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Title: Deadly Adulteration and Slow Poisoning Unmasked - Disease and Death in the Pot and Bottle
Author: Anonymous
Language: English
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Transcriber’s Note

The original begins with a 22 page catalogue of “PRACTICAL BOOKS ON
Sporting Subjects”. This has been moved to the end.

                          DEADLY ADULTERATION


                       SLOW POISONING UNMASKED;

                           Disease and Death

                      IN THE POT AND THE BOTTLE;

                               IN WHICH



             PASTRY, CONFECTIONARY MEDICINES, &c. &c. &c.

                     ARE LAID OPEN TO THE PUBLIC,


                           TESTS OR METHODS

                    AND THE GOOD AND BAD QUALITIES

                         _OF THOSE ARTICLES_:

    With an Exposé of Medical Empiricism and Imposture, Quacks and
   Quackery, Regular and Irregular, Legitimate and Illegitimate: and
   The Frauds and Mal-practices of Pawnbrokers and Madhouse-keepers.

                             NEW EDITION.

                   BY AN ENEMY TO FRAUD AND VILLANY.

“The Workshop of the Distillery [and of the Wine and Spirit Compounder]
is the Elaboratory of Disease and of Premature Death.”—_Manual for

Devoted to disease by baker, butcher, grocer, wine-merchant,
spirit-dealer, cheesemonger, pastry-cook, and confectioner; the
physician is called to our assistance; but here again the pernicious
system of fraud, as it has given the blow, steps in to defeat the
remedy; the unprincipled dealers in drugs and medicines exert the most
diabolical ingenuity in sophisticating the most potent and necessary
drugs, (viz. peruvian bark, rhubarb, ipecacuanha, magnesia, calomel,
castor-oil, spirits of hartshorn, and almost every other medical
commodity in general demand;) and chemical preparations used in
pharmacy. _Literary Gazette._

                           PATERNOSTER ROW.


                         THE AUTHOR’S ADDRESS


                              THE READER.

The catalogue of frauds and enormities exhibited in the following pages
will, no doubt, excite the abhorrence and indignation of every honest
heart. Its author is, however, convinced that he will find that he has
undertaken a very unthankful office—that his book will be the dread
and abhorrence of wicked and unprincipled dealers and impostors of
all kinds; and himself exposed to their utmost rancour and bitterest
maledictions. But the die is cast: he has discharged a public duty, and
sincerely hopes that the Public may be benefited by his disclosures.

It has been justly said, that all attempts to meliorate the condition
of mankind have, in general, been coldly received, while the artful
flatterers of their passions and appetites have met their eager
embraces. And it is no less true, that it has always been the fate of
those who have attempted any great public good, to be obnoxious to such
as have profited by the errors of mankind. The divine Socrates, whose
life was a continued exertion to reprove and correct the overweening
and the vicious, died a victim to the Heathen Mythology, on account of
his maintaining the unity and perfections of the Deity, and exposing
the doctrines and pretensions of the heathen priesthood and the
Sophists, and their mercenary views; and, in later times, Galileo would
have met a similar fate, had he not bowed to error, and renounced a
sublime truth, clear as the glorious orb that was the object of it,
and which, soon after, was universally acknowledged. Even the Divine
Founder of our Faith and Religion was stigmatized as the broacher of
false opinions, and one who misled the people, by his ignorant and
malicious accusers, whose frauds and delusions it was the object of
his mission to confound and overthrow, as well as to free mankind from
the bondage of their errors. But without having the presumption or
impiety to compare himself with those benefactors of mankind, or to
put his humble endeavours in competition with their godlike attempts,
or to expect a similar result from them, it will be a great consolation
to the Author of this book, when life is departing the frail tenement
of his body, to reflect that he has brought “deeds of darkness to
light,”—that he has been the humble means of unmasking to public view
the frauds and villanies that are daily and hourly practised on the
Public Health and Welfare; and in that “trying hour” his most grateful
feeling and homage to English Law will be, that it secures to every
man the liberty of expressing his honest indignation and abhorrence of
palpable and disgusting fraud and imposture.

    “Hail to the Press!—
    Vast artery of life, through which the stores
    That feed the growth of Truth, Opinion pours;
    The mighty lens through which she points the rays
    That kindle Error’s records into blaze.—
    Gigantic engine! power that supersedes
    The long prescriptive _Use_ that Folly pleads.—
    O happy England!
    Land of my fathers! may thy children keep.
    E’en as they guard the empire of the deep,
    The free, unshackled press, that best secures
    Their rights, and liberty to truth assures.”

MEM.—I have stated at p. 11, on the authority of the author of “_The
Oracle of Health and Long Life_,” that the many sudden deaths that are
daily happening in and about the metropolis, are no doubt assignable
to the unprincipled and diabolical adulterations of food, spirits,
malt liquors, and the other necessaries of life. Since that extract
was printed in the pages of “_Deadly Adulteration and Slow Poisoning
Unmasked_,” I am sorry to say, that I have observed numerous instances
of the sudden deaths of persons in apparently perfect health, detailed
in the London and country newspapers, and even at the very moment that
I am penning this remark, I observe, in the columns of the Herald
newspaper, accounts of two persons in the prime of life and in good
health, whose deaths happened in a similar way.



  Introduction                                      3

  Wines and Spirits, Adulteration of,              12

  ————————— Tests of,                              40

  Beer and Ale                                     50

  Bread and Flour                                  68

  Meat and Fish                                    78

  Tea, Coffee, Chocolate, and Sugar                83

  Spices                                           98

  Pickles                                         104

  Vinegar                                         105

  Olive Oil                                       107

  Salt and Mustard                                108

  Anchovy Sauce and Mushroom Catsup               109

  Isinglass                                       110

  Blue and Soap                                   111

  Candles and Starch                              113

  Bees’ Wax                                       114

  Butter                                          115

  Cheese, Bacon and Hams                          116

  Milk and Cream                                  118

  Potatoes, Fruit, &c.                            119

  Confectionary and Pastry                        122

  Perfumery, Cosmetics, Hair Oils, Bear’s
  Grease, &c.                                     126

  Medicines, Medical Empiricism, Quacks, and
  Quackery                                        133

  Coals                                           170

  Colours, Hats, Broad Cloths, Laces,
  Kerseymeres, Linens, Cambrics, Silks, Jewellery,
  Stationery, &c.                                 176

  Conclusion                                      181

  Appendix                                        183

  ——— Gin, “Comfort” or “Blue Ruin”                ib.

  ——— Fish                                         ib.

  ——— Tea                                         184

  ——— Some more Morning Water and Sir Reverence
  Doctors                                         186

  ——— Noodle Medical Book-wrights                 187

  ——— The Frauds and Mal-practices of Pawnbrokers
  and Madhouse Keepers                            187

for Ascertaining and Detecting the Fraudulent and Deleterious
Adulterations, and the good and bad qualities of Wines, Spirits, Beer,
Bread, Flour, Tea, Sugar, Spices, Cheesemongery, Pastry, Confectionary,
Medicines, &c. &c. Price 5_s._ bound in cloth.

_Critical Opinions of the Work._

 “We are always happy to meet with such true-hearted reformers as the
 enemies to fraud and villany. Detesting the impositions of every
 form and variety to which the simple inhabitants of this metropolis
 are daily made victims, our author in a tone of ardent indignation,
 and disdaining to mince his expressions at a crisis so full of
 peril, denounces in forcible language the scandalous practices of
 adulteration, from which no material of food or luxury seems to be
 exempted. The style, however, is occasionally diversified, and no
 sooner have we been roused into a sympathetic feeling of anger with
 the author against this set of impostors, than we are called on
 to unite with him in a hearty laugh at the ridiculous plight into
 which, by a humourous and amusing term of expression, he puts another
 community of base adulterators. We have not met, lately, with a volume
 of this compass, which contains more useful information and amusing
 matter than the present one.”—_Monthly Review_ for Nov. 1830.

 “We honestly recommend this eventful volume.”—_New Monthly Magazine_,
 Jan. 1831.

 “To go over all the subjects which this admirable volume embraces,
 would fill many pages of our work; we must, therefore, refer our
 readers to the work itself; and we shall be greatly astonished,
 if, after having perused it, they do not thank us for the
 advice.”—_Monthly Gazette of Health_, for Oct. 1830.

 “This is a volume of intense and surpassing interest; its use and
 excellence should be known to every person who values health and life;
 it should form an appendage to every family library.”

 “This interesting book is evidently the production of a man of
 considerable talents.”—_Lancet_, Jan. 1831.

 “This is a work of great public utility, and in author, whose honesty
 and public spirit have placed him in the foremost rank of benefactors
 to the public welfare, is richly entitled to the gratitude of the

 See also _Imp. Mag._ for Dec. 1830; _Home Missionary_, for Oct. 1830;
 _News_, for Jan. 1831; _Atlas_, for Jan. 1831; _United Kingdom_, Jan,
 1831, &c. &c.

                         Deadly Adulteration,


                            SLOW POISONING;


                           DISEASE AND DEATH


                        THE POT AND THE BOTTLE.


The able and patriotic Editor of the Literary Gazette, No. 156, in
the course of his review of Mr. Accum’s meritorious work on Culinary
Poisons, makes the following just and striking remarks:

One has laughed at the whimsical description of the cheats in Humphrey
Clinker, but it is too serious for a joke to see that, in almost every
thing which we eat or drink, we are condemned to swallow swindling, if
not poison—that all the items of metropolitan, and many of country,
consumption are deteriorated, deprived of nutritious properties,
or rendered obnoxious to humanity, by the vile arts and merciless
sophistications of their sellers. So general seems the corruption, and
so fatal the tendency, of most of the corrupting materials, that we
can no longer wonder at the prevalence of painful disorders and the
briefness of existence (on an average) in spite of the great increase
of medical knowledge, and the amazing improvement in the healing
science, which distinguish our era. No skill can prevent the effects
of daily poisoning; and no man can prolong his life beyond a short
standard, where every meal ought to have its counteracting medicine.

Devoted to disease by baker, brewer, grocer, wine-merchant,
spirit-dealer, cheesemonger, pastry-cook, confectioner, &c. the
physician is called to our assistance; but here again the pernicious
system of fraud, as it has given the blow, steps in to defeat the
remedy: even the physician’s prescription is adulterated!

Mr. Accum’s account of water (i. e. the Companies’ water—the filthy
and unwholesome water supplied from the Thames, of which the delicate
citizens of Westminster fill their tanks and stomachs, at the very
spot where one hundred thousand cloacinæ, containing every species
of filth, and all unutterable things, and strongly impregnated with
gas, the refuse and drainings of hospitals, slaughter houses, colour,
lead, and soap works, drug-mills, manufactories, and dung-hills, daily
disgorge their abominable contents) is so fearful, that we see there is
no wisdom in the well: and if we then fly to wine, we find, from his
analysis, that there is no truth in that liquid; bread turns out to be
a crutch to help us onward to the grave, instead of being the staff
of life; in porter there is no support, in cordials no consolation; in
almost every thing poison, and in scarcely any medicine, cure!

That this denunciation of fraud and villany is not mere assertion, the
terrific disclosures that I am about to make (some of which are to be
found in Mr. Accum’s book, and in greater detail than the space I have
prescribed myself allows) will fully prove to the contrary, and show
that it is the duty of the government to protect the public by some
legislative provisions, and to prohibit and render penal the nefarious
practices in daily use for the diabolical and deleterious adulteration
of the necessaries of life, practices which are destructively inimical
to the public health and welfare. As Mr. Accum has pointedly said
in the preface to his work, “as the eager and insatiable thirst for
gain is proof against prohibitions and penalties, and the possible
sacrifice of a fellow creature’s life is a secondary consideration
among unprincipled dealers,” nothing short of subjecting the offence to
the operation of the criminal law seems likely to suppress the wicked
and diabolical practices, and secure the public from the silent and
unobserved effects of being slowly poisoned: transportation ought to
be the mildest punishment of the iniquitous offender. Is it not, as
the same gentleman justly observes, a reflection on English law, that
“a man who robs a fellow subject of a few shillings on the highway
should be sentenced to death, while he who distributes a slow poison
to a whole community should escape unpunished,” at most with only the
infliction of a trifling fine, which proves to him the inefficiency of
the law to restrain him from a continuance in his iniquitous practices?
The inefficacy of fines, however large, in deterring offenders from a
commission or repetition of the crime is evident, from the inadequacy
of the large penalties to which the adultering brewer, grocer,
coffee-manufacturer, &c. are subject when detected. For, besides the
difficulty of detecting this species of fraud and iniquity, the large
profits, which are often several hundreds per cent. enable the culprits
to meet the trivial loss which attends a detection, and speedily
reimburses them the penalty of a conviction.

“Plures crapula quam gladius,” says the old adage, which, in a
free translation, may be paraphrased “Cookery depopulates like a
pestilence.” To those versed in the business of disease it is well
known that this is no exaggeration. But, dismal as is the destruction
of human life from this source, it is by no means equal to that
occasioned by the effects of the nefarious traffic in the adulteration
of the necessaries of life; the pernicious and destructive mixtures
and combinations to which they are subject have produced greater
ravages on health, and given a greater empire to death than the united
scourges of famine and the sword in combination with the refinements of
cookery and the increase of gastrophilism:—they occasion the loss of
tens of thousands of human lives every year in the metropolis alone.
It has with truth been said that to so alarming an extent have the
illicit practices of poisonous adulteration arrived, “that it would be
difficult to mention a single article of food which is not to be met
with in an adulterated state; and there are some substances which are
scarcely ever to be procured genuine.”

These spurious mixtures and counterfeit articles are combined and
manufactured with so much skill and ingenuity, as to elude and baffle
the discrimination of the most experienced judges. And, for the purpose
of ensuring the secrecy of the nefarious traffic, “the processes
are distributed and subdivided among distinct operators, and the
manufactures are carried on in separate establishments.” The tasks
of proportioning the ingredients and that of their composition and
preparation are assigned to distinct persons. In fact, “the traffic
in adulterated commodities finds its way through so many circuitous
channels as to defy the most scrutinizing endeavour of individual
exertion to trace it to its source.” And the frequency of the act
has rendered the conscience of the offenders callous and indifferent
to the consequences. The man who would shudder at the idea of giving
a dose of arsenic to a single individual sleeps soundly in his bed,
though he knows that he administers as fatal, though a slower, poison
to thousands every day. And such a man is the baker, the miller, the
wine-merchant, the brewer, the publican, the druggist, the tea-dealer,
and every dealer who adulterates an article of food. And yet, those
thoughtlessly wicked men suffer their consciences to be seared and
bribed to silence through their self-interest and craving appetite for
unreasonable and unrighteous gain!

With respect to those “filthy nuisances” the gin-shops and workshops
of the wine and spirit dealers, which have not inaptly been termed
“the elaboratories of disease and of premature death,” the following
remarks, which appeared in the New Monthly Magazine for February, 1828,
are dictated in the justest spirit of criticism and of public duty. It
is to be wished that all journalists were disposed, in like manner, to
denounce fraud and imposture.

“While there is so much prating and preaching about the morals of
the people; while the increase of crime is grossly exaggerated, and
the necessity of instruction is loudly talked about! when even the
lotteries, which of late years did no harm at all, have been given
up to the prevailing fashion of affected sanctity, it is quite
preposterous that such filthy nuisances as the numerous gin-shops of
London should not merely be tolerated, but sanctioned and encouraged by
the legislature. We do not speak of regular public-houses, but of those
places which are devoted only to the sale of spirits by retail. They
cannot be necessary for the purpose of refreshments, and can only, as
they do in fact, serve to produce evils of the most lamentable nature.”
Who, that has a spark of feeling and integrity in his nature, does
not coincide in opinion with the ingenious and accomplished editor of
the distinguished periodical, from which this spirited and sensible
passage is extracted?

But the truth is, as has been well observed by the author of “The
Manual for Invalids,” that it would be difficult to discover any thing
in social life that is more virtually neglected than Public Health,
which ought to be an object of the greatest concern to all wise and
paternal governments, as well as to every influential and well-disposed
individual in the nation. “The Public Health and the Public Morals,” as
the same excellent writer sagaciously observes, “should be the object
of the greatest solicitude on the part of every government, instead of
extracting a profit from deception and villany, ignorance and vice.
Were the various descriptions of liquors in which alcohol bears so
predominant a part taxed to prohibition, there would be less of felony,
less of moral degradation, less employment for police magistrates
and judges, and less occasion for the executioner. There would be a
counterpoise in the reduction of the parochial burthens, and a greater
value given to the moral character of the people; but, unfortunately,
the produce to the revenue is such as—while it does not prevent the
injurious use of spirituous liquors, it enriches the coffers of the
nation; and the sacra auri fames has, as well in government matters as
in those of the quack, the adulterator, and the impostor, the power of
making that appear relatively right which is absolutely wrong.”

Nor is the general and immoderate use of ardent spirits only
destructive to the body, but it acts eminently as powerful incentives
to vice of every kind. Does the robber pause in his vocation? Does
the murderer hesitate to deprive his fellow-creatures of life? They
are presently wound up to a reckless sense of their crimes at the
gin-shop.—Has the seducer tried all his arts in vain to despoil his
unsuspecting victim of peace and innocence? The seductive liquor offers
him an easy prey, and leaves his immolated victim polluted, disgraced,
and lost to society. The brothel is more indebted to this source than
to all the lures of seduction. In fact, the seductive productions of
the distillery and the winepress impair the physical strength of the
country, and induce incorrigible habits of vice and intemperance.

A reflecting writer has expressed an opinion that the life of man would
generally be extended to a hundred years were it not for his excesses
and the adulteration of his food; and when we consider how many attain
even a greater age, under every disadvantage, we must allow that there
is probability in this opinion. When we observe the early disfigurement
of the human form, the swollen or shrunk body, the bloated and
self-caricatured face, with the signs of imbecility and decrepitude
which we continually see, at an age when life should be in its fullest
vigour;—when, at every turn we meet the doctor’s carriage; in every
street, behold a rivalry of medical attraction; it is impossible not
to feel a conviction that something must be essentially wrong in our
way of living. This is principally assignable to our improper and
unwholesome diet, but more especially to the vile adulterations to
which every article of diet is now impudently and wickedly subjected.
As the author of the “Oracle of Health and Long Life” observes, in a
note to page 31, “it is no doubt to the unprincipled adulterations of
food, spirits, malt liquors, &c. that a great number of the sudden
deaths, which are constantly happening in and about the metropolis, is
assignable. The adulteration, it is true, is not sufficient to cause
instant death, but it operates slowly, and silently, and imperceptibly;
so as not to excite sufficient suspicion and inquiry respecting the
cause. This is not an idle or a random remark, but one founded on
much observation and on very probable grounds. It is hoped that it
will awaken public attention and inquiry respecting these nefarious
transactions.” Following this valuable advice, I will exert myself to
the utmost to promote and call into action this necessary duty, and
with this intent the following pages were composed, for the collection
of the materials of which I have had singular opportunities afforded



I shall divide this interesting portion of my work into two sections;
first, the Adulteration of Wines and Spirits, and the Tricks of Wine
and Spirit Dealers; and, secondly, the Tests or Methods of ascertaining
the Good and Bad Qualities of Wines and Spirits.

SECTION I.—_The Adulteration of Wines and Spirits, and the Tricks of
Wine and Spirit Dealers._


The frauds and malpractices in use among the wine and spirit brewers
and compounders of the metropolis, and the noxious and deleterious
ingredients with which those unprincipled men “make up” the poisonous
compounds, that they are daily vending to the public, under the names
of wines and spirits, exceed the devices, and are, if possible,
of a more deadly operation than the sophistications and vitiated
manufactures palmed upon the public by the wicked and avaricious
cozeners of all other adulterating trades.

The art or mystery of manufacturing spurious and counterfeit wines and
liquors forms a regular trade of great extent in this metropolis, and
is carried on with so much skill and ingenuity, and has attained so
great perfection, as to render the irony of the witty author of the
Tatler no longer figurative; namely, that “the transmutation of liquors
under the streets of London was so perfect, that the operators by the
power of magical drugs could convert a plantation of northern hedges
into a vineyard; could raise the choicest products of the hills and
valleys of France under the streets of London; could squeeze Bourdeaux
out of the sloe, and Champagne from the apple.”

Nor has the reprobation of the contaminations of wines and spirits
with substances deleterious to health been confined to former times;
they have been stigmatised on account of their alarming and deadly
increase in numerous recent publications. I quote the following artless
lines, in which an honest country lad is represented as expressing his
abhorrence of his relative, a London wine-merchant’s sophistications,
not for the elegance of the poetry, but as conveying an important truth
in a plain garb; perhaps its unaffected satire is not ill adapted to
awaken attention:

  “So I buss’d Luke and mother, and, vastly concern’d,
    Off I set, with my father’s kind blessing,
  To our cousin, the wine merchant, where I soon learn’d
    About mixing, and brewing, and pressing;
  But the sloe-juice and rat’s bane, and all that fine joke,
    Was soon in my stomach a-rising,
  Why, dang it! cried I, would you kill the poor folk?
    I thought you sold wine, and not poison!”

