, John, 381.

  Wilkins, Dr., 272.

  William III., 118, 119, 138, 198.

  " IV., 173.

  Williams, Dr., 382.

  Willis, Dr., 174, 394.

  Wilson, 217.

  Wingfield, Sir Robert, 37.

  Winslow, Dr. Forbes, 53, 321.

  Winston, Dr. Thomas, 63.

  Wolcot, John, 430.

  Wollaston, Dr. William Hyde, 59.

  Wolsey, Cardinal, 21.

  Wood, Anthony \xE1, 55, 423.

  Woodhouse, The Hon. Francis, 298.

  Woodhouse, Mrs., 288.

  Woodville, Dr., 489.

  Woodward, Dr. John, 72, 248, 377.

  Wordsworth, William, 59.

  Wrench, Sir Benjamin, 313.

  Wynter, Dr., 377, 379.

  Yaxley, Dr. Robert, 21.

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