But the particular histories of the corruptions of wines and spirits
will be more acceptable to those who are desirous of preserving their
health and enjoying their existence comfortably, than quotation; for,
were wine and spirit bibbers aware of the abominable and fraudulent
processes of adulteration in use among wine and spirit dealers and
gin-shop keepers, they would not only heartily join in the exclamation
of the “poet of Nature,” “Oh! that men should put an enemy in their
mouths to steal away their brains!” but they would be convinced that it
is not only high time that the fraud and villany of their selfish and
secret poisoners should be unmasked, but also punished and suppressed.
For this purpose I shall detail some of the noxious compositions of the
wine and spirit dealers of newspaper notoriety, and of the placarding
gin-shop keepers, whose gaudy premises, as well as those of other
puffers at cheap prices, are designed to catch the eye and arrest the
attention of the heedless and unwary. And thus I am inclined to believe
that my readers will heartily agree with one who has materially and
honourably contributed to expose the villany of adulterators of all
kinds, that, in the deterioration and pernicious sophistication of the
necessaries and comforts of existence, it may with truth be said, in a
civil as well as in a religious sense, that “in the midst of life we
are in death.”

Factitious wines are generally, in the slang phraseology of the
adulteration trade, “doctored” or “cooked,” in order to give them
particular flavours, and render them similar to the wines they are
intended to represent. Thus bitter almonds (or the leaves of cherry
laurel, which are cheaper) are added to give a nutty flavour; sweet
briar, orris-root, clary, cherry-laurel-water, and elder-flowers to
form the bouquet of high-flavoured wines; alum to render young and
meagre red wines bright; cake of pressed elderberries and bilberries to
render pale faint coloured port [or red sumach, &c. to tinge spoiled
white wines red] of a deep rich purple colour;[A] oak saw-dust,
[sloes,] and the husks of filberts, to give additional astringency to
unripe red wines; and a tincture of the seeds of raisins to flavour
factitious port wine; [with a variety of other ingredients, such
as spice, &c. to render wine pungent]. (The Vintners and Licensed
Victuallers’ Guide, p. 259.) And in the same work, p. 225, among
other deleterious ingredients, “sugar of lead”[B] is directed to be
used for fining or clearing cloudy white wines. That book and works
of a similar kind are the accredited repositories of the arcana of
sophistication for the publican and small wine and spirit dealer, and
gin-shop keeper; but, as Mr. Accum (Culinary Poisons, p. 87) says,
the more wholesale adulterators and “large capitalists,” whether wine
and spirit brewer or ale and beer brewer, obtain, on payment of a
considerable fee, a manuscript from the brewers’ and spirit-dealers’
druggist, containing the whole mystery of managing and drugging wines,
spirits, beer, or ale; or they may be initiated in the respective
crafts and mysteries, by oral instruction, and practical demonstration,
on payment of a handsome douceur.

The above is the general method of doctoring or “cooking” wine and
spirits. The following are the particular and more ingenious methods
of sophistication in use among the advertising and placarding venders
of “genuine old Port” and “amber-coloured” or “fine pale Amontillado
Sherry.” Both sorts are generally compounded of a small quantity of
the real article either in a good or a deteriorated state, according
to the taste or conscience of the compounder, with the necessary
proportions of Cape wine, cider, sal tartar, colouring matter, brandy
or rum cowe, or other adulterating slops, which are calculated to form
a tolerable basis, and to bear a resemblance in colour and flavour to
the wine desired to be imitated. As the communication of the particular
ingredients of which these factitious wines are composed cannot but be
acceptable to my readers, I shall give a particular account of each of
the processes.

Factitious, or fabricated port wine is usually made by mingling or
blending together in large vats Benecarlo, or black strap, which
is a strong coarse Spanish wine of inferior quality; Red Cape; a
sufficient quantity of Mountain to soften the mixture and give it
the appearance of richness; a portion of sal tartar and gum dragon
(the object of the first ingredient is to cause the wine to crust
soon when bottled; of the second, to impart a fullness and roundness
of flavour and consistence of body); colouring matter, or berry-dye,
which is an extract of German bilberries; brandy or rum cowe, which is
the rinsings of casks containing those liquors, obtained by throwing
in a few gallons of water into them after the liquor is drawn off,
and leaving it closely bunged up till the cask has imparted the
flavour of the liquor to the water; and a quantity of spoiled cider,
of which many thousand pipes are annually brought to the metropolis
for this purpose. Sometimes a small quantity of port is made use
of, with rectified spirits and coarse brandy, and, instead of the
colouring articles above mentioned, red saunders wood, or the juice
of elderberries or of sloes is employed. According to the Mechanics’
Magazine, the chemical analysis of a bottle of cheap port wine was as
follows: spirits of wine, three ounces; cider, fourteen ounces; sugar,
one and half ounce; alum, two scruples; tartaric acid, one scruple;
strong decoction of logwood, four ounces. And this is the “genuine old
port,” of unrivalled flavour and quality, of the London fabricators and
compounders. “Amber-coloured Sherry,” or “the fine pale Amontillado
Sherry,” of the advertising wine-factor and placarding gin-shop keepers
is manufactured of coarse highly-brandied brown Sherry, Cape wine, and
brandy cowe; to which are added extract of almond-cake or gum benzoin,
to impart a nutty flavour; cherry-laurel-water, to give a roundness of
flavour; lamb’s blood, to fine the mixture and clear or decompose its
colour; and oyster-shells and chalk, for the purpose of binding and
concentrating the whole; and this delectable composition the knavish
adept in the art of deleterious combination palms on the credulity
of the public under the inviting title of “fine pale Sherry, of
peculiar delicacy and flavour.” Had the late Dr. Kitchiner been aware
of these sophistications he would not have said “that, of the white
wines, Sherry is the most easy to obtain genuine, and is the least

The “fine old East-India Madeira, at unprecedented cheap prices, for
ready money only,” of these worthies is a commixture of a portion of
East-India Madeira with Teneriffe, Vidonia, or Direct Madeira,[C] and
East-India Cape.[D] The “fine old soft-flavoured West-India Madeira,
_of capital quality_,” and, of course, at _exceedingly low prices_,
is manufactured from a portion of genuine West-India Madeira and a
sufficient modicum of old thin Direct Madeira; and should the precious
commixture be approaching to acidity the kindness of the sophisticating
compounder obliges the palate of his poor gulled customer with the
insertion of a few ounces of carbonate of soda. The genuine colour of
pure Madeira (one of the best off-hand methods of forming an opinion
of the goodness of Madeira is, as the author of _The Private Gentleman
and Importing Merchants’ Wine and Spirit Cellar-Directory_ judiciously
says, by its colour) is much paler than that of Sherry. When it has a
pinkish hue it is a sign of its having been adulterated with Teneriffe.

“The Old London Particular,” or any other imposing and dainty
appellation extracted from the adulterating vocabulary of the artful
sophisticator, is generally composed of a combination of cheap Vidonia,
common dry Port, Mountain, and Cape wine, properly fined and reduced to
the requisite colour by means of lamb’s blood.

The Cape wine generally sold to the public is composed of the
drippings of the cocks from the various casks, the filterings of the
lees of the different wines in the adulterators’ cellars, or from
any description of bad or spoiled white wines, with the addition of
brandy or rum cowe and spoiled cider. “The delicately pale Cape Sherry,
or Cape Madeira, at astonishingly low prices,” and, of course, for
_ready money_, is composed of the same delicious ingredients, with the
addition of extract of almond cake, and a little of that delectable
liquor, lamb’s blood, to decompose its colour, or, in the cant
phraseology, to give it “complexion.”

In fact, the impositions practised in regard to this species of wine
fully justifies the reprobation of the writer in the 43d number of
the Quarterly Review. “The manufactured trash,” says the judicious
critic, “which is selling in London under the names of Cape Champagne,
Burgundy, Barsac, Sauterne, &c. are so many specious poisons, which
the cheapness of the common and inferior wines of the Cape allows the
venders of them to use as the bases of the several compositions, at
the expense of the stomach and bowels of their customers.” By mixing
these wines with the lees of other kinds, and fining and compounding
them with various drugs, they endeavour to counterfeit the more costly
vintages of Spain and Portugal, and even France.

It is unnecessary to state that the “Old Vidonia Wines,” the “Fine
old delicately-pale Bucellas,” and the “Unequalled and beneficial
Tent,” for the _sick and infirm, and the offices of our holy
religion_, “sold remarkably cheap, for ready money,” by those honest
and tender-conscienced gentry, are base substitutes for the genuine
articles. To say nothing worse, Tent, Mountain, Calcavella, &c. is
Port wine, transmuted by the addition of capillaire, &c. And, from the
report of a late case which came on before the Court of King’s Bench,
it appears that the scarce and costly Tokay, the Lachryma Christi, and
La Crême Divine, are seldom any other than identical Sicilian wines
of an inferior description; the current price of which in the market
is about twelve pounds sterling per hhd. Oh! friend Bull, how the
sophisticating rogues trifle with thy dainty palate! Hadst thou not
better rest contented with thy soul-stirring, heart-cheering, _vinum
Britannicum_,—thy home-brewed ale, and Sir John Barleycorn, instead of
filling thy _dear_ stomach with a medley of foreign slops. Oh, John,
when wilt thou learn wisdom and find a loyal pleasure in paying thy
quota of tax on articles of home manufacture! Alas! Johnny, thou art a
sadly wayward fellow! there is more hope of “the wild ass’s colt” than
of thee, when thy longings after foreign luxuries seduce thy palate and
blind thy understanding!

Nor are the costly French wines less exempt from the devices
and sophistications of the imps of the “Father of Deceit.” The
“super-excellent” or “genuine Claret of exceedingly fine description
and of the choicest quality” of the advertising and placarding dealers,
is a composition of inferior claret and a _quantum sufficit_ of Spanish
red wine and rough cider, with the colouring berry-dye. The colouring
process is sometimes performed by the agency of “black sloes,” “a
dozen new pippins,” or a “handful of the oak of Jerusalem,” are often
kindly introduced to improve its quality; and to tickle the taste of
the consumer of this wine, or of Port, “an ounce of cochineal” is
considerately thrown into a hogshead of liquor “to make it taste rough.”

When one views this goodly enumeration of items, it must be admitted
that the burthen of the old song does not appear overcharged:

    “One glass of drink, I got by chance,
    ’Twas claret when it was in France,
        But now from it moche wider;
    I think a man might make as good
    With green crabbes, boil’d in Brazil-wood,
        And half a pinte of cyder.”

And it gives us cause to be satisfied of the truth of Milton’s remark:—

    “Of deaths, many are the ways that lead
    To his grim cave—all dismal.”

O ye gulled Jacky Bulls, who revel in bibbing “costly French wines,”
how angry you will be with me when I tell you that while you think
you are sipping “Genuine Sparkling Champagne,” you are titillating
your exquisite gullets with merely plain home-made English gooseberry
wine; or, what may be more alarming to you, with worthless Champagne
wine of very dangerous and deleterious quality and tendency; whose
effervescence or sparkling is produced by disengaging the carbonic
acid of the wine by the agency of sugar. To gain this end, the solid
sugar is corked up in the bottle, so that the disengaged gas is
retained under the pressure of the cork, ready to fly out whenever
it is removed. The agency of litharge of lead, in its worst form, is
often invoked in the manufacture of Champagne, as well as of other
white wines, in order to correct and render bright such wines as
have turned vapid, foul, or ropy, or to prevent the progress of any
ascescent quality that they may have acquired. The least pernicious
mode of manufacture of this wine is by adding to the spoiled
Champagnes, a portion of the low, or “third quality” wines from the
indifferent vineyards, and occasioning the admixture to undergo a fresh
fermentation, by the action of strong chemical agents; and then it is
vended as “_prime_ still Champagne.”

Some estimate may be formed of the extent of the adulteration of this
costly wine by the following notice in Dr. Reece’s Monthly Gazette of
Health for 1829.—“A company of Frenchmen,” says that honest abominator
of roguery and quackery of all kinds, “have contracted with some
farmers in Herefordshire for a considerable quantity of the fresh juice
of certain pears, which is to be sent to them in London, immediately
after it has been expressed, or before fermentation has commenced. With
the recently expressed juice they made last year an excellent brisk
wine resembling the finest sparkling Champagne; and we are told that
the speculation was so productive, that they have resolved to extend
their manufactory.” To this account I can, from a knowledge of the
concern, perfectly assent, except that the Anglo-French manufacture
does not exactly represent the first quality of Champagne wine, as it
is quite impossible for any imitative preparation to represent that
quality of wine.

Many thousand dozens of wines are sold in the course of the year in
London as old wines, under names which have scarcely any other title
to the appellation of wine than similarity of colour. “A particular
friend of mine,” says a correspondent to the Monthly Gazette of
Health, “purchased at a public sale by the hammer, a quantity of
‘super-excellent’ claret, at the rate of 50_s._ per dozen, which, on
delivery, his butler discovered to be the same wine he had exchanged
with a wine merchant at the rate of 20_s._ per dozen, being what is
termed _pricked_. The worthy Baronet complained of the imposition, but
the auctioneer would not listen to him. He had tasted it previously to
bidding for it, and that was enough for him.”

Another source of great profit to the cheap dealers, the gin-shop
keepers, and the advertizing wine-men, arises from the size of the
bottles in which they vend their compounds and mixtures, ycleped “wine.”

In the bottle-trade six various sizes are sold, namely:

The full quart, of which twelve contain three gallons of liquid, old

The thirteens, of which there must be thirteen to contain three gallons
of liquid, old measure.

The fourteens, of which there must be fourteen to contain three gallons
of liquid, old measure.

The small fourteens, of which there must be fourteen and a half, to
contain three gallons of liquid, old measure.

The fifteens, of which there must be fifteen, to contain three gallons
of liquid, old measure.

The sixteens, of which there must be sixteen, to contain three gallons
of liquid, old measure.

The two last sizes are those sold to the gin-shops and cheap wine

The above are the frauds practised by wine-dealers, by vending bottles
of inferior dimensions to the legal wine quart, which contains
thirty-two ounces; but many of the bottles imposed on unwary purchasers
do not contain more than twenty-four ounces, and few more than
twenty-six ounces.

The readiest way of detecting the fraud is by measuring the suspected
wine-bottle by Lyne’s graduated glass measure, which holds half a pint,
and is divided into ounces, &c. Or, if you have not a measure of the
kind by you, weigh the contents of the suspected bottle and compare the
weight ascertained with the following corresponding weights:

1 legal wine quart = 32 ounces; or, 256 drachms.

By subtracting the weight of the contents of the suspected bottle from
this weight, you may precisely ascertain the deficiency.


In the adulteration of spirituous liquors, the advertising and
placarding compounder exerts equal ingenuity and fraud, and obtains
an equally lucrative traffic as from wines. The “Curious old soft
flavoured Cogniac, ten years old,” of those nefarious dealers,
is compounded of Spanish or Bourdeaux brandy, neutral flavoured
rum, rectified spirits, British brandy, British brandy bitters,
cherry-laurel-water, extract of almond cake, extract of capsicums,
or of grains of paradise, burnt sugar or colouring matter. But more
generally that “_medicinal_” compound British brandy is palmed on
the public, for real Cogniac brandy. This diabolical farrago of
mischievous ingredients, which was held forth to the public by
interested individuals concerned in the undertaking, as calculated
“entirely to supersede the use of Cogniac brandy,” and “likely to
prove of great benefit to the _health_ and _comfort_ of the poorer
and middling classes of society,” is compounded of oil of vitriol,
vinegar, nitrum dulce, tincture of raisin stones, tinctura japonica,
cherry-laurel-water, extracts of capsicums or of grains of paradise,
orris-root, cassia-buds, bitter almond meal, colouring matter, &c. from
which enumeration of “_neat_” articles it appears that this “almost
superior brandy to Cogniac,” as its modest manufacturers term it, is a
slow poison, and equally deleterious in its effects, if not more so,
than that vile composition—“cheap gin.” That this is not an unfounded
insinuation against “the pure and unadulterated” article, sold, no
doubt, “at astonishingly low prices, and for ready money,” will appear
from the clear statement of the process of each manufacture given by
the author of The Wine and Spirit Adulterators Unmasked, pages 179
and 198. “British brandy,” says the honest Unmasker, “is _composed_
of drugs, gin only _flavoured_ by them. In the manufacture of gin,
the ingredients are put into the still, with a spirit which has been
previously rectified, and the condensed evaporation which is derived
from the whole constitutes the article gin. In the preparation,
however, of British brandy, the mixture is made without any process
through a still, being compounded more like a quack doctor’s nostrum.
The only part of the manufacture wherein distillation is concerned,
consists merely in rectifying either rum or malt whiskey, to deprive
them of their essential oils, so that they may be reduced to a state as
tasteless as possible, and thereby more readily receive the spurious
flavours intended to be imparted to them.

“The other articles are added in their raw state.—Should it be inquired
why the same process as is adopted in the manufacture of gin, should
not succeed in making British brandy, the answer is, because, in
distilling the necessary drugs with the rectified spirit, the flavour
would neither retain the sufficient predominancy, nor be sufficiently
fixed to enable the article to sustain the desired likeness to brandy,
besides that the effect of several of the ingredients, such as the oil
of vitriol, and nitrum dulce, which are used to impart a resemblance of
the vinosity possessed by genuine French brandy, would be completely

“Fine old Jamaica rums of peculiar softness and flavour” are
manufactured of low-priced Leeward-island rum, ale, porter, or shrub,
extract of orris-root, cherry-laurel-water, and extract of grains
of paradise, or of capsicums. Sometimes the composition consists
of low-priced Jamaica rums, rectified spirits of wine, and the
Leeward-island rums, with the necessary acid vegetable substances, to
give them false strength and pungency and the requisite flavour; and
thus the purchaser is accommodated by the “caterers of _comfort_,”
with a rum which “CANNOT” be adulterated, of exceedingly fine and
superior flavour, _remarkably cheap and for ready money only_. The
ripe taste which rum or brandy that has been long kept in oaken casks
obtains, is imparted to new brandy and rum, by means of a spirituous
tincture of raisin-stones and oak saw-dust. And the water distilled
from cherry-laurel-leaves is frequently mixed with brandy and other
spirituous liquors to impart to them the flavour of the cordial called
Noyeau. Sugar of lead not unfrequently forms part of the flavouring
ingredients of the retailers’ rums.

But the perfection of adulteration is in gin,—cheap gin—“the _real_
comfort,”—patronized by the poor for its supposed GENUINENESS! This
infernal compound of combustibles is distinguished from the other slow
poisons to which a large portion of the population of “the queen of
cities,”—our “modern Carthage,” make themselves the willing victims,
by the poisonous nature of the ingredients of which it is composed.[E]
These are the oils of vitriol, turpentine, juniper, cassia, carraways,
and almonds, sulphuric ether or phosphorus, extracts of orris-root,
angelica-root, capsicums or grains of paradise, sugar, and heading. The
aid of lime-water and of spirits of wine is also invoked in the course
of the operation. The purposes of these mischievous ingredients are as
follow: The oil of vitriol is to impart pungency and the appearance
of strength, when the liquor is applied to the nose, while the extract
of capsicums or of grains of paradise is designed to perform the same
office for the taste. The extracts of orris and angelica roots give a
fulness of body and the coveted flavour called cordial to the large
proportion of the compound, which consists only of water. The remaining
oils are to give strength, the sugar to sweeten the composition, and
the lime to unite the oils with the spirit; while the sulphuric ether,
phosphorus, and heading are intended to give the semblance of being
highly spirituous from the fiery taste, and the appearance of the light
bead which is caused to appear and remain for some time on the surface
of the noxious compound. The introduction of the white arsenic is
intended to promote an irritable and feverish thirst, so that the poor
deluded consumer may be compelled to have recourse to fresh potations
of the “liquid fire.” The Hollands of the gin-shop keepers and
advertising dealers is a commixture of a small portion of the genuine
article with rectified spirits, peppermint, cloves, &c. The cordial,
called Shrub, says Mr. Accum, Culinary Poisons, p. 257, frequently
exhibits vestiges of copper, which arise from the metallic vessels
employed in the manufacture of the liquor. But, had that ingenious
gentleman been thoroughly acquainted with the manufacture of shrub in
the cellars of spirit dealers, he would not have been quite so moderate
in his remarks respecting this seductive “_cordial_.”

Such is a list of the detestable articles palmed on the public, by the
avaricious and unprincipled dealers and cozeners in the factitious
wines and spirits on constant and extensive sale throughout every
quarter of the metropolis. The credulity and infatuation of the public
in the consumption of the deadly draughts are truly astonishing, and
are a verification of the sarcasm that were the vision of death to
appear to the tippler in each glass of liquor that he puts to his lips,
yet he would still persevere in habits which are inevitably destructive
of health and comfort, and eventually productive of disease and death.
“Oh blindness to the future!—” Surely old Jeremy Taylor’s observation
respecting Apicius is equally applicable to the inveterate consumer of
wines and spirits—“It would have been of no use,” says that orthodox
old divine, “to talk to Apicius of the secrets of the other world, and
of immortality; that the saints and angels eat not! The fat glutton
would have stared awhile and fallen a-sleep. But if you had discoursed
well and knowingly of a lamprey, a large mullet, or a boar, animal
propter convivium, and had sent him a cook from Asia to make new
sauces, he would have attended carefully, and taken in your discourses
greedily.” The same feeling I expect will be displayed towards this
book by the inveterate dram-drinker: he or she will curse the author,
as a busy-body, for his intermeddling with, and abusing their “_dear_
comfort.” People are apt to conclude that a practice sanctioned by
time and numbers must be right; but there cannot be a conclusion more
fallacious. The grossest possible absurdities have been sanctioned
for the same reasons. No doubt some will defend their practice of
dram-drinking and immoderate potations of wines, and of malt and
spirituous liquors by the unsound plea that they find no ill effect
from their self immolation from drinking the deadly draughts; but
reasoners so deluded should recollect that, though there are persons
who are insensible to the immediate effects from strong liquors, either
spirituous or malt, yet to those who seldom or ever use them, they act
as quick poisons; not waiting their tedious operation in the form of
fever, gout, stone and gravel, dropsy, bile, rheumatism, head-ache,
scurvy, cancer, asthma, consumption, palsy, brain fever, apoplexy,
mania, and a long list of other frightful and loathsome diseases.
In truth, as the author of “_The Oracle of Health and Long Life_”
forcibly observes, “they paralyze the nervous system and the heart’s
action; and the tremulous hand, the palsied limbs, the bloated and
inflamed countenance, and the faltering tongue, super-induced by their
immoderate use, indicate that premature death lays claim to his deluded
and self-destroying victim!”

Nor is this the worst consequence of the immoral and unsocial act: for
the unhappy wretch who is addicted to the habitual and vicious use of
ardent spirits, besides subjecting himself to the attack of “the whole
army of diseases” which assault the human frame from intoxication,
often exhibits a more awful demonstration of the consequences of
violating the laws of morality and social decency: I allude to the
extraordinary fact of the spontaneous combustion of the body, which has
often terminated the existence of old and inveterate drunkards.

This combustion is occasioned in such persons from the whole fabric of
the body being so changed, by the constant practice of spirit-drinking,
with inflammable matter (probably hydrogen); or, chemically speaking,
it acquires so powerful an attraction for oxygen, that it suddenly
takes fire, (in some instances spontaneously, in others from the flame
of a candle or too powerful a heat of the fire,) and the body is
reduced to a cinder.

The persons in whom this dreadful visitation of apparently supernatural
punishment for the violation of the laws of nature has occurred, have
been chiefly women. In some cases the unhappy sufferers have been
found burning, “sometimes with an open flame flickering over the
body, sometimes with a smothered heat or fire, without any open flame
whatever; whilst the application of water has occasionally seemed
rather to quicken than impede the combustion.

“In no instance has the fire or flame thereby excited in the body been
so powerful as essentially to injure the most combustible substances
immediately adjoining it, as linen or woollen furniture.

“The event has usually taken place at night, when the sufferer has been
alone, and has commonly been discovered by the fœtid penetrating scent
of sooty films, which have spread to a considerable distance. The
unhappy subject has in every instance been found dead, and more or less
completely burnt up.”

The above awful account is quoted from Dr. Mason Good’s “Study of
Medicine;” but relations of numerous cases of the above horrid
termination of existence may be found in the Philosophical
Transactions, Vols. 63 and 64, in Dr. Young’s “Medical Literature,” and
in a variety of Foreign Journals, medical as well as general.

Let all those who are addicted to habitual intoxication and the
consumption of the infernal compositions of nefarious dealers in
spirits, read and re-read the above quotation, and may they take
warning, and renounce that unhappy propensity.

It is true that wine and malt liquors, and even occasionally spirits,
are far from prejudicial, when properly made, and used with discretion;
but as it is almost impossible to find them in that state, except
when home-made or home-brewed, there is certainly much risk in
drinking them. Yet, strange to say, though the stoutest among us has
no predilection for the “King of Terrors,” inclination and habit
are so strong and seductive, that the greater part of mankind still
persevere in habits with a perfect knowledge of their inevitable
consequences,—that they are destructive of health and inductive of
death. For the purpose of awakening the attention of those who are
under this unhappy delusion, is the design of the present publication.
The most grateful sensation to a well disposed heart is the salvation
of a fellow creature from misery and perdition. I beseech heaven that I
may be successful in my undertaking.

But the base and iniquitous adulterations of wines and spirits are not
the whole of the “illicit doings” of the advertisers and placarders,
and their worthy compeers, the commission-men, the wine-hawkers, and
the dock wine-merchants. “Among the deceptions practised by this class
of dealers,” says the author of Wine and Spirit Adulterators Unmasked,
p. 157, and he is no indifferent authority on the subject, “may be
reckoned the delivering of a less quantity of wine than is charged
for in the invoice, the disposing of a wine with a false description
of its being of some particularly fine and noted vintage; the sending
of another wine, of an inferior quality, as the one which had been
tasted and sold; together with a variety of other peculations. The
gin-shop-keepers and advertising dealers in spirits not only give short
measure of their adulterated ingredients, but if they sell any thing
like the genuine article they dilute it much below (often one hundred
per cent.) the legal strength, namely, seventeen per cent. below proof,
according to Sykes’s hydrometer.”

For the following valuable information respecting the ingenious
devices of the “_gentlemen_” wine-merchants, I am indebted to the
pages of “_The Private Gentleman and Importing Merchant’s Wine and
Spirit Cellar Directory_:”—A work replete with the most useful
information on the subject, as containing the best and most practical
instructions on the selection, purchase, management, medication, and
preservation of foreign wines, of any work extant in any language.
It has been well said by a judicious critic, “No book is more wanted
than a good, practical, and complete one on this important subject: it
would be worth its weight in gold, and its author would be a public
benefactor to his country. More than nine-tenths of the wine imported
into this country is either spoiled or impoverished by the ignorance
or mismanagement of the wine-dealer or the purchaser; as at present
conducted, the management of a wine-cellar is, in most cases, all
random, hap-hazard, and guess-work. Ought we to be surprised at the
result, the consequent loss or injury of the wine? It is, therefore,
with considerable satisfaction we recommend this little work as a
valuable addition to our domestic economy.”

“As many people place reliance on the genuineness of wines purchased
in the Docks, and think that such purchases are more exempt from fraud
and imposition than if obtained from the dealer’s shop or vaults,
and that they will have them ‘_neat as imported_,’ it is necessary
to caution them to be on their guard in respect of the persons with
whom they deal. Inferior articles, false descriptions, substitutions
for the one selected, and various other peculations, take place
there as frequently as is the case when wines are purchased at the
dealer’s shop, &c. Other impositions of as flagrant a nature consist
in transferring wines of a _most_ inferior sort into pipes recently
emptied, and originally filled with wine of the best vintages and
flavour; and as the outside of the cask bears the marks of the foreign
houses of character, from whose vintages the wines contained in the
casks were furnished, this fraud is found to turn to very good account.
By delusions of this kind, the most detestable trash ever vended under
the name of wine is frequently foisted on purchasers. But if this
statement is not sufficient to satisfy those who fondly suppose that by
making their purchases in the ‘Docks’ that they will always have their
expectations of obtaining unadulterated wine fulfilled, they should
recollect that the owners of wines in the ‘Dock’ are at liberty to mix
them in whatever manner and proportions they please, provided they
come under one denomination as to colour and pay the same duty. These
remarks will, I trust, satisfy my readers that ‘an extensive range of
counting-houses,’ ‘numerous clerks employed’ and professions of ‘the
high character of the house,’ should not supersede the necessity of
making a _little_ inquiry as to the _fair dealing and integrity_ of the

The foregoing “_exposé_” of trickery and fraud, and the shameful
latitude and extensive means afforded designing and iniquitous men,
of practising their roguery on the credulity and folly of the public,
as well as to the loss of the revenue, evidently shows that our
present system of excise-laws is defective and absurd: indeed, it is
disgraced by the most perfect anomalies; for, while the brewer and
vender of spices, &c. are subjected to the strictest survey of the
excise, and the frauds and adulterations used in those trades are
punished, (when detected, though it must be acknowledged that that
happy consummation of justice is rather of rare occurrence even with
those sophisticators,) in the most prompt and efficient manner, the
venders and compounders of “seductive poison,” in the form of drams,
are allowed to manufacture and sell their deleterious inventions to
an enormous extent, and with an effrontery disgraceful to civilized
society. But, perhaps, the old artful plea of the “immense wealth,” and
“the great value of the property,” of “the large capitalists” engaged
in the nefarious trade, (the worst and most futile of all pretentions,)
have entitled the “deputations” of wine and spirit dealers and
compounders and distillers that have, from time to time, waited on
the Chancellors of the Exchequer, to “undoubted consideration;”[F]
and where the worthies have been detected (a chance which but
seldom happens) in their iniquitous practices a prudent private
compromise, or sum-total-fine, for the offence and the expenses of the
Excise-solicitor, “have shrouded the offenders and their misdeeds in
impenetrable secrecy from the public eye.”

Another lame and false doctrine that prevails in “_government logic_”
is, that where extensive concerns, whether brewery, distillery,
wine-factories, or quack-medicine-factories, yield an important
contribution to the revenue, no strict scrutiny needs to be adopted in
regard to the quality of the article from which such contribution is
raised, provided the excise and customs do not suffer by the fraud.
“But,” as that intrepid advocate of fair dealing, Mr. Accum, forcibly
and justly observes, “the principles of the constitution afford no
sanction to this preference, and the true interests of the country
require that it should be abolished; for a tax dependent on fraud must
be at best precarious, and must be, sooner or later, diminished by the
irresistible diffusion of knowledge. Sound policy requires that the law
should be impartially enforced in all cases; and if its penalties were
extended to abuses of which it does not now take cognizance, there is
no doubt that the revenue would be abundantly benefited.”

    “O England! model to thy inward greatness,
    Like little body with a mighty heart,
    What would’st thou do that honour would thee do,
    Were all thy children kind and natural?”

Were they all influenced by the same honest, bold, and disinterested
motives as the ill-fated Accum, who has been offered a vindictive
sacrifice on the altar of trading cupidity and fraud. Every honest
man must allow that _the expatriation of that gentleman is a disgrace
to the country which he has adorned and benefited by his talents, and
ought to be deplored as a loss to the real interests of science and


 [A] Mr. Accum, in his valuable book, enumerates, among the ingredients
 for giving the deeper or purple colour to wine, brazil-wood; but that
 ingenious gentleman is in error in this respect; for brazil-wood,
 as is well known to every practical chemist, has the property
 of imparting a blue colour to port wine, which is not quite the
 complexion that the wine-manufacturer wishes to give his spurious

 [B] The introduction of this deleterious ingredient into wines is to
 stop the progress of their ascescency, or to recover ropy wines, or
 to clarify and render transparent spoiled or muddy white wines. As to
 the deleterious effects and dangerous consequences of this and other
 adulterations of wines, &c. see The Oracle of Health and Long Life;
 or, Plain Rules for the Attainment and Preservation of Sound Health
 and Vigorous Old Age. By Medicus.

 [C] Direct Madeira is that which has been shipped direct from the
 island of Madeira, without having the benefit, as it is termed, of a
 voyage to the East or West Indies.

 [D] East-India or West-India Cape is that portion of Cape wines which
 has had the benefit of a voyage from the Cape of Good Hope to the
 East Indies, and thence back to London. Cape Sherry is that portion
 of Cape wine which bears the greatest resemblance in flavour to real
 Sherry. Cape Madeira is so denominated from its resemblance, in point
 of flavour, to Madeira. Cape Burgundy, Cape Hock, Cape Sauterne,
 Cape Port, Cape Pontac, Cape Champagne, Cape Barsac, &c. owe their
 appellations to their supposed resemblance, in point of flavour, to
 those wines.

 [E] The respectable author of “The Art of Brewing on Scientific
 Principles” has the following note, “Spirits vended by retail are all
 adulterated, and some of them to a dreadful extent. Some months since
 (his work was published in 1826,) a person having writing to do that
 would occupy great part of the night, purchased, at a liquor shop, in
 Newgate-street, half a pint of gin; and, during the night, he drank
 a goblet-full of grog, which he had made from it. He was seized with
 most excruciating agony, spasms of the stomach, temporary paralysis,
 and loss of intellect. These he attributed to some natural cause, and
 he gave the remainder of the liquor to a person that called on him in
 the morning. In about an hour that person was similarly affected. This
 induced inquiry; and it was ascertained that the woman who served the
 liquor had mistaken the bottle, and had sold half a pint of the fluid
 intended to prepare the adulterations for sale. The last-mentioned
 person who partook of the infernal mixture died of its effects.”
 Similar consequences have occurred from adulterated beer. Among a
 thousand other instances, see the Coroner’s inquest in the Times
 Newspaper of the 29th of June, 1829.

 [F] According to the testimony of the author of “Wine and Spirit
 Adulterators Unmasked” the profits of the wine and spirit compounders
 are so great, and the chance of the detection of their frauds and
 impositions on the public and the revenue is almost so impossible,
 that many of them are to be found “vieing with the nobility of the
 land in the splendour of their equipages and expenditure.” He mentions
 one gin-shop-keeper (a worthy in the neighbourhood of St. Luke’s)
 who “drives his family to _church_, on a Sunday, in his carriage and
 four.” Another, who has a “richly ornamented state bed.” A third, who
 is to be found lolling “on an ottoman, in a French dressing-gown.”
 And he adds, that it is usual to give from four to six thousand
 guineas for the good will of a gin-shop which has an unexpired lease
 of eighteen or twenty years, with the drawback of the purchaser being
 quite at the mercy of the magistrates as to the renewal of his license.


_The Tests, or Methods of ascertaining the Good or Bad Qualities of
Wines and Spirits._

Though there are many tests in use for the discovery of the presence
of mineral poisons, such as litharge and other preparations of lead,
or pungent vegetable nostrums, namely extract of capsicums, &c. in
wines and spirits, yet it must be admitted that there are no efficient
tests for detecting the presence of the foreign agents above mentioned
in either wines or spirits, except by chemical analysis; because, in
the fraudulent combination which takes place, those articles bear the
largest proportions which possess the same chemical properties as do
the wines and spirits with which they are compounded. The injurious
tendency of the vegetable poisons which form a component part of the
spurious compositions which are vended under the denomination of cheap
wines and spirits, and their injurious and lingering effects are so
imperceptible on the human constitution, that, as the author of “The
Oracle of Health and Long Life” observes, they must be deadly indeed to
produce immediate injury, so as to give suspicion of their presence.

The presence of sugar of lead, or any other deleterious metal in wine,
may be detected by filling a glass with wine, and adding a few drops
of Harrowgate-water, or melted brimstone, when the wine will with the
last mentioned ingredient becomes blackish, and with the other it will
immediately produce a black sediment; but if it be unadulterated it
will only lose its clearness, taste, and colour. Or the adulteration
may be discovered by adding one part of water saturated with
sulphuretted hydrogen gas, acidulated with a small portion of muriatic
acid, to two parts of wine, or any other liquid, in which the presence
of lead is suspected, when a blackish coloured precipitate will settle
at the bottom of the vessel, which, being dried and fused by means of
the blow-pipe, will yield a globule of metallic lead. The prussiate of
potash is occasionally employed for the same purpose: a drop or two
being sufficient to show a white or greyish precipitate in any fluid
in which lead is contained. When white wines have an unusual degree
of sweetness, are of a darker colour than their age and body seem to
warrant, and particularly when their use, or that of the red wines, is
followed by pains in the stomach, it may be concluded that they have
been adulterated with lead.

The process to detect the presence of alum in wine, is to take some
fresh prepared lime-water, and to mix the suspected wine with it, in
about equal proportions; if after the mixture has stood about a day, a
number of crystals is found deposited at the bottom of the vessel, the
wine is genuine; but, if alum is present in the wine, there will be no
crystals, but a slimy and muddy precipitate. Or the presence of alum
may be detected, by dropping some solution of subcarbonate of potash
into the wine, when, if the alum be present, there will be a violet
coloured precipitate, or at least cloudiness, which will vanish again
if a few drops of caustic, potash, or of muriatic acid are added to the

Where artificial colouring matter is suspected in wine, put a quarter
of a pint of the liquor into a phial, with an ounce of fresh charcoal
finely pulverized. Then shake the mixture well for a few minutes, when,
if the wine is impregnated only with its own natural colouring, that
colour will be chemically destroyed, and the wine, when filtered, will
yield a clear limpid fluid; but, if the wine is artificially coloured,
such artificial colours will not be acted on by the charcoal, and the
mixture will appear unchanged.

Extraneous colours in wines may also be detected by means of acetate of
lead. If this test produces, in red wine, a greenish grey precipitate,
it is a sign that the wine is genuine. Wine coloured with the juice of
bilberries, or elderberries, or Campeachy wood, produces, with acetate
of lead, a deep blue precipitate; and fernambouk wood, red saunders,
and the red beet, produce a red precipitate by the agency of the
acetate of lead.

According to Cadet (Dictionnaire de Chimie, art. Vin.) this species
of adulteration may be detected by pouring into the suspected wine a
solution of sulphate of alumine, and precipitating the alum by potash.
If the wine is pure, the precipitate will have a bottle green colour,
more or less dark, according to the natural hue of the wine. But if the
colour has been artificial the following will be the results:—

Tournesol will give a precipitate of a bright yellow colour. Brazil
wood a brownish red colour. Elderberries or privet a brownish violet
colour. Wortleberries the colour of dirty wine lees. Logwood a lake red

But Dr. Henderson says, in his learned work, entitled “The History of
Ancient and Modern Wines,” p. 342, that the simple test pointed out to
him by his friend Dr. Prout is equally satisfactory, and may be applied
either to red or white wines. “On adding ammonia to wines, which had
the appearance of being genuine, he observed that the precipitate was
of an olive green colour; shewing the analogy between the colouring
principle and the vegetable blues, most of which are rendered red by
acids, and green by alkalis. This conjecture is, in some measure,
confirmed by the recent discovery of M. Breton, professor of chemistry
in Paris, with respect to the cause of that disorder in wines known
by the name of _tournure_. Wine thus affected acquires a disagreeable
taste and smell, loses its red colour, and assumes a dark violet hue,
which changes are found to proceed from the presence of carbonate of
potash, in consequence of the decomposition of the tartar contained in
the liquor. To restore the natural colour and flavour, if the disease
be not of long standing, it is only necessary to add a small quantity
of tartaric acid, which, combining with the potash, forms cream of
tartar, as is shown by the subsequent deposition of crystals. Revue
Encyclopedique, November, 1823. In genuine wines, the colouring matter
seems to partake of the character of a lake, partly held in solution
by the excess of acid present, and partly combined with the earthy
phosphates; for, in the precipitates obtained from these wines by means
of ammonia, it appears in union with the triple phosphate of magnesia.
Even the white wines of Xeres, Madeira, and Teneriffe, exhibit this
mixed precipitate; their colouring matter being probably derived from
the red grapes which enter into their composition. In fictitious wines,
on the other hand, such as those procured from the black currant,
gooseberry, orange, &c. the last mentioned salt was thrown down by
ammonia, but more gradually, in less quantities, and without any

The method of ascertaining the strength, or quantity of spirit or
alcohol in wines is by the following process, for the discovery of
which the public is indebted to Mr. Brande.

“Add to eight parts, by measure, of the wine to be examined, one part
of a concentrated solution of subacetate of lead; a dense insoluble
precipitate will ensue; which is a combination of the test-liquor with
the colouring, extractive and acid matter of the wine. Shake the
mixture for a few minutes, pour the whole upon a filter and collect the
filtered fluid. It contains the brandy, or spirit, and water of the
wine, together with a portion of the subacetate of lead. Add, in small
quantities at a time to this fluid, warm, dry, and pure subcarbonate
of potash, (not salt of tartar, or the subcarbonate of potash of
commerce); which has previously been freed from water by heat, till the
last portion added remains undissolved. The brandy or spirit contained
in the fluid will become separated; for the subcarbonate of potash
abstracts from it the whole of the water, with which it was combined;
the brandy or spirit of wine forms a distinct stratum, which floats
upon the aqueous solution of the alkaline salt. If the experiment be
made in a glass tube, from one half inch to two inches in diameter, and
graduated into a hundred equal parts, the per centage of spirit, in a
given quantity of wine, may be read off by mere inspection. In the same
manner the strength of any wine may be examined.”

The following is the proportion, or per centage, of alcohol or spirit
in some of the most common wines and spirituous liquors. But such of my
readers as may wish to gain more extensive information on the subject,
I refer them to the first volume of the Journal of Science and the
Arts, p. 290.

 Madeira      24.42 to 19.24 average   22.77

 Sherry       19.81 to 18.25 average   16.17

 Claret       17.18 to 12.91 average   15.10

 Port         25.83 to 19.96 average   22.99

 Champagne    13.80 to 11.30 average   12.61

 Cider, highest average 9.87 lowest do. 5.21

    Brandy           53.39

    Rum              53.68

    Gin              54.32

    Whiskey (Scotch) 54.32

    Whiskey (Irish)  53.90

    Ale (Burton)            8.88

    —— (Edinburgh)          6.20

    —— (Dorchester)         5.50

    London Porter (average) 4.20

    Small Beer (average)    1.28

The above proportional quantities of alcohol contained in the different
kinds of wine are extracted from Mr. Brande’s experiments detailed in
the work before mentioned; but as it appears that that gentleman made
his experiments on samples of wine into which adventitious alcohol had
been introduced, he seems in some instances to have assigned a greater
degree of spirituosity to some wines than the subsequent analysis of
Dr. Prout will justify, in the case of experiments made on genuine
wines. To those who are desirous of informing themselves accurately
on the subject, a reference to the Table at pages 363 and 364 of Dr.
Henderson’s work on the History of Ancient and Modern Wines, in which
the results of the experiments of Mr. Brande, Dr. Prout, and Mr. Zist,
an able chemist residing at Mentz, are detailed, is recommended.

The quantity of astringent matter, or tannin, contained in wine, may
readily be ascertained by dropping a solution of isinglass into it,
when a gelatinous precipitate takes place in proportion to the tannin,
whether it be Port, Claret, or Burgundy.

The adulteration and false strength of spirituous liquors, as brandy,
rum, and malt spirit, are detected by diluting the suspected liquor
with water, when the acrimony of the capsicum, or the grains of
paradise, or pepper, may be easily discovered by the taste. Or by
taking about a quart of the suspected liquor, and pouring it into a
retort, or small still, and boiling it gently, until the whole of
the spirituous part is evaporated, the residuum, if capsicum, grains
of paradise, &c. have been present in the liquor, will retain a hot
pungent taste. A ready way of detecting aqua-fortis, or oil of vitriol,
in spirits, is, by dropping into a glass of the suspected liquor, a bit
of chalk about the size of a pea, when the liquid, if spurious, will
become like milk, but, if genuine, the chalk will lie at the bottom.

The adulteration of brandy with British molasses or sugar spirit, is
ascertained by rubbing a portion of the suspected liquor between the
palms of the hands, when the spirit, as it evaporates, leaves the
disagreeable flavour which is peculiar to all British spirits. Or the
liquor may be deprived of its alcohol, by heating a portion of it in
a spoon over a candle till the vapour ceases to catch fire on the
approach of a lighted taper. The residue thus obtained, if genuine
brandy, possesses a vinous odour, resembling the flavour of brandy,
whilst the residue produced from sophisticated brandy, has a peculiarly
disagreeable smell, resembling gin, or the breath of habitual
drunkards. The purity of spirits may also be easily ascertained by
setting fire to a little of the suspected article in a spoon, when, if
they be unadulterated, they will all burn away, without leaving any
moisture behind. The presence of lead, or any of its preparations, in
spirituous liquors, may be detected by the same method as has been
stated in the case of wine. Where gin has been highly sweetened with
sugar, by evaporating some of the suspected liquor in a spoon over a
candle, the sugar will appear in the form of a gum-like substance when
the spirit is volatilized.

The presence of lead as a component part of cider or perry, whether
happening accidentally from the leaden bed of the press, or inserted
intentionally for the purpose of neutralizing the super-abundant acid
of the liquor, may be tested by putting a solution of molybdate of
potash into the suspected liquor; when a white precipitate will take
place, even though the lead should exist in the smallest possible
quantity. It is needless here to enumerate the various tricks of “the
knowing ones” for giving a factitious crust to wine bottles,[G] by
means of Brazil wood and potash; or the colouring and eating away of
wine corks,[H] to represent long residence in the neck of the bottle,
though perhaps only driven in yesterday. Nor is the crusting even of
the wine-casks, which is accomplished by means of crystals of the
super-tartrate of potash, to be trusted to.

Those who wish to know the _allowable secrets_ of the adulteration
trade will find them fully explained in “_The Private Gentleman or
Importing Merchants’ Wine and Spirit Cellar Directory_,” with many
other “Secrets Worth Knowing” by cozeners; but it may be observed that
the older port wine is, the less of the tartar, or super-tartrate of
potash is contained in it, and the greater the deposition on the sides
of the cask or bottle. But new wine may be put into old casks or old
bottles. Therefore, to ascertain the quantity of the salt, take a pint
of wine, and boil it down to one-half, into which drop a solution of
muriate of platina, when a precipitate will take place, greater or
less, in proportion to the quantity of salt contained in the wine.


 [G] The crusting of wine in the natural way generally takes place
 in about nine months; but, among the artizans of the factitious
 wine-trade, it is accomplished in a much shorter time. Those ingenious
 gentry line the inside of the bottles they intend to fill with their
 compound called wine, by suffering a saturated hot solution of
 super-tartrate of potash, coloured red with a decoction of Brazil
 wood, to crystallize within them. Others of that honest fraternity,
 who dislike trouble, put a tea-spoon full of the powder of catechu
 into each bottle, and by this artifice soon produce a fine crusted
 appearance of “aged wine.” This simulation of maturity is often
 accomplished by the humbler dealer by covering the bottles with snow,
 or by exposing them to the rays of the sun, or by keeping them for a
 few days in hot water. Where the casks are to be bottled off by the
 purchaser, or in his presence, they are stained in the inside with the
 artificial crystalline crust of super-tartrate of potash, as a proof of
 the age of the wine.

 [H] To produce the dilapidations of “Father Time” on wine corks,
 the dry rot, however injurious to others, is of great advantage to
 wine-dealers, as it soon covers the bottles with its mouldy appearance,
 and consumes the external part of the cork; so that with a trifling
 operation on the bottles after they are filled, and then deposited in
 cellars pretty strongly affected with the dry rot, they can furnish the
 admirers of “aged wine” with liquor having the appearance of having
 been bottled seven or eight years, though it has not in reality been
 there so many months. The staining of the lower extremities of the
 corks with a fine red colour, produced from a strong decoction of
 Brazil wood and alum, to make them appear “aged,” or as if they had
 been long in contact with the wine, is another of the devices of the
 factitious wine-trade, and forms a distinct branch of its operations.


_Beer and Ale._

“The nutricious and strengthening[I] beverage” of the English,
“their own native old Sir John Barleycorn,” is not exempt from the
sophistications and corruptions of the adulterator! Ye topers of
“_pure_ extract from malt and hops,” do you hear this? That your own
sweet proper suction—your ancient and legitimate accompaniment of the
sirloin and the plum-pudding, is composed of every thing else than what
it ought to be,—in fact, that it is one of the slowest and most fatal
poisons with which your good friends “the _honest_ English brewers”
are continually entertaining you. Aye, John, it is the truth—and the
whole truth. But should you, with your usual “well-clothed stupidity,
and sneering ignorant scepticism,” feel inclined to doubt my assertion,
a reference to the “Minutes of the House of Commons, appointed for
examining the price and quality of beer,” will furnish you with a
goodly list of nearly two hundred Excise prosecutions and convictions
(between the years 1812 and 1819), of wholesale and retail brewers,
publicans, and brewers’ druggists, for the nefarious adulterations of
your favourite beverage, or for having in their possession, or selling
the poisonous ingredients for the purpose; in which there are several
instances of penalties of £500, with costs having been inflicted on the
offenders. Since that time, seizures of illegal and poisonous articles
have also been often made by the Excise, and convictions have taken
place. During the latter end of the last year, and at the commencement
of the present year, seizures have been made, and convictions have
taken place, nearly equal in number to those before stated: indeed, as
a writer on the subject truly observes, “scarcely a week passes without
witnessing the detection of some wicked greedy wretch,” who has been
sporting with the lives and health of his fellow-creatures. And, when
you have satisfied your incredulous understanding of your “_honest_”
countrymen’s dealings with you, you may, perhaps, by reading the
following extract from Mr. Accum’s book on Culinary Poisons, p. 189,
be satisfied that you are not exactly swallowing a “cordial balsam,”
or “the elixir of life,” when you are pouring into your portly stomach
that delectable mixture, in the composition of whose combustible
materials the brewer’s (or “_gentleman_”) druggist, the brewer, and the
publican have kindly and humanely exerted their honest and patriotic

“That a minute portion of an unwholesome ingredient, daily taken in
beer,” (says the intrepid advocate of offended justice, whose civil
death to science and suffering humanity is to be sincerely deplored,)
“cannot fail to be productive of mischief, admits of no doubt:
and there is reason to believe that a small quantity of a narcotic
substance daily taken into the stomach, together with an intoxicating
liquor, is highly more efficacious than it would be without the liquor.
The effect may be gradual; and a strong constitution, especially if
it be assisted with constant and hard labour, may counteract the
destructive consequences, perhaps for many years, but it never fails to
show its baneful effects at last.”

But, perhaps, friend John, you will say that this is all talk, and a
mere bug-a-boo of the “radicals” to annoy you in your daily potations
of your “favourite beverage,”—thy own native nutritious liquor. And
you will call for something like proofs, or an enumeration of the
deleterious substances or ingredients which have been found in the
possession of brewers and publicans, and for the admixture of which
with their “_neat article_,” they have been subject to the Law’s angry
visitations. This is a reasonable request, and it shall be satisfied to
the best of my power.

Know then, friend Bull, that the following _harmless_ and
_invigorating_ ingredients have been found in the possession of thine
honest fellow-countrymen, the brewers, according to the list of the
Excise prosecutions detailed in the Minutes of the Committee of the
House of Commons, appointed for examining the price and quality of beer
in the year 1819.

1. Cocculus Indicus, or, as it is vulgarly called, occulus Indian
berry. This is a powerfully narcotic, and most intoxicating and
deleterious drug. In its mildest form, it produces excruciating
head-aches and distressing sickness, when the beer is over-dosed. So
great was the demand for this poisonous drug, that it rose, as Mr.
Accum says, within the space of ten years, from 2_s._ to 7_s._ per lb.
The extract or poisonous principle obtained from the berries is so
abundant as to be easily separated from the substance, and is called by
the chemist picrotoxin, a term derived from two Greek words, namely,
πιχρος, bitter; and τοξιχον, poison. What thinkest thou of this, friend
John? In India, the berries are thrown on the surface of the water for
the purpose of intoxicating the fish, when they float on the water, and
are easily taken by the hand.

2. Black Extract, or, as it is called, in the slang phrase of the
Adulterating Vocabulary, Hard Multum, which is also an extract of the
poisonous Indian berry, or a composition of opium and other ingredients.

3. Nux Vomica and St. Ignatius’s Bean, which are both poisonous; but
the first is so extremely deleterious a drug, ten or twelve grains of
it being sufficient to kill a dog, that it is now expunged from the
Pharmacopeias. Yet, although no one ever hears of its application,
except for poisoning rats, it is imported in large quantities, and tons
of this deadly poison are ground every year in the drug-mills of the
metropolis. The bitter bean, or, as it is more commonly termed by the
tender-conscienced gentry, who sport with the health and lives of their
fellow-creatures, St. Ignatius’s bean, in order, no doubt, to appease
the qualms of conscience under a sanctified name, is no less injurious
to health.

4. Opium, Tobacco, Extract of Poppies, Henbane, Bohemian Rosemary,
and Coriander seed, which are all highly dangerous when improperly
used. Chemical experiment has proved that less than one pound of the
last-mentioned ingredient equals in strength and stupefactive quality
one bushel of malt.

5. Essentia Bina, or Double Essence; that is, sugar boiled down to
a black colour and an empyreumatic flavour. But, instead of the
concentrated essence, the intent of which is to produce the requisite
colour in porter, the colouring matter now generally used by the more
respectable part of the trade is malt roasted in iron cylinders until
it is black like coal. In this state it is called patent malt, and is
not prohibited by the Excise.

6. Heading Stuff, that is green copperas, or, as it is vulgarly called,
Salt of Steel. This poisonous ingredient is used for the purpose of
giving the beer a frothing head; sometimes used alone; sometimes it is
mixed with alum.—In the hands of one adulterator, 310lbs. of copperas
and 560lbs. of hard multum were found and condemned. A sufficient dose
for slowly poisoning half a generation!

7. Capsicum, grains of paradise, carraway seeds, treacle or molasses,
liquorice root, &c.

8. Wormwood, aloes, quassia, bitter oranges, &c.

9. Lime, marble dust, powdered oyster shells, hartshorn shavings,
jalap, spirit of maranta, &c.

These ingredients, nocuous and innocuous, are intended to produce the
following effects:

1. To give a factitious strength and intoxicating quality to the beer.

2. To increase the bitter principle, and consequently to save hops.

3. To add a stimulating aromatic flavour.

4. To produce a fine mantling head to porter, and strike a fine nut
brown colour over the froth.

And, 5. To prevent acidity, or to diminish or destroy it when formed.

“It is absolutely frightful,” exclaims Mr. Donovan, (Domestic Economy,
p. 201,) “ to contemplate the list of poisons and drugs with which
malt liquors have been (as it is technically and descriptively called)
_doctored_. Opium, henbane, cocculus indicus, and Bohemian rosemary,
which is said to produce a quick and raving intoxication, supplied
the place of alcohol. Aloes, quassia, gentian, sweet scented flag,
wormwood, horehound, and bitter oranges, fulfilled the duties of hops.
Liquorice, treacle, and mucilage of flax seed, stood for attenuated
malt sugar. Capsicum, ginger, and cinnamon, or rather cassia-buds,
afforded to the exhausted drink the pungency of a carbonic acid. Burnt
flour, sugar, or treacle, communicated a peculiar taste which porter
drinkers generally fancy. Preparations of fish, assisted in cases of
obstinacy with oil of vitriol, procured transparency. Besides these,
the brewer had to supply himself with potash, lime, salt, and a variety
of other substances, which are of no other harm than in serving the
office of more valuable materials, and defrauding the customer.” In
this extract it is observable that that ingenious gentleman has drawn
up his account in the past tense, as if there were no adulterations
now!!! The author of “The Art of Brewing,” in the Library of Useful
Knowledge, has adopted a juster and a more honourable course; besides
giving a fuller list of poisonous articles, he has spoken boldly and
truly, and tells us that poisonous adulterations are “still used
extensively” by those who “sport with the lives of their fellow
creatures for the sake of gain,” and that “the seizures and convictions
that have been so often made, and are still making by the Excise,” are
proofs of the fact. It is, however, with much satisfaction (for no
other motive influences me in making the horrific disclosures detailed
in this volume than a regard for the public welfare and for public
justice) that the statement made in that publication respecting the
introduction of gypsum into the manufacture of Burton Ale has been
disproved in the recent application made to the Court of King’s Bench
by the Burton Ale Brewers, who assert that the peculiarity of flavour
belonging to their liquor is occasioned by the water from which it is
made running over a rock of gypsum, and thus impregnated with that

In the year 1807, a paragraph appeared in almost all the London
daily papers, asserting that porter, brewed in London, contained
deleterious drugs. The London porter brewers, indignant at the
“_unjust_ and _causeless_” accusation, had a meeting, and one and
all agreed to prosecute the offending journalists. They of course
made affidavits, and complied with all the requisites of the law to
establish their “_innocence_.” They moved the Court of King’s Bench
for criminal informations against three-fourths of the daily press,
and their Counsel made long speeches on “the guilt and unfounded and
malicious libels of their accusers.” All looked well for obtaining a
verdict of guilty against the denouncers of fraud and villany, and
establishing the _purity_ and _justice_ of “the brewing interests,”
by the verdict “of an impartial and intelligent jury,” had not the
late Lord Ellenborough declared the affidavits of the swearing-brewers
insufficient, as the cunning varlets had only denied the introduction
of deleterious ingredients _in_ brewing; whereas, to ground their
application and entitle them to the rule, they should have denied
having used them _after_ the beer was brewed. But as the pillory might
have stared the honest gentry in the face had they made this “_hard_”
assertion in their affidavit, the _knowing_ folks here broke down; they
could go no further. After making the town echo with the cries of “the
infamous press,” they prudently dropped all proceedings against the
proscribed journalists. The inference to be drawn is not difficult to
surmise; but the fact is, that the publicans, who have of late been
so sharply prosecuted by the Excise for adulterating their beer, can
best answer the question: From whom did they learn the respectable
art of beer-sophistication? Was it not from their “betters,” the

If the foregoing statement of ingredients contained in the above
infernal list is not sufficient to induce thee, friend Bull, to lay
aside thy incredulity, and open thy eyes to the frauds that are
daily practised on thy unsuspecting nature, I can only add that
one of the “craft” (see Child, on Brewing, p. 18) tells thee that
porter cannot be made of the necessary flavour and taste to suit the
Londoner’s appetite, and of the proper colour to tickle his fancy by
its appearance, of wholesome malt and hops, and that those simple
ingredients would not furnish a profit sufficient to satisfy the modern
brewer’s cupidity. Well may the old ladies exclaim (and no doubt, Mr.
Bull, thou hast a penchant for displaying thy Latinity) O _trickery_! O

But supposing, dear Bull, that all the above “horrid array” of
poisoning and stupefying ingredients was “mere fudge,” and that you
should have the fortune to deal with a brewer and publican, who have
the “fear of the Lord” before their eyes, and who “wax strong in well
doing,” recollect that the present manufactured “_entire_ beer” of the
most _honest_ trading brewer alive is a very heterogeneous mixture—a
composition of all the waste and spoiled beer of the publicans, the
bottoms of their butts—the leavings of their pots—the drippings of
their machines for drawing the beer—the remnants of beer that lay
in the leaden pipes of the brewery, with a portion of brown stout,
bottling beer, and mild beer. So admits that “paragon of brewers,”
Mr. Barclay. (See Parliamentary Minutes, p. 94.) Surely, John, it
is not courteous and loving treatment of thy “better half” and her
“dutiful daughters” to expect them to sully their delicate throttles
with the leavings and hawkings of some bearish beast of a coal-heaver
or a night-man! This, friend John, is one of the “indicia” of the
necessity of thy cultivating the clean and wholesome “home brewery” of
thy forefathers; and in the promotion of this laudable and necessary
undertaking I hope I shall be able to assist thee in my projected
work, “THE FAMILY BREWING ORACLE,” and that, by its means, thou wilt
be enabled to drink a wholesome and nourishing beverage, either ale or
porter, at the trifling cost of from five farthings to three halfpence
per pot, after the tasting of which thou wilt never allow a drop of
brewers’ or public-house porter, or intermediate beer, or any other
vile or new-fangled substitution for the home-brewed liquor of thy
ancestors, to enter thy chaps.

But, in your honest sincerity and “usually naive manner,” you will
exclaim “but we have methods and tests for detecting the adulteration
of our native liquor—our vinum Britannicum—our own Sir John Barlycorn.”
Aye, have you, Old Gentleman! then I give you joy of your discovery,
and hope thou wilt put it into constant practice every day of thy
life before thou takest a sup of the delectable and heart-cheering
composition. But, for my part, John, give me leave to say that I have
always understood that the detection of the adulteration of beer with
vegetable substances deleterious to health is extremely difficult, if
not beyond the reach of chemical agency or analysis; and in most cases,
particularly where cocculus indicus, or its extract, has been used,
quite impossible. The tests for ascertaining the admixture of sulphuric
acid are more determinate, and are ably detailed in Mr. Accum’s work,
p. 193.

Among the minor crimes of fraudulent brewers is the art of converting
new beer (that is beer that is just brewed) into old or entire beer;
and this operation (which, in the cant phraseology of the trade, is
called _bringing the beer forward_, or _making it hard_) is performed
by an easy, expeditious, and economical method: an imitation of the age
of eighteen months is produced in an instant, or, as modern statesmen,
versed in the _wonderful_ arcana of political science, would phrase
it, “As soon as you could say Jack Robinson.” To put into execution
this rare feat of “brewers’ art” you have nothing more to do, in
order to convert any wishy-washy slop into an old entire beer, and,
consequently, to render it “_rich, generous, of a full-bodied taste,
without being acid, and of a vinous odour_,” than to throw in a quantum
sufficit of sulphuric acid.[J] Stale, half spoiled, or sour beer,
may as easily be converted into mild beer, by the proper quantity of
alkali, or alkaline earth, oyster-shell-powder, subcarbonate of potash
or soda; which substances have the effect of neutralizing the excess of

Another of the less culpable adulterations by both brewer and publican
is the admixture of small with strong beer. According to the evidence
of the solicitor of the Excise (Mr. Carr), given before the Committee
of the House of Commons, appointed for examining the price and quality
of beer, in the year 1819, (see Minutes of the House of Commons, p. 32,
&c.) the retailers of beer in London and its neighbourhood, purchase
stale table-beer, or the bottoms of casks, from a set of men who go
about and sell such beer at table-beer price to mix in the publicans’
cellars with the new beer they receive from the brewer. Among some of
the trade it is the custom to mix the poor low-priced country ales with

But, O John, thou lover of a “_cauliflower head!_” art thou aware how
this object of thy admiration, and indeed natural property of good beer
is produced? No doubt thou wilt be hard of belief in this respect;
but I must be candid with thee, and tell thee that the “fine frothy
head,” the ne plus ultra of thy admiration and test of good porter, is
produced by thy honest friend and crony, the publican, by the simple
admixture of the delectable and harmless article “_beer heading_” with
the “genuine stuff” he receives from his worthy compeer, the brewer.
When thy “gentle friend” observes the frothy property of the beer to
be lost by his admixture of the legitimate modicum of small beer or
“aqua pura,” molasses, extract of gentian-root and isinglass, (all
which ingredients, no doubt, good soul, he adds for thy better health,
and to save it from the injurious effects of too strong potations,)
he prudently throws in his beer-heading, which is a composition of
common green vitriol, or copperas, alum, and salt. The publicans are
supplied with this article either by the _regular_ and _accredited_
manufacturer, or they are instructed in its manufacture by those
vile and infamous publications in circulation, known by the name of
Publicans or Vintners’ Guides, Directors, Friends, &c.—I have carefully
gone through those pestiferous books, and examined their farrago of
mischievous receipts and instructions for the adulteration and “making
up” of wines, spirits, beer, &c. and can safely say that more infernal
ingenuity, and a more reckless want of honesty and humanity have
never been displayed in the basest concoctions of fraud and villany
than is the case in those wretched publications. It is, however, but
fair to exempt from this censure a work which has recently appeared,
entitled “_Clarke’s Publican and Innkeeper’s Guide, and Wine and
Spirit Dealer’s Assistant_;” which, though not entirely exempt from
objection, is evidently the production of a skilful, and, what is of
greater importance to the public, of an honest man, and possesses the
great recommendation of instructing the trade in all the _allowable_
secrets of the craft, without endangering the health and lives of the
consumers; while it enables its readers to obtain better and more
efficient results by its directions than can possibly be obtained by
following the deadly and inefficient receipts of its predecessors.

I have now, friend Bull, brought my disclosures respecting thy
favourite beverage—thy fondly but mistakenly imagined “_pure_ extract
from malt and hops,” to a close; but, shouldst thou still be hard of
belief, I recommend thee to put thy tongue into the enchanting cauldron
of some brewer-friend of thine; but, remember that I cannot ensure thee
that thou will redraw it quite as unaffected or renovated as the tragic
poet describes Æson to have sprung from the cauldron of Medea.

In the above detail of adulterations in the public brewery of this
country, no personality is intended in the tone of reprehension
assumed on the subject; the remarks are intended to be applied only
to “the most worthless part of the trade, to such as disgrace the
name of brewer, by sporting with the lives of their fellow creatures
for lucre’s sake.” Those odious and detestable wretches deserve the
severest castigations, and every member of the community should lend
his hearty co-operation to their exposure and punishment. But while it
is the duty of every man whom nature has gifted with a heart capable of
feeling for his fellow creatures, to expose the monsters who secretly
poison the human race, it must be admitted that the very heavy and
injudicious taxation to which brewers are subject has compelled
even many of the more conscientious of the trade to have recourse to
measures which are not quite agreeable to the dictates of honesty,
and to draw immense lengths of wort from the least possible quantity
of malt, so that the liquor is neither of a nutritive nor a relishing
quality. But the error in this case arises from the same cause as it
does in that of wines—the incompetency of the persons (who were either
the favourites, the dependants, or the retainers of the existing
ministry of the day) appointed to frame the statutes regulating
those trades; and, laughable to say, those precious legislators have
prohibited the use of articles which are not only innoxious, but
occasionally advantageous.[K] In the statute of Charles the Second,
which regulates the management of foreign wines, the blunder is
singular; by that act several substances are forbidden to be mixed
with wine, which, in themselves, are not only innocuous, but are
highly conducive to its purity and right preservation, and give it the
necessary brightness and perfection!

Oh, Bull, when will thy law-makers and law-concocters learn _a little_
of that old-fashioned and much neglected commodity,—COMMON SENSE. Were
the same good sense and knowledge of the subject, and of the condition
of society, indicated by them as are displayed by the more unassuming
but efficient department of the state machinery—the dispensers of
our laws (of course I cannot be mistaken to mean the justices of the
peace!) the country would not be put to the expense of making laws one
day which are to be repealed the next, and there might appear some just
pretension for the high-sounding titles of “English Justinians,” and
“heaven-born legislators,” with which a portion of the periodical press
is idly and continually bespattering certain members of the executive
department of the government.

As my printer tells me that a few lines are wanting to complete this
page, and being desirous to give my readers all I can afford for their
money, a word or two on the legislative mania which seems to have taken
hold of some honourable members “of the noblest assembly of freemen in
the world,” may not be misplaced. And for the sake of brevity, I shall
adduce, as an example, the memorable attempt to modify the Quarantine
Laws on the advice, testimony, and _experience_ of the renowned Dr.
M’Lean. When arguments being taken as facts, and the absurdities of
reasoning as the evidence of experience, the whims and reveries of that
gentleman, who was described by one (a member of St. Stephen’s) of the
anti-contagionists as “one of those extraordinary persons who will be
pointed out by the finger of the future historian,” would have received
the stamp and authority of law, and we should have had the blessing of
plague being as common in our houses as measles, coughs or colds, had
not “the ignorance of those who attempt to mislead the public, and the
indiscretion of those who are inclined to believe them,” been exposed
and refuted by the late Dr. Gooch, in his invaluable paper “Is the
Plague a Contagious Disease?” which appeared at the time (anno 1825),
in _The Quarterly Review_, and is now appended to his _Account of
Female Diseases_.


 [I] Among the numerous delusions with which the senses of the “error
 ridden” nation of Englishmen—aye, and the “bonnie Scots,” and the “Sons
 of the Emerald Isle,” are benighted, is the false and erroneous opinion
 that strong stimulating liquors impart strength to the body. As a very
 sensible writer observes on this subject,—“To depend on spirituous
 liquors for the power to labour, is as wise as it would be in a man,
 setting out for York, to get a friend to give him a kick on the b—— to
 help him forward. His friend must continue the same kind office all
 the way, or he would continually flag.” No work of the present age has
 contributed more effectually to remove these mistaken notions than
 “_The Oracle of Health and Long Life_.” May its well-intentioned and
 judicious author have the consolation of finding that his important
 instructions have contributed to the health and welfare of the
 community; and may the unqualified approval of his little volume,
 by the respectable part of the periodical press of the country be a
 stimulus to fresh exertion to render the work faultless.

 [J] Mr. Brewer Child’s recipe (see Treatise on Brewing, p. 23) for
 making new beer old, is to throw in a dash of vitriol. “A smack of
 age,” he likewise adds, at p. 18, “is also given to beer, by the
 addition of alum.” Well done, brewer Child; thou art an expeditious
 chap! Thou mightest have been of service in the Court of Chancery, _in
 tempore_ Lord Chancellor Eldon, of _doubting_ and delaying memory.

 [K] On this subject, Mr. J. D. Williams, the Editor of Sir William
 Blackstone’s Commentaries, has rendered no trifling service to society,
 by his petition, presented to the House of Commons, by the Marquess of
 Blandford, on June 17th, 1830; in which he prayed the appointment of
 fit and competent persons for the digestment and simplification of, or,
 in the emphatical language of Lord Bacon, for “the choice and tender
 business of reducing and harmonizing,” the hybrid and confused state
 of the law. As he justly said, “no useful and beneficial amendment
 or amelioration can reasonably be expected; but the Statute Book
 will still continue to be disgraced with enactments which will be at
 variance with common sense, the first principles of justice, and even
 nullify the intent and purport of the enactments themselves, while the
 concoction of laws is entrusted to others than persons endowed with
 a spirit of comprehensive knowledge, great enlightenment, enlarged
 and liberal understandings, and who are acquainted with the nature of
 the subjects on which they presume to legislate.” The instances which
 that gentleman adduced in his well intended petition of “the great and
 singular blunders” as to “erroneous conclusions in the first principles
 of science,” committed by some of our law-makers are really amusing—if
 any honest man can derive amusement from his country’s injury and


_A Word or Two, by way of Introduction._

I have told thee, friend Bull, while discoursing of the little slips
and sleights of hand in use among thy good and ancient friends, the
wine and spirit dealer, the gin-shop keeper, the brewer, and the
publican, that thou wouldst be satisfied that “Death was not only in
the Bottle,” but that thou wouldst find that the complaint of the sons
of the prophet, “There is Death in the Pot” ought not to have been
confined to the narrow limits of Gilgal, but that it extends in all
its operations to the illicit doings in thy own “dear native little
island”—the “land of the _good_ and the _wise_.” I shall now proceed
to unfold to thee this part of my duty, and then I apprehend that thou
wilt lay aside thy usual scepticism and incredulity, and acknowledge
that I have made out to thy satisfaction the truth of my horrific title
POT AND THE BOTTLE.” I shall begin with the “_Staff of Life_.”


_Bread and Flour._

Good bread is light, porous, and spongy; of a sweet nutty smell;
and when pressed with the finger is tough and resists the pressure
like sponge, recovering with a spring its original texture as soon
as the finger is removed: if any fracture appears, it is a sign of
adulteration. The more numerous and large the cells or little holes are
in it, the more perfectly is the bread made, and the better adapted for

Bread to be good, should be made of wheat flour; but the adulteration
trade in this prime article of human consumption display no less
ingenuity in the art of fraud and deception than their rivals
in iniquity do in the wine and spirit and beer sophistications:
convictions are on record of bakers having used pulverised gypsum
or plaster of Paris, whiting, slacked lime, chalk, finely powdered
granite, pipe-clay, particularly the white Cornwall clay, the flour of
garden peas and horse beans, potatoes, bone-ashes, alum, spirits of
vitriol, ammonia, magnesia, &c. They allege that, as they are often
supplied by the mealmen with flour made from the worst kinds of foreign
damaged wheat, and which is frequently mixed with a variety of other
cereal grains in the course of grinding, they cannot produce bread of a
sufficient degree of whiteness, lightness, and porosity, to please the
caprice of the London palate, without having recourse to the conjoint
aid of alum, ammonia, and potatoes.[L] This is the allegation made by
the _respectable_ part of the trade, and those who, with sufficient
disposition to wickedness, are deficient in the knowledge of the art
of slow and imperceptible poisoning. What excuse the _irrespectable_
part of the trade can make for their nefarious traffic in the remaining
portion of the enumerated articles must be left to the tender and
honest consciences of those gentry.

“The baker,” says Mr. Accum, in his Preliminary Remarks, p. 11,
“asserts that he does not put alum into bread; but he is well aware
that, in purchasing a certain quantity of half spoiled flour, he must
take a sack of _sharp whites_, (a term given to flour contaminated with
a quantity of alum,) without which it would be impossible for him to
produce light, white, and porous bread, from a half spoiled material.

“The wholesale mealman frequently purchases this spurious commodity,
(which forms a separate branch of business in the hands of certain
individuals,) in order to enable himself to sell his decayed flour.

“Other individuals (namely, the “_gentlemen_” druggists) furnish the
baker with alum mixed up with salt, under the obscure denomination
of _stuff_. There are wholesale manufacturing chemists, whose sole
business is to crystallize alum in such a form as will adapt this salt
to the purpose of being mixed with crystals of common salt, to disguise
the character of the compound.

The mixture called _stuff_ is composed of one part of alum, in minute
crystals, and three of common salt.”

I omit to object to the adulteration of flour produced by the sand,
which is unavoidably occasioned by the rubbing of the mill-stones
together. The author of the “History of Inventions,” vol. i. p. 98,
estimates that every person swallows 6lbs. yearly, in the quantity of
flour and bread which he consumes.

The foregoing statement of _artist_ ingenuity displayed by the
Messieurs “Crust,” must be allowed to be liberal treatment of poor Mr.
John Bull, in comparison with the acts of their rivals in the noble
art of sophistication, the gin-shop-keeper, the brewer, the publican,
and the other “trading interests of the nation.” But it will be better
treatment to furnish the old gentleman with a test or two to enable him
to detect the frauds of his said good friends, Messieurs les Crust and
their compatriots, the mealmen.

The ready tests or methods for ascertaining those adulterations are:
If an undue proportion (for bakers contend that the bad quality of
the flour sold to them by the miller renders the addition of potatoes
advantageous to the purchaser as well as to the baker) of ground or
grated potatoes has been used, the bread will be moist, have a sourish
smell, and, when stale, if a pressure be made upon it with the finger,
a fracture will appear in the bread, that is, it will not recover its
texture as sponge will do when compressed. Also, it will not keep, but
in a few days become mouldy. Where bean-flour has been used, which
bakers generally prefer, on account of the great portion of gluten
which it contains, (and for this reason it bears a higher price in
the market than flour itself,) the bread will soon dry and crack; or
the fraud may be discovered by the smell on toasting a slice of the
bread before the fire. The adulteration, by means of flour of peas is
more common among bakers, and more difficult of detection than that of
beans: the only means for ascertaining the fraud, by inspection, that I
am aware of, are those of its drying and cracking soon, and being more
heavy and considerably less porous than bread made entirely of wheaten
flour. The admixture of clay, gypsum, chalk, whiting, slacked lime,
bone-ashes, &c. is to be ascertained by the close texture, brittle or
crumbly nature, undue weight, smell, and taste of the article. But
analysis in each case is the truest test; and this may be performed in
the following manner.

Cut the crust of the loaf into very thin slices, and, breaking these
into pieces, put them into a glass cucurbit, with a large quantity of
water; set this into a sand furnace, and let it stand therein with a
moderate warmth for about the space of twenty-four hours. By this time
the foreign ingredients will have separated from the genuine flour; the
alum will have dissolved in the water, and may be extracted from it in
the usual way. The jalap, if any have been used, (for it is not all the
fraternity or brotherhood that have the consideration or humanity to
introduce it into their life-destroying compositions,) will swim upon
the top in the form of a coarse film; and the other ingredients, being
heavy, will sink quite to the bottom, while the genuine flour will
remain above them in the consistence of pap, which, being drawn off,
will leave the adulterated articles in the form of a white powder at
the bottom.

But as cucurbits and sand-furnaces are not “a part and parcel” of every
family’s household chattels, if the off-hand tests above mentioned
are not satisfactory, slice the loaf as before directed, and, putting
the slices, with a sufficient quantity of water, into a pipkin, over
a gentle fire, you will find in the course of a little time that
the bread will be reduced to a pap, and, on drawing that off, the
bone-ashes and other adulterating ingredients may be found in the form
of a white powder at the bottom.

The pernicious ingredients, alum and spirits of vitriol, used by bakers
in the manufacture of bread, are intended, in the cant phrase of the
trade, “as binders and whiteners.” Few persons will credit the fact
that this last-mentioned article is made use of in the manufacture of
bread; but, if any person feels himself aggrieved by the assertion,
I am prepared to verify my information, and point out the culprits.
By the insertion of these ingredients, tens of thousands of children,
under three years of age, are annually consigned to the grave in this
“happy” country; and to their cause, in conjunction with the horrid
articles before stated, are to be assigned the number of sudden deaths
that are daily occurring, and a large portion of the diseases under
which mankind are suffering.

The presence of alum may be detected by immersing a small piece of the
crumb of new baked bread in a quantity of cold water sufficient to
dissolve it; when, if a pernicious quantity of alum be present in the
composition the water will acquire a sweet astringency to the taste;
the more astringent of course the greater has been the quantity of alum
used. Or a heated knife may be thrust into a loaf before it has grown
cold; if the bread be free from alum, scarcely any alteration will be
visible on the blade; but, should alum have been made use of, as soon
as the knife cools, a slight aluminous incrustation will appear upon
it. But this last method is, as Mr. Accum properly observes, but an
equivocal test, on account of the impurity of the common salt used in
making bread. When spirits of vitriol, diluted with water, have been
used, the only test to detect this most pernicious and unprincipled
adulteration is by chemically analysing the suspected article.

But the adulteration-trade observing that the insertion of the “horrid
array” of pernicious articles, which their diabolical ingenuity
substituted in the stead of wholesome meal or flour, had an astringent
effect on the human constitution, and, fearing the consequences of a
detection, have lately had recourse to the introduction of jalap into
their sponge, in order to give their mischievous composition a laxative
or purgative effect on the constitution of their deluded customers.
The best test of the insertion of this drug is its effects. Others
counteract the constipating effects of the alum by the addition of
subcarbonate of potash, which neutralizes the excess of the sulphuric
acid of the alum, and promotes the disengagement of the carbonic acid
gas, whereby the particles of the flour are more minutely divided, and
the bread rendered lighter.

Having stated the ready methods of ascertaining the good or bad
qualities of bread, it is a necessary consequence that I should not be
silent about those of flour.

The following are the usual tests for ascertaining the quality of
flour. Grasp a handful briskly, and squeeze it for half a minute; if
pure and unadulterated, it preserves the form of the cavity of the hand
in one piece when placed upon the table, although it may be roughly set
down. Adulterated flour, on the contrary, soon falls down. That mixed
with whiting, white clay, or the like materials, is the most adhesive,
though it soon gives way; but if the adulteration be ground bones,
gypsum, or plaster of paris, it almost immediately falls. Where there
is the presence of much bran, the grasped specimen will soon crumble,
and this fraud may, also, be discovered by the colour and feel. It
may also be observed that genuine flour will retain the impression of
even the grains of the skin longer than that which is adulterated, the
latter soon throwing off the fine marks. Also, let a person, having a
moist hand, rub flour briskly between the palms of both hands; if there
be whiting in it, he will find resistance; but none, if the flour is
pure. Or, partially dip the fore-finger and thumb into a little sweet
oil, and take up a small quantity of the flour between them; if it
is pure it may be rubbed for any length of time, and will not become
sticky or adhesive, and the substance will turn nearly black; but if
whiting is present, it will soon be worked up into the consistence of
putty, and its colour but little altered. Lemon juice, or vinegar,
dropped upon flour, will also show the presence of whiting or plaster
of paris; if the flour is pure it will remain at rest; but if it is
adulterated an immediate commotion takes place. Where there is time
to try the unsoundness of flour, put a table-spoonful into a basin
and mix it with cold water, until it is of the consistence of batter
pudding; then set a small pan upon the fire containing half a gill of
water, and when the water is hot, pour in the batter just before it
boils, and let it boil for about the space of three minutes. If sound,
the flour will unite like a good pudding does; if unsound it breaks,
curdles, and appears somewhat watery. By observing it while it is warm,
some judgement may be formed of its different degrees of unsoundness.
The usual test of people in the flour-trade is to knead a small
quantity of the article; if good, an adhesive, ductile, and elastic
paste is immediately formed, which may be elongated and drawn in every
direction, without being entirely separated. The only ready test for
the detection of _sharp whites_ and _stuff_ is by the taste.

When the farina of potatoes, or, as it is commonly termed,
potatoe-starch, is mixed with flour, the fraud may, according to M.
Chevalier, a French chemist, be discovered by sprinkling a little of
the suspected article on black paper, when through a powerful lens, or
microscope, the farina or starch may be discovered by the brilliancy of
its particles.

To ascertain the presence of insects in flour, examine it in a good
light, and if your suspicion be correct, you will observe the whole
surface in motion, and on a nicer inspection there will be found in
it a great number of little animals of the colour of flour, and of an
oblong and a slender form. When they have once taken possession of a
parcel of this commodity, it is impossible to drive them out; and they
increase so fast, that the only method of preventing the total loss of
the whole parcel, is to make it into bread as soon as possible. The
only known way of preventing those insects from breeding in flour is to
preserve it from damp; to effect which it should be always carefully
and thoroughly dried before it is put up, and the barrels, also, should
be carefully dried before the flour is stored in them, and placed in a
room tolerably warm and dry.


 [L] The addition of the farina or starch of the potato improves the
 bread, by counteracting its constipating effects, and by minutely
 dividing the particles of the flour during the fermentation; and for
 this reason its introduction into home-made bread would, as the author
 of “The Oracle of Health and Long Life,” says, be beneficial to health,
 as making it more nutritious and digestible.


_Meat and Fish._

The Butcher has his arts and sophistications. To make meat weigh
as heavy as possible he checks the full bleeding of the victim of
his knife, and to make it appear plump and white and glistening,
particularly joints of veal and lamb, he inflates the cellular
membrane, by blowing into it with all his might, the breath respired
from his lungs: by means of which practice, should he be infected with
any loathsome disease, his customers stand a very good chance of being
inoculated with “the blessing.” The distension of the cellular membrane
is the sign of meat having received the benefit of this operation.

Among other deceits in use among the “knights of the cleaver” is,
the doctoring of joints of animals which have died of disease, by
the skilful introduction of slips of fat into different parts of the
joint, so as to give it the appearance of meat which had been killed
in a healthy state. A recent occurrence at Guildhall has proved this
practice in all its enormity, and shown that it is carried on to no
trifling extent. From the same transaction it came out in evidence
that the art is sufficiently extensive to employ a certain part of the
“butchering craft” in its distinct mysteries. Probably by “professors
of the knife and cleaver” it is considered as the _ne plus ultra_ of
butcher-skill, and has its appropriate honours and rewards. But this is
known only to the initiated in the “_profession_.”

While discoursing of this feat of butcher-ingenuity, it seems not
misplaced to observe that the sausages in London are often made out
of the carcases of animals that have died. This fact, also, was
brought to Mr. Bull’s knowledge, in the course of the evidence in the
before-mentioned case. And I can assure my readers, that even when they
are not favoured with sausages made of this savoury food, they do not
often get meat in sausages better than carrion; and that more than one
half of all sausage-meat consists of bone, gristle, and bread, reduced
to almost an impalpable powder by means of the machine, and then worked
up with a due modicum of water. Nor is this the least part of the evil.
From accidental causes and the frauds of the vender, they are often
poisonous. Dr. Paris has well observed, in his useful work on diet,
that the viscera and intestines of animals, and also their livers, are
often poisonous, while the meat of the animal is perfectly wholesome.
This proves, as that gentleman well observes, that sausages are not
deserving of that general use in which they are held in London: for
the integument which encloses the sausage is often highly injurious to
health, while the meat possesses no deleterious quality whatever. The
poisonous nature of sausages arising from fraud is partly occasioned by
the carelessness of the manufacturer in regard of the vessels in which
he keeps his meat, but more generally from the quality of the meat
which he uses. Some years ago a German chemist discovered, on analysing
German sausages, that they contained a portion of prussic acid (the
most potent poison known); from the eating of which several persons
died. Could the exact cause have been ascertained, it would probably
have been found that they were made from the meat of dead animals.

The goodness of meat depends much on the season of the year. Thus the
flesh of most full grown quadrupeds is in the highest season during the
first months of winter. Beef and mutton are in the greatest perfection
in the months of November, December, and January. Pork is only good in
winter; during the summer months it is not wholesome. Venison is in the
highest season from the middle of June to the beginning of September.
Lamb and veal during the summer months.

The distinguishing sign of young and old meat is, that in the latter
the fat is chiefly collected in masses, or layers external to the
muscles; while in the former it is more interspersed among the muscular
fibres, giving the flesh a marbled appearance.

The quality of animal food is also considerably influenced by the sex;
that of the female (which sooner attains perfection) being always more
delicate and finer grained than that of the male, whose fibres and
flavour are stronger and more rank. But this rule prevails only during
the early age of the female; for, as it grows older, it gets tougher,
instead of mellowing by age as the male does.

Over fat meat should not be chosen; as sheep in the first stage of the
rot, or about four weeks after becoming tainted, feed inordinately, and
are much disposed to fatten; which propensity graziers and butchers
omit no opportunity to promote, in order to increase their profits.
Excessive fatness is, therefore, no bad sign for judging of the
unwholesomeness, or rather rottenness of mutton, as it is generally
produced artificially.

Meat that has been over driven, and killed, as the butchers term it,
_on the drift_, should be always rejected as unwholesome; besides,
it weighs heavier than if the animal had been killed while its blood
was in a healthy state; for, by the over-driving the blood has been
so diffused in the cellular membrane, that it cannot be drawn off by
bleeding; and the meat is heavier to the benefit of the butcher, but to
the loss of the consumer. The florid colour of meat is a sign of the
blood not having been properly drawn away.

The whiteness of the flesh of lamb and veal is often produced by
feeding the animal with milk in which chalk is mingled, or by tying
it up in a stall with a piece of chalk covered with salt constantly
before it to lick. Sometimes calves are suspended by their hind legs
with the head downwards for hours together, and then bled to death
slowly, for the purpose of whitening the flesh. And, among the other
complicated and lengthened acts of cruelty, to which avarice resorts
to extract the largest possible price from the sufferings of a poor
harmless creature, is the tying of calves together by the hind legs,
and suffering them to remain suspended across the back of a horse, with
their heads downwards, for hours together, in their way from market; a
practice adopted by butchers for the purpose of rendering the meat of
the body as white as possible.

Nor are fishmongers less crafty and dishonest than the other dealers
in the necessaries of life. Sea-fish, particularly cod, haddock,
and whiting, are subject to the operation of inflating the cellular
membrane, in order to make them look plump, and increase the bulk of
the fish. The imposition is detected by pressing each side of the
orifice at the belly of the fish between the thumb and finger, when the
air will be perceived to escape.

The signs that fish are fresh are the firmness or stiffness of the
fish, the redness of its gills, and the brightness of the eyes.
Whiteness of muscle and the absence of oiliness and viscidity are also
signs of wholesomeness of this species of food. Flakiness and opaque
appearance, with a layer of white curdy matter interspersed between the
flakes, after the fish has been cooked, are signs of the goodness of
turbot, cod, whiting, haddock, flounder, and sole.

The gills should also smell sweet, the fins be tight up, and the eyes
not sunk. The reverse of any of these signs shows that it is stale.
Thickness of flesh generally shows the good condition of fish.

Fish out of season, that is after spawning, are unwholesome; and for
this reason the legislature has found it necessary to fix the periods
at which the fishing of salmon and the dredging of oysters shall be


_Tea, Coffee, Chocolate, and Sugar._


No article of consumption is more subject to adulteration than the
pleasant one which forms the principal ingredient of the tea-table.
It is not only adulterated by the Chinese vender, but it undergoes
sophistication by the Chinese artist. By the former several vegetable
productions, particularly a kind of moss, are mixed among genuine tea,
and often sold by the _antemundane_ subjects of “the Brother of the Sun
and Moon, and The Light of Nations,” in its stead.

Among the manufacturers and venders of tea in our “fair isle”—“the
land of the wise, the eloquent, the free,”—the dried leaves of the
birch, ash, or elder tree, and particularly those of the privet or
white thorn, and the black thorn or sloe, (both which last-mentioned
specimens possess more of the qualities of the tea leaf than any other
known vegetable,) are manufactured and fabricated to represent this
delicious article of English female consumption: and the colouring,
dyeing, and staining process is accomplished by the agency of terra
japonica, logwood, verdigris, copperas, Prussian blue, carbonate of
copper, Dutch pink, &c. by the English, and, it is said, even by the
Chinese artist; which ingredients (namely, the five last-mentioned,)
are among the most potent poisons. According to Mr. Accum’s testimony
(Culinary Poisons, p. 220, note,) Mr. Twining, the eminent tea-dealer,
asserts that “the leaves of spurious tea are boiled in coppers with
copperas and sheep’s dung.” And it is a known fact that tea-leaves are
purchased, from the London coffee houses and shops, by a regular set of
men, who make their weekly rounds for the purpose, to be re-dried and

As it may be interesting to my readers to be informed of the progress
of the “march of intellect” in the imitative process of preparing sham
tea, and to have an opportunity of _admiring_ the ingenuity of fraud
and villany displayed in the fabrication, I shall endeavour to gratify
their reasonable curiosity.

The white thorn and the sloe, or black thorn, as I have already said,
are the principal leaves employed in the fabrication of the sham or
imitative teas, on account of their possessing more of the qualities
of the tea-leaf than any other known vegetable. From the white thorn
is manufactured the green tea; and from the black thorn, or sloe, the
black variety. These leaves are gathered and collected from the hedges
around the metropolis, by a number of agents hired by the fabricators;
and these sub-imps in the “black art” are rewarded for their honest
labours with a remuneration of from one penny to twopence a pound. I
have been told by one of those worthies that he is able to make between
two and three pounds a week by his “vocation,” and has not “hard labour
too;” for he likes, as he says, “to play oft at times a bit of the
gentleman.” And, by a tea-leaf collector, I was once informed that
his usual returns, or rather clear gains, were between six and seven
pounds per week, and this “for only mornings’ work.” Of course, I
suppose, like other large “capitalists” and “the moneyed interests,”
he put on his silk stockings in the evenings, and exhibited his “sweet
person” at “Almacks,” or some of the fashionable “Hells,” or “Evening,”
or “Musical parties” at the “West End.” But, as to the indisputable
reality of this “_transmogrification_,” your deponent knoweth not.

But to the subject in hand. The sloe, or black thorn, leaves are first
boiled; then, when the water is squeezed from them in a press, they are
baked on a flat iron plate; and, when dry, rubbed between the hands
to produce the curl of the genuine tea. The colour is then produced
by the application of Dutch pink, and a small quantity of logwood;
when, “_mirabile dictu!_” “_good, wholesome, nutritious_ black tea”
is produced equal to, and probably surpassing the specimens of the
monopolists of Leadenhall-street.

The process is equally rapid and efficacious in the fabrication of
green tea; the leaves being boiled, pressed, and dried in the same
manner as I have described, takes place with the black imitation-tea,
only that the drying process is performed on plates of copper. The
blueish hue or bloom observable on genuine tea is produced by mixing
with the leaves Prussian blue or Dutch pink, in fine powder, while the
leaves are heating upon the plates, and verdigris is added to complete
the operation. The leaves are then sifted, to separate them from
the thorns and stalks; and should there not be a “quantum sufficit”
of the fine green bloom (the indubitable criterion of genuineness
in the estimation of our “fair countrywomen,”—the ancient, as well
as “the bewitching;”) the operator kindly and generously adds, more
verdigris and Dutch pink or Prussian blue. And again “_pure, genuine,
exhilarating_” green tea is produced as quick as thought, and that even
in the darkness of a town cellar, some few feet under ground.

The profits on these transmutations are enormous; Mr. Accum, at p. 205
of his useful book, says that it has been stated to be from £300 to
£600 per cent. And the extent to which the nefarious traffic is carried
is still more surprising. According to a report of the Committee of the
House of Commons in the year 1783, it is stated that “the quantity of
fictitious tea which was annually manufactured from sloe and ash-tree
leaves, in different parts of England, to be mixed with genuine teas,
was computed at more than _Four Millions of Pounds_.” This computation
was made when the genuine teas, sold by the East-India Company, at
their sales, amounted to only six millions of pounds annually. What
then must be the amount of the illicit traffic now, when the Company’s
sales are about thirty millions of pounds annually! This proves that
the ingenious author of the following lines, which appeared in the
Literary Journal, vol. 1, p. 14, cannot be supposed to be “much out in
his reckoning:”

    “_China_ and _Porto_, now farewell;
    Let others buy what you’ve to sell,
        Your Port and your Bohea;
    For we’ve our native sloe divine,
    Whose _fruit_ yields all our _Porto wine_,
      Whose _leaves_ make all our _Tea_.”

But John, “with all his easy gullibility,” will, no doubt say, “this
is all stuff; show me proofs.” Well, John, thou art a good creature,
thou wilt never believe “aught against thy enemy,” until he hath robbed
thee of thy senses, and what is dearer to thee, thy “_stuff_.” But to
prevent a too frequent repetition of thy misfortune, I will open the
budget to thy admiring eyes. Look, John, over thy files of the London
Newspapers, particularly the “Times” and “Courier,” from March to
July, in the year 1818, and there thou mayest entertain thy optics and
cerebral nerves with a goodly array of prosecutions and convictions
of manufacturers and venders of factitious tea. In one instance, thou
wilt read of £840 damages being given against one culprit. Nor is this
all of the illicit doings, John. There have been many prosecutions and
convictions since the time specified, with which I recommend thee to
recreate “thy often infirmity” of incredulity. Mr. Accum, at page 203
of his work, says that, in Scotland and Ireland, the penalties imposed
for this offence “amounted, during a few months, to more than fifteen
thousand pounds!”

With respect to the medicinal or deleterious effects of tea on the
animal economy, it would be misplaced to occupy the pages of a work of
this nature with their discussion. To such of my readers as may wish to
inform themselves on this subject, I recommended the perusal of “The
Oracle of Health and Long Life; or, Plain Rules for the Preservation
and Attainment of Sound Health and Vigorous Old Age. By Medicus;” as
the intelligent author of that publication has discussed the matter
with great ingenuity, and furnished a variety of hints and information
calculated to be of essential service to the consumers of this most
important article of Asiatic imports. Here it will be more useful to
detail the ready tests or methods of detecting its adulteration.
For it is an undoubted fact, as “Medicus” observes, that many of
the noxious qualities attributed to tea, arise from the two-fold
sophistication which it is frequently doomed to undergo both from the
Chinese and English adulterator before it reaches the hands of the

Where it is suspected that tea is adulterated with the leaves of other
shrubs, the fraud, if not discoverable by the appearance and fragrant
odour of the article, may be detected by putting a grain and a half
of blue vitriol into a cupful of the infusion, when, if it be genuine
green tea, and set in a good light, it will appear of a fine light
blue. If it be genuine bohea, it will turn to a deep blue, next to
black; but when an adulteration has been made in either case, a variety
of colours, as green, black, yellow, &c. will be seen in the samples
submitted to the experiment.

Where the damaged and ordinary green teas or tea leaves have been
prepared with japan earth, or other adulterating ingredients, for the
purpose of giving the leaves the colour, and the infusion the tincture
of bohea tea, the fraud may be detected by either of the following
tests or methods: 1. A less quantity of this dyed tea will give a
deeper colour to the same proportion of water than if the experimented
articles were genuine. 2. The colour it gives the water will also be of
a reddish brown, whereas, if the article be genuine, it should be dark.
3. When the leaves have been washed, by standing a little, they will
look greener than good bohea. 4. This dyed tea is generally much larger
than the genuine specimens; it is, therefore, always advisable to buy
the small leaved bohea; remembering to examine whether the ingenuity
of the artist has not been at work to break or crumble it into pieces,
so as to disguise the size of the leaves: for the adulterator’s wits
are always at work in “the black art.” 5. The liquor drawn off, which
should be smooth and balsamic to the palate, tastes rougher and harsher
than the genuine tea does. 6. If milk is poured into it, it will
rise of a reddish colour, instead of a dark or blackish brown. 7. A
little copperas put into this last-mentioned liquor will turn it to a
light blue, instead of a deep blue inclining to black. 8. Spirits of
hartshorn make good tea of a deep brownish colour, after it has stood
awhile, similar to new drawn tincture of saffron; but the same effect
does not appear when the tea is bad.

When green tea is counterfeited by dyeing bad bohea with green vitriol
the cheat may be detected by the following means: 1. By putting a piece
of gall into the infusion it will turn it to a deep blackish colour,
which would not be the case were vitriol or copperas not present.
2. If the infusion made of this tea be of a pale green, and incline
to a blueish dye, it is bad. 3. Spirit of hartshorn will give it a
slight purple tinge, and precipitate a small sediment, instead of a
deep greenish yellow after it has stood about half a dozen minutes.
4. Where the adulteration has been made with carbonate of copper,
the fraud is detected, by shaking up a tea-spoonful of the suspected
article in a phial with two tea-spoonsful of liquid ammonia, diluted
with half its bulk of water; when the liquor, if copper be present,
will exhibit a fine blue colour. Mr. Accum in his work, p. 219-221,
gives other methods for testing adulterated tea.

As a general and ready test to distinguish genuine tea from the sloe,
or black thorn, and the white thorn leaf, make an infusion of it in
the common way, and then spread out some of the largest leaves to
dry; when, if the tea be genuine, the leaf will appear to be narrow
in proportion to its length, and deeply notched or serrated at the
edges, and the end or extremity acutely pointed; while the sloe, or
black thorn leaf is notched or jagged at the edges very slightly, and
is obtusely pointed. Another distinction also is, that the genuine
leaf is of a lively pale green colour, its surface smooth and glossy,
and its texture very delicate; while the adulterated leaf is of a
dark olive green colour, its texture much coarser and surface more
uneven. The leaves of the white thorn, when moistened and spread, have
a less resemblance to the genuine tea-leaf than is the case with the
sloe-leaf. The leaves of the other imitative or sham teas have still a
less resemblance, and for this reason they are but seldom used. With
respect to the different kinds of tea imported from China the shape
of the leaf is the same in all of them, though its size varies; for
all the varieties are the produce of the same plant; the difference of
quality and properties depend chiefly on the difference of climate,
soil, culture, age, time of gathering, and mode of drying the leaves.
The difference of the size of the leaf is occasioned in a great measure
by the different seasons at which it is gathered.


Several substitutes are vended by the grocers and coffee-dealers,
instead of the coffee-berry, when purchased in a ground state, or
allowed to pass through the vender’s mill. Among many others may
be mentioned ground dried acorns, horse-chestnuts, horse-beans,
pigeon-beans, peas, nuts, barley, rice, wheat, parsnips, carrots, &c.
but the best imitation of the real berry is obtained by roasting blue
succory, or rye, with the addition of a few almonds. As all these
articles, however, have but little resemblance in flavour to real
coffee, except what they acquire from the torrefaction, and their
empyreumatic oil, they are seldom vended solely by themselves, except
to the coffee-shops of London, or those whom the dealers consider as
“a plucked pigeon,” but are ingeniously mixed with a portion of the
genuine berry.

Friend John will, no doubt, as usual, call to his assistance his
native incredulity, and ask for proof against his “pals,” the grocer
and coffee-dealer. To satisfy his just curiosity let him look to the
same file of papers to which he was referred respecting tea, and there
he will have no reason to be longer hard of belief. He will there
find that one “_gentleman_ grocer,” disliking the trouble of grinding
horse-beans, pigeon’s beans, &c. proceeded by short hand, and threw in
a dash (not a _pinch_) of gravel or sand; for which act of kindness
towards his customers he was convicted in the penalty of £50. See the
case of The King against Chaloner, a tea and coffee dealer.

But, probably, John, when he finds himself no longer able to cling to
his strong hold—incredulity—will exclaim, shew us, then, your chemical
test and analysis.—Ah! John, the coffee sophisticator is too much for
us; his art is beyond the reach of short or long tests, or of hard or
easy ones: he may do as he likes, unless thou canst put thy hoof upon
some of his nicely packed-up parcels; and to accomplish this purpose
thou, or thy representative, the poor, badly-paid, half-starved,
ill-requited Excise-officer, must detect him in his machinations
on his own proper “dominium” or “natale solum:” scarcely any other
detection will satisfy that old lady’s scrupulosity and exactness—that
“golden calf” of thy idolatry—that “all perfect and superhuman mass
of incongruity and intricacy”—THE LAW. Thou, therefore, seest plainly
that the only certain way to have a drop of the “pure stuff” is to
purchase the berry in its raw state and roast it, and what is still
more important, _to grind_ it thyself. But, if thou dost not understand
all these processes to a-t—, thou mayst find them, with some other very
interesting arcana of the science, detailed in a work which I shall
shortly publish for the instruction and guidance of housekeepers of all
kinds and descriptions, and which I shall entitle “_The Housekeepers’
Guide to Domestic Comfort, Household Management, and Practical
Economy_.” This, John, I intend shall be a rare work—quite a tit-bit
for thy fancy; and the price a mere “four-penny matter.” It shall
not be a “marrowless collection of shreds and patches, and cuttings
and pastings,” selected or stolen out of old useless books, but a
collection of practical facts, conducing to domestic comfort and real

As I must, friend John, have, by the foregoing particulars, alarmed
thy coffee-drinking propensities, it is but fair to let thee into the
secret of ascertaining good coffee.

Know then, friend Bull, and all ye little Bulls, who may have the
satisfaction of deriving your paternity from that ancient and
honourable stock, that coffee, commercially considered, is of three
sorts: the Arabian, or Mocha coffee, the East-Indian coffee, and the
West-Indian coffee. Of these, the Mocha, or Turkey, coffee is generally
esteemed the best, and is so stated by all the writers on the subject;
but this is not the case: for the Java coffee is considered, by all
competent judges, to be superior, as it contains a considerably larger
proportion of oil. Among the East-Indian species, that of Bourbon
is preferred. Of the West-Indian produce, the growth of the French
colonies is most esteemed, particularly that of Martinique. The coffee
of Surinam, Berbice, Demerara, and Cayenne, is the least valued. The
inferiority of the coffee of the British colonies is supposed to be
occasioned by its being put to dry in houses where sugar and rum are
kept, or by being set in vessels freighted with those commodities, or
other substances of a strong scent, from which the coffee imbibes the

Mocha, or Turkey, coffee (namely, in a raw or unroasted state) should
be chosen of a greenish olive hue, fresh and new, free from any musty
smell, the berries of a middling size, and clean and plump. Good
West-Indian coffee should also be of a greenish cast, fresh, free from
mouldy smells, and the berry small. East-Indian coffee is of a pale,
and partly of a deep yellow colour. Java coffee is distinguished by its
being a large, light, yellow berry.

These are the general tests or methods for ascertaining the quality of
raw coffee; those for roasted are similar as to the size of the berry:
the other criteria are that it should not be too much roasted, but of a
bright chestnut colour, and of a fresh fragrant smell.

I cannot, I apprehend, close this article more appropriately and
serviceably, than by exhorting my readers to recollect that the
presence of any of the adulterating ingredients in coffee is of the
greatest prejudice to health, and is apt to cause a distressing weight
on the stomach if the adulterated coffee be used daily for some time.
The detail of the beneficial and injurious effects is ably stated in
“_The Oracle of Health and Long Life_.”


Chocolate is frequently adulterated with noxious ingredients,
particularly vanilla and castile soap; the first article is used for
giving it a fragrant odour, and the second for causing it to froth
when it is dissolved in the water: a large proportion of flour, also,
instead of the kernel of the cocoa-nut, makes up the composition.

Chocolate, to be good, should be of a brown colour, inclining to red;
when broken, it should appear of a smooth and uniform consistence in
the fracture, without any granulated particles, and should melt easily
in the mouth, leaving no roughness or astringency, but rather a cooling
sensation upon the tongue; which last quality is the most decisive
criterion of its genuineness.


Considerable ingenuity is exerted in the adulteration of sugar. The
moist sugars are mixed up with sand, salt, flour, and a variety of
other ingredients of little or no cost. The loaf, or lump sugar
receives the addition of lime, chalk, gypsum, plaster of paris, or any
white material which will save expense to the “_refiner_.”

Lump, or loaf sugar, to be good, should be close, heavy, and shining:
though, by the bye, some of the craft have lately contrived to
introduce some sparkling particles of marble, to produce the shining
appearance. That which easily breaks, and appears porous or spongy and
of a dull cast, has not been properly manufactured, and has an undue
proportion of lime, &c. in its composition. Of the moist kind, chuse
that which is distinguished by the sharpness, brightness, and loose
texture of the grain, and which, when rubbed between the finger and
the thumb, is not easily pulverized: those kinds are to be preferred
which have a peculiar grey hue, in conjunction with the brightness
and other criteria just mentioned. The soft and close grained sugars,
though of a good colour, should be rejected as saturated with too
much earthy matter. The East India varieties do not contain so much
saccharine matter as the produce of the West India colonies. Neither
is the _crush-lump_, which is manufactured from treacle and employed
by grocers for mixing with the common sorts of brown sugar, equal
to the West India produce in sweetening power. Adulterated sugar is
readily discovered by the taste and sediment left at the bottom of the
vessel in which it is dissolved. The presence of _crush-lump_ may be
recognized by the uniformity of the appearance of moist sugar.

Rules for the choice of currants, raisins, rice, and other articles
of grocery, are detailed in “DOMESTIC COMFORTS AND ECONOMY,” a work
containing a store of information for the economizing and skilful
management of household expenditure.




Pepper is subject to adulteration, like most other articles of
consumption. The spurious pepper consists of chalk, flour, ground
mustard-seed, &c. mingled with a certain portion of the genuine berry,
a quantity of pepper dust, or the sweepings of the pepper warehouses,
mixed with a little Cayenne pepper; the whole being made into a
cohesive mass by means of mucilage. Even the whole berry has not
been able to escape the ingenuity of sophistication. The adulterated
berry is manufactured of the hulls of mustard-seed, or oil-cakes
composed of the residue of lint-seed, from which the oil has been
pressed, glue, common clay or chalk, and a certain quantity of stuff
known and purchased in the market under the name and cabalistical
abbreviations of P. D. or D. P. D., the first mentioned of which
delectable ingredients is the dust which falls from the pepper-corns
by their rubbing against each other in their voyage from the place
of their growth to that of their importation; the other is the
sweepings or refuse of the pepper warehouses. The first abbreviation
signifies _pepper dust_; the second, _dirt of pepper dust_. The mode
of manufacturing these inviting ingredients is to granulate the mass
by pressing it through a sieve, and then to roll the grains about in a
cask until they take a globular form. “Artists” are then employed to
stick into each pepper-corn little sprigs, in order to simulate the
appearance of the genuine berry. This practice was long carried on in
London, without the least interruption or suspicion of the fraud on the
public and the revenue, until the collection of the duties was, in the
year 1819, transferred from the Customs to the Excise; when, on that
occasion, several convictions of the offenders took place, which may be
seen in the newspapers published about that period.

Pepper is of two kinds, the black and the white. Black pepper should
be chosen large, heavy, firm, and not much shrivelled. White pepper
is either factitious or genuine: the former is the ripe and perfect
berry, prepared by steeping in sea-water and urine the best and
soundest grains of black pepper for about the space of a week, when
the skin or rind bursting, they are taken out and exposed to the heat
of the sun until the skin or outer bark loosens, when they are rubbed
with the hand till the rind falls off. The internal kernels are next
perfectly dried in the sun, and then they are fit to be ground or
manufactured into white pepper, together with such foreign ingredients
as the conscience or ingenuity of the adulterator may suggest. The
genuine white pepper consists of the blighted or imperfect berries
of the same plant as produces the black pepper; but as it does not
possess a strength and pungency, even when not adulterated, equal to
the common black pepper, it is by no means preferable to that variety
for domestic purposes, except where appearance is consulted, as in the
case of its being brought to table. In fact, white pepper is always,
whether genuine or factitious, inferior in flavour and quality to black
pepper; and where it is factitious, its peculiar flavour and pungency
are nearly lost.

Where the berries are supposed to be factitious, the readiest way of
detecting the fraud, (independent of the deterioration of quality and
flavour, which must be evident to every judge of the genuine article,)
is to throw a few of the pepper-corns into a little water; when the
artificial produce will swell up and soon become soft and sticky, and
on the least degree of agitation will dissolve or fall to powder, while
the genuine corns will remain whole and unaffected.

The same precaution that I have said should be observed by the
purchasers of coffee—namely, never to let it pass through the
mill of the grocer or vender, should also be observed in the
purchase of pepper. When the cunning varlets have none of the
adulterated pepper-corns by them, they will be sure of exerting some
sleight-of-hand in slipping into the mill some of the before-mentioned
sophisticating articles, or flour, or powdered hemp-seed or rape-seed
cake, or ivory black, or the hieroglyphical P. D. or D. P. D. (if they
are not already patiently waiting in the mill to lend their services as
make-weights;) notwithstanding the poor purchaser may suppose himself
lynx-eyed, and proof against imposition.

Another article of the pepper kind, friend John, with which thou art
fond of tickling thy delicate appetite, and of exhibiting on “gaudy
days,” as the sons of Alma Mater phrase it, in thy well polished
castors, to thy admiring guests, like a sparkling star to be found only
in the remotest part of the heavens, is the subject of sophisticating
roguery. What thinkest thou, John, of the “dear bought,” “far fetched,”
“long sought,” “gentleman-like” Cayenne pepper, which thou often
wrappest up in as many folds of paper as an onion hath coats, that
it should not lose its virtue, being adulterated with “red lead,” to
prevent the delectable mass of which it is composed from becoming
bleached on exposure to the light. I was thinking, friend Bull, to
furnish thee with a test for discovering the fraud, but as I know
of no one better than that given by thy expatriated countryman, the
much injured Accum, I must refer thee to his book, 4th edition, p.
247. Perhaps the following extract from that excellent work, (the
only book on cookery extant, that can be safely trusted to; for the
genius of cookery is, believe me, John, in colleague with the spirit
of sophistication against thy health; and for a confirmation of this
assertion thou needest only look to the formulæ given in cookery books
for imparting a fresh and lively green colour or hue to pickles—not
to mention the consequences of the concentration of the virtues of
certain articles, which, though harmless, while used in their original
and simple state, are, as the author of the “ORACLE OF HEALTH AND LONG
LIFE” observes, in their concentrated state, potent poisons;) the
_Cook’s Oracle_, by the late Dr. Kitchener, will be better adapted to
thy wants and taste.

“We advise those who are fond of Cayenne not to think it too much
trouble to make it of English chillies—_there is no other way of being
sure it is genuine_.—They will obtain a pepper of much finer flavour
without half the heat of the foreign; and a hundred chillies will
produce two ounces. The flavour of the chillies is very superior to
that of the capsicums. Put them in a warm place to dry, then rub them
in a mortar, as fine as possible, and keep them in a well stopped

Wholesome and economical receipts for making most of the other articles
vended in oil shops will be found in the same useful work. Buy the
work, John, thou wilt have no reason to begrudge the price; it is
equally valuable to the man of “high” or “low estate;”—to him to whom
dinner is the chief business of the day, who merely lives to eat, than
eats to live—who seeth the sun rise with no other hope than that he
should fill his belly, before it sets, who is not satisfied till he is
surfeited; as well as to the man who lives according to old English
hospitality, and eateth merely to satisfy nature and his better health.


Great fraud is often practised by the vender in the sale of this
commodity, either by depriving the cloves of their oil, which is easily
drawn from them either by distillation or by simple pressure, or by
causing them to imbibe or absorb a quantity of water a short time
previous to their sale. When the oil has been extracted, the fraud may
be discovered by the cloves appearing shrivelled, light, of a paler
colour than their usual dark brown hue when perfect, without the ball
or knob at the top, and with little taste or smell. When they have been
forced to imbibe water for the purpose of increasing their weight, the
adulteration may be detected by pressure between the fingers, and by
the flavour and fragrance of the exudation. When good and bad cloves
have remained long intermingled, the bad gradually absorb oil from the
good, in which case the fraud becomes difficult of detection.

The clove to be in perfection should be large sized, plump, heavy, of a
fine fragrant smell, and a hot aromatic taste, not easily disappearing
off the tongue; easily broken, and when pressed between the thumb and
finger should leave an oily moisture upon them, producing a slight
sensation of smarting.


Cinnamon is adulterated by either mixing cassia bark with it, or
a portion of the genuine article, which has been deprived of its
essential oil by distillation.

Good cinnamon is smooth and thin, not much thicker than royal or stout
writing paper, and rather pliable; of a light yellowish cast, inclining
to red, a fragrant aromatic smell, and an agreeable sweetish taste.
Thick, hard, brownish coloured specimens, of hot, pungent, or a bitter
taste, should be rejected.

The cassia bark, which bears a great resemblance to cinnamon, is
thicker, of a coarser texture, breaks short and smooth; whereas
cinnamon breaks fibrous and splintery. The best method, however, of
distinguishing cinnamon from cassia is by the taste. Thus, when cassia
is taken into the mouth, it forms a sweet mucilage, and seems, when
good, to dissolve almost entirely, whereas cinnamon has a bitter taste,
and produces a bitter dryness in the mouth.

Criteria for judging of nutmegs, ginger, mace, &c. will be found in


 _Pickles, Vinegar, Oil, Mustard, Anchovies, Catsup, Isinglass, Soap,
 Candles, Blue or Indigo, Starch, Bees Wax, &c._


Among the poisonous articles daily vended to the public, none are of
more potent effect than the pickles sold by unprincipled oilmen. For
the purpose of giving a fresh and lively green colour or hue to those
stimulants of the palate, they are intentionally coloured by means of
copper or verdigris, or at least placed for a considerable time in
copper or brazen vessels for the purpose of allowing the articles to
be impregnated by the joint action of the metal and the vinegar. The
cookery books (save and except “_The Cook’s Oracle_”) in vogue also
direct the “lovers of good cheer” to boil their pickles in _bell metal
or copper pots_, or to boil _halfpence_ or _a bit of verdigris_ with
them, in order to impart a green colour! Ought not the authors, whose
gender seems “_doubtful_,” and Messieurs les Bibliopoles, of those
pests, to be indited for a nuisance and malice prepense to the _loving_
subjects of our late “_good old king_?”

The ready way to detect the presence of copper in these articles is
to pour a little liquid ammonia, diluted with an equal quantity of
water, over a small quantity of the suspected pickle reduced into small
pieces, and placed in an enclosed phial or vessel; when, if the pickles
contain the minutest quantity of copper, the ammonia will assume a blue


Vinegar is adulterated with sulphuric acid, muriatic acid, nitric acid,
oil of vitriol, a variety of acrid vegetable substances, and frequently
contains metallic impregnations of lead, tin, pewter, iron, and copper,
from the stills or vessels in which it is made. Its more harmless
adulteration is a considerable dilution with water.

Vinegar is prepared from a variety of substances; but its common
preparations are from wine, fruits, malt, sugar, and wood. The vinegar
made from wood is the strongest, containing at least eight times the
strength of the common preparations. It is perfectly colourless, and
its taste is very pungent and grateful. But the vinegar generally
prepared for sale in this country is made from malt; which to be good
should be of a pale brown colour, perfectly transparent, of a pleasant
and rather pungent acid taste, but without acrimony, and a fragrant
grateful odour. These are the readiest and best tests of good vinegar.
But as a false strength is frequently given to it by adding oil of
vitriol, sulphuric acid, or the extract of some acrid vegetable, as
pellitory of Spain, capsicum, &c. or metallic extracts, the tests for
ascertaining these foreign substances are as follow: If it is suspected
that vinegar is adulterated with oil of vitriol, put three or four
drops of acetate of barytes into a glass of vinegar; filtrate the
white precipitate thereby produced through paper, and heat the powder
or residuum remaining in a tobacco-pipe until it is red hot. Then put
it into spirit of salt or diluted aqua-fortis; if the precipitate
dissolves, the vinegar is genuine; if not, it is adulterated. But if
metallic adulteration is suspected, add liquid ammonia to the vinegar,
until the odour of the ammonia predominates; if the mixture assumes
a blackish tint, it is a sign that copper is present in the article.
If the presence of lead be suspected, add water impregnated with
sulphuretted hydrogen to the suspected vinegar; if the mixture becomes
black or yields a black precipitate, your suspicion is well founded.


Olive oil is frequently adulterated by mixing with it the oil of poppy
seeds or a decoction of cucumbers, which latter ingredients easily
unite with the oleaginous substances. It is frequently impregnated
with lead, from the circumstance of the fruit which yields the oil
being compressed between leaden plates, and the oil being suffered to
remain in pewter or leaden cisterns in order to become clear before
it is offered for sale. This last injurious quality is communicated
afresh to the commodity by the retail venders, who frequently keep a
pewter vessel immersed in the oil, for the purpose, as they assert, of
preserving the liquid from becoming rancid. It is however proper to
state that the metallic contamination by the wholesale manufacturer
chiefly belongs to the Spanish produce: the French and Italian
manufacture is usually free from the impregnation.

The presence of lead or any metal deleterious to health is detected, by
shaking in a stopped phial some of the suspected oil with a quantity of
water impregnated with sulphuretted hydrogen, in the proportion of one
part of the former to two parts of the latter ingredient; when the oil,
if adulterated, will become of a dark brown or black colour. When the
oil of poppy seed, or the decoction of cucumber, is supposed to have
been made use of in the adulteration, their presence may be ascertained
by exposing the mixture to a freezing temperature, when the olive oil
will become frozen, while the adulterating ingredient will remain

The best olive oil is of a bright pale amber colour, somewhat inclining
to a greenish cast; free from sediment, bland to the taste, and without


Salt is frequently adulterated with sulphate of lime, for the purpose
of making it weigh heavier, appear lighter, and less liable to become


“Genuine mustard,” says Mr. Accum, (Culinary Poisons, p. 330) “either
in powder, or in a state of paste ready made, is perhaps rarely to be
met with in the shops.” Whether “_patent_,” “_best Durham_,” or of any
other pretty and imposing name, it generally consists of a composition
of mustard flour and wheaten flour; only for the additional cost of
the “patent mustard” of the respective manufacturers, the purchaser is
treated with a little cayenne pepper, a large quantity of bay salt, and
a quantum sufficit of “aqua pura.” Turmeric is the grand adulterant
of the merchant for giving the yellow colour to factitious mustard.
The _flour_ of mustard of the shops generally consists of the produce
of mustard seed, cayenne pepper, wheat flour, and turmeric; and the
_essence_ of mustard of the fashionable oilmen is composed of camphor
and oil of rosemary, dissolved in oil of turpentine, with the addition
of a little of the _flour_ of mustard!


Anchovy sauce is frequently contaminated with the pigments denominated
Venetian red or Armenian bole, which are rubbed into the mass, while
the operator is triturating the anchovy in his mortar. The Venetian
red, which is frequently adulterated with red lead, affords the deepest
and finest colour, and is accordingly used by the _fashionable_ oilman;
the aid of the Armenian bole is invoked by his more conscientious and
less aspiring brethren.

But the anchovy itself is not exempt from the sophisticating ingenuity
of the trade; for sprats are frequently prepared and sold for
anchovies. The best way of discovering the fraud is by the appearance
of the back bone, which in the anchovy is triangular for some space
from the head, while that of the sprat is flat.

The test for detecting the fraud practised in the manufacture of
anchovy sauce is the same as that which will be presently stated for
discovering the adulteration of mushroom catsup.


This common article of consumption is frequently contaminated by
copper. This deleterious quality it obtains from the mode of its
manufacture, as well as from the articles from which it is manufactured.

The usual way in which it is prepared is by boiling in a copper the
residue left in the still of the vinegar manufacturer, with a decoction
of the outer green shell of the walnut (previously prepared also by
having been boiled in a copper, in combination with common salt;)
together with a portion of allspice or pimento, pepper dust, (or
cayenne pepper, should the manufacturer be a _man of taste_;) and

The method of detecting the fraud is detailed at page 294 of Mr.
Accum’s book: it is too long for insertion here.


Isinglass, which is prepared from the air-bladders of the sturgeons,
is the subject of sophistication. The dried bladders of horses, the
skins of soles, and the intestinal membranes of calves and sheep are
frequently sold for it. The fraud may be detected by boiling the shreds
in water; when, if the article is adulterated, the spurious ingredients
will obtain only an imperfect insolubility, whereas genuine isinglass
is almost perfectly soluble in water.

Isinglass to be good, should be white, perfectly transparent, dry,
fibrous, and of a faint odour and insipid taste. The best variety
occurs in the form of a lyre or horse-shoe; the worst, flat, in the
form of a pancake. The saltish taste of fictitious isinglass is also
another of the criteria for judging of its goodness.


This article is subject to great adulteration by the introduction of
foreign ingredients into its manufacture. The easiest and speediest
test of its genuineness is by dissolving or cutting it. By the first
method, if good, it dissolves easily, while that of a coarse or an
adulterated kind dissolves with difficulty, and settles at the bottom
of the vessel. By the second method, (and which is the best criterion
of its goodness,) when cut with a knife, it exhibits a red copper-like
appearance. Where this shade is absent or only very slight, the indigo
is of an inferior quality.—Other signs of its goodness are that it
should be light, of a close texture, break easily, float on water,
be free from white specks or sand, and from white adhesive mould
externally, and when rubbed with the nail, it should have a shining
copper-like hue.


Soap is subject to great adulteration, as every person is aware who has
had an opportunity of witnessing the specimens made twenty years ago,
before “Messieurs les Artistes” had made their prodigious advances,
as our “YANKEE” brethren across the Atlantic phrase it, “in the
_progressing_ knowledge of the age.”

Good mottled soap is hard, but not brittle, well mottled, and without
any rancid, tallowy, or unpleasant acrid smell. If any of this smell
should be present, there has been an undue portion of soda or potash
used in the manufacture. A quantity of fuller’s earth is often used
to conceal the imperfections and add to the weight of the article, by
enabling it to imbibe a large quantity of water. Rancid tallow also is
often used in soap and candle-making, which has had a portion of its
substance quite destroyed by putrefaction. Of course the articles from
which it is made are of a very inferior quality. Those specimens which
have a disagreeable odour are made of horns of animals, woollen rags,
&c. instead of oil, clay often supplies the place of tallow.

There are several methods for proving the quality of soap. The author
are “some people who can ascertain it by the taste.” But as the same
gentleman observes, as it is not likely that many persons will feel a
pleasure in making the experiment, a more pleasant method is to slice
an ounce or two of the soap very thin into a basin, and having poured
boiling water upon the slices, to stir them well till they are quite
dissolved; then place the basin and contents before the fire for the
space of about twelve hours. When the mixture is quite cold, turn it
out of the basin; if no sediment appears at the bottom, it is a sign
of the goodness of the soap. Or the adulteration of the soap may be
detected, by pouring upon a little of the suspected article, thinly
sliced into a bottle, rectified spirit of wine, in the proportion of
one part of soap to six parts of spirit: then, when the bottle, being
slightly stopped, has remained a short time in a warm place, the
adulterated parts of the soap will appear unacted upon by the agent;
but if the soap be genuine, it will have become wholly dissolved.

To those who are desirous of economizing the consumption of soap,
many useful hints may be found in “THE MAIDSERVANT’S COMPANION AND
DIRECTORY;” a work which every sensible master and mistress should
cause to be carefully and attentively perused by their domestics.


Nor are candles exempt from the sophisticator’s art. Tallow candles,
to be good, should be made of equal parts of bullock’s and sheep’s
fat; which is discoverable by their being of a firm texture, a good
white colour, and not an obnoxious smell. When made of hog’s fat,
they gutter, emit an ill smell, and a thick black smoke. If alum or
pulverized marble has been mingled with the tallow, for the purpose of
giving a white appearance and a hard consistence, the wicks burn with a
dead light, and the alum spits or emits slight explosions from the wick
as it burns.

Some useful directions respecting the management and the economizing
of the consumption of candles, whether wax, mould, or dips, are to be


This commodity is subject to much adulteration by the manufacturer.
When good, it is dry, easily reducible to powder, tasteless, and
without odour. In its use in the laundry, there is no good housewife
but can distinguish, by its effects on her “lavatory occupations,” the
difference between good and bad starch: it is therefore unnecessary to
detail tests.


Bees’ wax is frequently adulterated with rosin, tallow, pease-meal,
potatoe-starch, and a mixture of oil and litharge. The introduction
of rosin into it may be discovered by its hardness, brittleness, and
want of tenacity. When adulterated with tallow, the fraud may be
detected by scratching the finger over the surface; when its clamminess
and adhesiveness to the fingers will indicate the presence of that
ingredient. In the purchase of cakes of bees’ wax the cake should
be broke, in order to ascertain whether the impurities called foot,
are not ingeniously _encased_ in a shell of pure wax. White wax is
adulterated with carbonate of lead and white tallow, to increase its

Bees’ wax, when good, is of a compact substance, somewhat unctuous
to the touch, but not adhering to the fingers or to the teeth when
it is kneaded or chewed: and when scratched by the finger-nail, no
obstruction is met with, and but little indentation or fissure made; it
also has an agreeable smell partaking of a slight odour of honey, and a
clear fresh yellow colour. Its texture is also granular.


_Butter, Cheese, Milk, Cream, and Potatoes._


Butter is not exempt from adulteration: the inferior kinds are
frequently mixed up with hogs-lard which has lost its flavour and
appearance; and not unfrequently kitchen-stuff forms a portion of the

Good butter is hard and firm; therefore that butter which is often sold
in the shops in London, that adheres to the knife when applied to, or
stuck into it, is factitious, that is, manufactured in a machine, of
the following materials—viz. rancid fresh butter, the cheap unsaleable
Scotch butters of various hues and dyes, and a quantity of salt,
well rummaged and pomelled together. This spurious commodity is of a
white cast, and generally sold under the denomination of “Dorset.”
It should be recollected that the cheesemongers never beat the good
butters, as the beating injures the flavour; they bestow their friendly
castigations only on the worthless commodity for the purpose of
extracting a portion of its rancidity and obnoxious smell.

Butter should be bought by the taste and smell. Both fresh and salt
butter should smell sweet, and be of an equal colour throughout; if
veiny and open, it has been mixed with a staler or an inferior sort.
The quality of tub butter is ascertained by putting a knife into the
butter; and if, on drawing it out, any rancid or unpleasant smell
should attach to the knife, the butter is not good; but, perhaps, the
best criterion is to taste the butter near the sides of the tub, for
the middle is often sweet when the parts near the sides of the tub are
quite rank.

Hogs-lard is adulterated with the skimmings of the liquor in which pork
or bacon has been boiled. Lard thus adulterated has a grey colour, a
soft consistence, and a salt taste; whereas lard, when pure, is white,
granular, and rather firm in texture.


When annatto is dear, or of inferior quality in appearance, it is
customary with the venders of the article to adulterate it with
vermilion or red lead. This contamination has chiefly been confined
to the Gloucester cheese; and may be detected by macerating a
small quantity of the suspected article in water impregnated with
sulphuretted hydrogen, acidulated with muriatic acid; which will
immediately cause the cheese to assume a brown or black colour, if the
minutest portion of lead be present. I am informed by a respectable
dealer, that cheese, especially old Stilton cheese, is frequently
_greened_ in particular parts with verdigris, in order to assume the
appearance of age.

The best cheese is that which is of a dry compact texture, without
holes in it; of a whitish colour, and which, on being rubbed between
the finger and thumb, almost immediately becomes a soft and somewhat
greasy mass. Nor is a moist smooth coat a bad criterion of its quality.
It should also be of a moderate age; for neither very decayed, nor
decaying cheese, is wholesome; nor is that which is new, adhesive, and
ropy, when heated by the fire, of a good kind. Cheshire cheese which
crumbles and tastes bitterish has been made of bad milk. Though cheese
is generally chosen by the taste, this is by no means a criterion of
its nutritive qualities; as the flavour generally depends on the nature
of the food which the cows eat, and often on the mode of management in
the manufacture of the cheese.

In the purchase of bacon and hams, pray bear in mind, friend John, that
many more thousands of tons of those articles are sold annually in the
metropolis of this land of “_just and equal dealing_” as “fine, new
Hampshire bacon and fine Yorkshire hams,” than are received from those
counties altogether; and that though the bacon merchants are supplied
with bacon from Ireland, none sell _Irish_ bacon. The large Irish hams
are also dried and sold for “fine fresh” Yorkshire or Westmoreland
varieties, to tickle the fancy of the “Bull Family” for rarities and
expensive purchases.


The usual sophistication of milk is a liberal quantity of warm water,
and to give consistence to the mixture, and correct the colour, a
composition of flour and yolks of eggs is added; but should there not
have been sufficient time for the operation, the immediate aid of the
cock or the pump is invoked. But some of the more skilfully initiated
“_artistes au lait_” dissolve the common cheese dye, annatto, which
occasions a mixture of milk and water to assume the colour, and nearly
the consistence of cream. Among some of the less expert a composition
of treacle and salt supplies the place of the annatto; but this mixture
does not combine so well as the annatto with the milk. Pure milk is of
a dull white colour, and a soft sweetish taste; adulterated milk is of
a bluish appearance and thin consistence.

Cream receives a copious addition of skimmed milk, flour, starch,
rice-powder, or arrow-root boiled together, to increase the
“milk-merchant’s” profits. But arrow-root is the substance which is
best adapted, and most employed for the purpose. The generally received
opinion that milk is adulterated with chalk and whitening is, as Mr.
Accum observes, erroneous; for neither of those ingredients could be
held in solution in the milk, and would therefore be useless to the
adulterator, as they would sink to the bottom of the pail while the
manufacturer was doling out his composition to his customers. But the
practice of putting the milk into leaden pans, or vessels made of that
metal, to occasion the milk to throw up a larger portion of cream, is
sufficiently authenticated, and deserves exposure, from the liability
of having the milk impregnated with particles of lead.

Perhaps some of my readers may be lovers of curds and whey; if so, I
recommend them to endeavour to get a sight of the calf’s maw, from
which the rennet is made before it is boiled. I have had the fortune
of being “blessed” with “the captivating sight” more than once; and in
each instance I absolutely saw the bladder moving alive with maggots.


Even the humble green-grocer exerts his ingenuity and “tact” in the art
of sophistication: to augment the weight of his “murphies,” and “make
them _tell_,” he soaks “the dear _cratures_” in water during the night
previous to their sale.

While discoursing of the little peccadilloes of the honest tradesmen
of “this land of Christianity,” I never apprehended that it was
possible to sophisticate fruit. But at the very moment I was about to
consummate my bold, and I hope it will prove, patriotic undertaking,
by affixing the important and consolatory, though little word, “FINIS,”
a new discovery presented itself to my astonished optics! Can you
believe me, John? I happened to pop in rather inopportunely, that is
to say, a-la-mode Paul Pry, on a fruit-artist, who was preparing some
stale plums for sale, and giving them all the bloom and fragrance
of having been just plucked from the tree. This recondite feat of
_fruitist_-ingenuity consists in anointing certain parts of the fruit
with gum water, and then shaking a muslin bag containing finely
powdered blue upon the prepared parts of the fruit, which are laid
uppermost upon a board, to receive the precious unction.—From the
honest tradesman whom I thus found patriotically engaged in furthering
“the trading and commercial interests of his dear native land,” I also
learned that some of the more skilful and enterprizing artists soak
plums in water, when they have become shrivelled, in order to plump
them out, and make them, as it is fashionably phrased, en-bon-point.

What an age of intellect do we live in! Could our good old Druidical
ancestors have supposed that their puny and degenerate offspring would
be endowed with the extraordinary gift of being able to rejuvenize old
worm-eaten nuts? Rare and sublime discovery! What, John, may we not
next expect? Surely, we have reached the millenium of the march of
intellect and the perfection of sophistication. But I must not keep the
reader longer in suspense.

The rejuvenization of Old Nuts! Just as I had finished writing the
above article, an old and almost forgotten friend called on me, one
who has long and scientifically been patriotically engaged, “in this
age of intellect,” in rejuvenizing old, rotten, worm-eaten walnuts and
almonds, of each last year’s growth, and giving their “externals” all
the whiteness and beauty of the lily-white hand of a “fine lady,” and
their “internals” all the plumpness and en-bon-point admired by his
“most moral majesty,” our late “gracious and beloved sovereign,” in his
“fair defects of nature.” By this scion of “the trading interests” I am
informed that old nuts of all kinds are first soaked in water in order
to plump them out, and then they are fumigated with sulphur for the
purpose of rendering the shells white and clean.


_Confectionary, Pastry, and Perfumery._

The confectionary-artist is not behind his compeers in trade in the
honourable vocation of sophistication. There are few articles which
owe their paternity to his handy-work, that partake wholly of the
ingredients to which they bear resemblance in name and appearance: all,
almost all, here is the work of “the black art.”

But this is not the worst part of the business. Were any person to be
admitted into the “elaboratorical pandemonium” of a pastry-cook or a
confectioner—were he to see the disgusting appearance of the vessels
in which they manufacture their articles—many of them containing
the ingredients with perfect rims of cupreous matter surrounding
them—were he to regale his eyes with the sight of the most rancid
butter bleaching for the purpose of making pastry, as I have seen, I
am sure that he would hold the productions of the confectioner and
pastry-cook’s shop in abhorrence, and would not consider Dr. Paris’s
denunciation of them, in his useful work on Diet, p. 247, as “an
abomination.” A lady with whom I am acquainted, and who lodged at
different times in the houses of confectioners and pastry-cooks, had so
good an opportunity of witnessing _the cleanliness and wholesomeness_
of their operations, that for many years she has not tasted any
commodity that comes out of their manufactories; and I verily believe
that she would die of hunger before she could induce herself to allow a
scrap of their _delicacies_ to enter her mouth.

But these “artists” not only endanger the health and lives of their
customers by the carelessness and nastiness of their conduct in their
compositions, but they employ preparations of copper, and also of red
lead in colouring their fancy sweet-meats. In the preparations of
sugar-plumbs, comfits, and other kinds of confectionary, especially
those sweat-meats of inferior quality, frequently exposed to sale in
the open-streets, for the allurement of children, Mr. Accum, p. 288,
informs us, that the greatest abuses are committed by means of powerful
poisons. The white comfits, called sugar-peas, are chiefly composed of
a mixture of sugar, starch and Cornish clay (a species of very white
pipe-clay); and the red sugar drops are usually coloured with the
inferior kinds of vermillion or sap green, and often, instead of those
pigments, with red lead and copper. As a yellow colour, cromate of
lead is used, and prussiate of iron as a blue. The stuff called “_hard
rock_,” “_hard bake_,” “_white lollypop_,” and other baby attracting
names, is of an equally deleterious quality. Nor are the ginger-bread
or sweet cakes of the ginger-baker less injurious to the health of
children, especially the “gilt ginger-bread” as it is termed, which
is covered with Dutch leaf,—a composition consisting of an alloy of
copper and zinc, or brass and copper. Indeed, all parents should, as
the author of “THE ORACLE OF HEALTH AND LONG LIFE” observes, anxiously
instruct their children never to buy any thing offered for sale in the
streets: among my acquaintance more instances than one have occurred
in which lamentable results would have been the consequence had not
timely aid been afforded the little sufferers. And for the same reason
it seems necessary to caution parents never to give painted toys
(which are always coloured with red lead, verdigris, and other potent
poisons,) to children, who are apt to put every thing, especially if it
gives them pleasure, into their mouths.

The mischievous consequences occasioned by the use of sugar
confectionary, coloured with metallic and vegetable poisons, are
provided against by the French Government, by being under the
surveillance branch of the police, entitled the Council of Health, by
whom an ordonnance is issued, that no confectionary shall be sold,
unless wrapped up in paper, stamped with the name and address of the
confectioner; and the ordonnance further provides that the vendors
shall be held responsible for all accidents occasioned by confectionary
sold in their shops. M. Chevallier has, in the Journal de Chimie
Médicale for Jan. 1831, discussed this subject with considerable

“The foreign conserves, such as small green limes, citron, hop-tops,
plumbs, angelica roots, &c. imported into this country, and usually
sold in round chip boxes, are frequently impregnated with copper.”
Indeed, most of the _delicacies_ and “good things” to be obtained in
confectioner’s shops, are tinted with all the colours of the rainbow,
by the agency of lead, copper, brass, arsenic, or some other poisonous

The presence of lead and copper is readily detected by pouring liquid
ammonia over the article suspected of being adulterated with the first
mentioned metal, which will acquire a blue colour; and sulphuretted
hydrogen, acidulated with muriatic acid, where the second article
is suspected to have been made use of in the adulteration, when the
article will assume a dark brown or black colour. The adulteration by
means of clay may be ascertained by dissolving the suspected article in
boiling water, when the sediment or precipitate at the bottom of the
vessel ready discovers the fraud.

For the purpose of communicating an almond or a kernel flavour to
custards, blanc-mange, and other productions of his art, and to render
them grateful to the palates of his customers, the pastry-cook flavours
them with the leaves of the poisonous plant, the cherry-laurel. And
the basis of his favourite blanc-mange often consists of the shreds
of the dried bladders of horses, the skins of soles, and other
animal membranes, as cheap substitutes for isinglass. Among his less
objectionable sophistications may be mentioned, his fabrication of
creams, custards, tarts, and other kinds of pastry, from rice powder
and skimmed milk.

The negus and lemonade made by pastry-cooks, and the punch of public
and coffee-houses, are made of tartaric acid, as a cheap substitute
for citric or lemon acid.

The perfumers, the keepers of the “emporiums and bazaars of fashion,”
the manufacturers of the “best genuine bears’ grease,” of the
“incomparable Macassar Oils”—of the “Kalydors”—of “Les Cosmetiques
Royales”—of the “Red and White Olympian Dews,” and other prodigiously
grand and etymological titles “breathing the spirit of patriotic
rivalry,” have all exerted their respective wits in the art of
economising expense and “saving a penny.” In fact the tooth-powders,
the dentrifices, the ottars of roses, the musks, the cosmetics, the
lotions, the balsams, the Hungary waters, the Eaus de Cologne, as well
as all the other frenchified _eaus_, the _milks_ and _creams_ of roses,
the pomades divines, the blooms, the pearl-waters, the lip-salves,
the perfumes,—the Naples almond and beautifying soaps,—the cephalic,
Macouba, and other-hard named snuffs, are all vile sophistications,
and (to omit speaking of their injurious properties to the health and
the skin,) contain but little of the ingredients of which the artists
profess that they are made. On this subject I shall address myself
especially to my fair readers: craving leave to premise, that it is
strange that British ladies, to whom Nature has been so bountiful,
should destroy their native charms and have recourse to the wretched
substitutes of art, which ARE DESTRUCTIVE OF BEAUTY, and PRODUCE REAL

As many ladies attempt to improve their complexions by the use of the
pernicious cosmetics, which are continually and unblushingly advertised
as beautifiers of the skin, most of which are either worthless or
dangerous, (for if they have any effect, it is that of conveying
mercury, lead, or bismuth into the system, and too frequently laying
the foundation of diseases which are often dangerous, and sometimes
fatal;) I cannot refrain from advising those “fair ones” who have
been in the habit of using trash of so villainous a nature, that if
they have any of it by them, to throw it away at once, and to be
persuaded that the best cosmetics are exercise in the open air, an
active attention to social and domestic duties, regular hours of repose
at night, and cheerful hilarity and tranquility of mind, and that
those cheap and WHOLESOME remedies will not, as the author of “THE
TOILETTE COMPANION” well observes, fail to animate their countenances
and beautify their complexions beyond the blooms and the balsams, the
Grecian and the Egyptian Waters, the Kalydors and the Macassar Oils,
the Gowland’s Lotions and the Pearl Powders, the Cosmetiques Royales,
the Red and White Olympian Dews, the Essences, the Eaus, and the
Pomades Divines, the Essences Apolloniennes or Tyrian, and the Tonic
Wines, and all the other puffed and delusive nostrums, that knavery,
cupidity, and effrontery, have ever palmed upon a credulous public, by
which dull and lustreless eyes, sallow and shrivelled skins, lifeless
and cloudy complexions, and impaired and ruined health, are infallibly
super-induced: or those simple and easily purchased ingredients, with
a strict attention to cleanliness, that is, well washing the skin every
day, and drying it with a course towel,—or when the head, neck, or
face perspire, rubbing it dry with a towel of the like description,
will, as the author of “THE ORACLE OF HEALTH AND LONG LIFE” says, more
effectually beautify the complexion, preserve the skin pure, soft, and
pervious, and consequently the health firm and unaffected, than all the
frauds that have ever been contrived to cheat and deceive the unwary
or the inexperienced. Cold water, however, should not be used when the
skin is warm, nor very warm water when it is chilled. For as the author
of that clever little work “THE TOILETTE COMPANION, or THE WHOLE ART OF
BEAUTY AND OF DRESSING,” says, “Many a beautiful face, neck, and arm,
have been spoiled by not observing this caution.”

I have mentioned the dangerous consequences from the use of the
repellent cosmetics and other quack nostrums puffed off in the
newspapers; but, as example is more convincing than precept, I shall
present my readers with a few cases of their lamentable results, which
fell under the observation of the celebrated Dr. Darwin.

“Mrs. S. being much troubled with pimples, applied an alum poultice
to her face, which was soon followed by a stroke of the palsy, and
terminated in her death. Mrs. L. applied to her face for pimples a
quack nostrum, supposed to be some preparation of lead. Soon after
she was seized with epileptic fits, which ended in palsy and caused
her death. Mr. Y. applied a preparation of lead to his nose to remove
pimples, and it brought on palsy on one side of his face. Miss S.
an elegant young lady, applied a cosmetic lotion to her face for
small red pimples. This produced inflammation of the liver, which
required repeated bleedings with purgatives to remove. As soon as
the inflammation was subdued, the pimples re-appeared.” (Darwin’s
Zoonomia.) Every person could enlarge this catalogue from the sphere of
his own acquaintance.

I am willing to believe that I have (to use a legal phrase) made out a
sufficient case to prove the inefficacy, nay the DANGEROUS consequences
of cosmetics, and the rest of the long list of et-ceteras for
_beautifying_ the skin. It will now be my duty to direct my attention
to the other frauds and impositions practised under the titles of “hair
strengtheners”—“hair beautifyers”—of “best genuine bears’ grease”—of
“incomparable Macassar Oils”—of “Pommades Divines,”—and the remaining
hair hoaxes and humbugs, played off as hair oils, Russia oils, and
similar puffed nostrums, under pretty and _taking_ titles, by Prince,
Ross and Son, M’Alpine, and the rest of the bear’s grease and hair-oil
men; and I shall feel a singular pleasure should I be the medium
of saving any “lovely or loveable woman” from becoming the dupe of
imposture and deception.

Amongst the various cosmetics recommended by the adventurer for the
dressing room, it must be admitted that none seems more harmless than
those which profess to give a fine curl to the hair. But to assert that
any liquid will, of itself, give a permanent or temporary curl to the
hair is fallacious; though it is true that the application of a weak
soap lye, or a solution of caustic potash, will render the hair more
susceptible of adopting the artificial curl given by putting it into
papers. But then it must be recollected that the effect occasioned
by soap lye or potash is only produced by a complete alteration of
the organic structure of the hair, superinducing a slow but certain
destruction of that beautiful ornament of the human head. This effect
may not be immediately observed, either in youth or in advanced life;
but it is certain and inevitable.

Equally destructive are the various liquid dyes so loudly boasted of,
and extensively advertised, by quacks for colouring the hair; some of
them, indeed, do produce the effect proposed, particularly the black
dyes; but they are all INJURIOUS, especially the black, as their basis
consists always of nitrate of silver, (that is, silver dissolved in
nitric acid or aqua-fortis) or lunar caustic when in a dry state;
but the operation is destructive of the hair, as must be evident to
any one who has seen the effect of caustic on warts on the skin. It
has been well said that if we wish to save our hair, we must first
save our money, by abstaining from the whole list of those puffed and
unprincipled recipes and nostrums that stare us in the face in every
newspaper, and in almost every shop-window.

The folly of giving credence to any of the impudent and disgraceful
impostures for the pretended power of certain ingredients to change
the colour of the hair, must, as the author of THE TOILETTE COMPANION
observes, be evident to every person when he is told that the hair
depends on a peculiar secretion, and that, when that secretion ceases,
which it does from several causes, as grief, fright, ill health, great
mental exertion, age, &c. the hair becomes grey: “for Nature, like
a provident mother, when she feels the powers of life impaired or
decaying, exerts all her energies to support and preserve the vital
organs, and can no longer, from her limited means, supply the outposts
and ornamental parts of the system as before, which therefore suffer
and are sacrificed.”

Nor are the deceits of the base nostrum-mongers for making the hair
grow and curl, or for making the bald pericranium of a nonagenarian
vegetate in all the luxuriance of rejuvenization, the only frauds
practised: equally destructive are the advertised depilatories, the
general basis of which is yellow orpiment, a certain poison if taken
inwardly. It is true that the Turks, with whom bald heads are in
fashion, and also the Chinese, do use this as an unguent, to save the
trouble of frequent shaving; but it should be recollected that those
cosmetics which may be harmless on the head of a robust Janissary,—of a
bashaw of three tails or a fat Mandarin, do not necessarily become fit
adjuncts for the toilette of a “British fair,”—“the lovely daughters of
Albion, Erin, or Scotia,” or even that of an “Herculean delicate,” a
Lilliputian dandy, or a Bond-street exquisite.

Snuff-sniffers and tobacco-munchers and puffers, do ye know what
the delectable ingredients which form part of the articles of your
recreation, are? Have you never heard that snuff is often compounded of
pulverised nut-shells, of the powder of old rotten wood, called powder
post; that the colour is improved by ochre, and the appearance and feel
modified by an addition of treacle or urine? And have you never been
told that the pungency of snuff is increased by the agency of powdered
glass or the muriate of ammonia? Tobacco smokers and “_chawers_,” have
ye never been told that your favourite “_quid_” is often composed of
black hellebore, corrosive sublimate, dried dock-leaves, and a variety
of other _innocent_ ingredients? Oh, dear! what a deal you have yet to
learn before you “become wise as serpents!”




Devoted to disease by baker, butcher, grocer, wine-merchant,
spirit-dealer, cheesemonger, pastry-cook, and confectioner; the
physician is called to our assistance; but here again the pernicious
system of fraud, as it has given the blow, steps in to defeat the
remedy;—the unprincipled dealers in drugs and medicines exert the most
diabolical ingenuity in sophisticating the most potent and necessary
drugs, (viz. peruvian bark, rhubarb, ipecacuanha, magnesia, calomel,
castor-oil, spirits of hartshorn, and almost every other chemical
preparation in general demand;) and chemical preparations used in
pharmacy; and the fraud has increased to so alarming an extent,
says Mr. Accum, and his assertion is borne out by the experience of
every one familiar with chemistry, that nine-tenths of the drugs and
medicines in use that are vended by dealers, even of respectability and
reputation, according to the usual interpretation of those words, “and
who would,” as that gentleman emphatically expresses himself, “be the
_last_ to be suspected,” ARE ADULTERATED. And what tends to aggravate
the evil is that manufactories and mills on “an amazingly large
scale” are constantly at work in this metropolis for the manufacture
of spurious drugs. From these licensed elaboratories of disease, the
adulterated articles are vended to unprincipled druggists, at less
than a third of the price of the genuine article. And as there are no
certain tests or methods of detecting the fraud, the consequence is,
that the physician’s prescription is rendered useless, and the most
consummate skill often baffled in the subjection of disease. Some idea
of the extent of the adulteration of drugs may be formed, when it is
stated that a spurious peruvian bark is sometimes sold, compounded
of mahogany saw-dust and oak-wood, ground into powder, with a proper
proportion of genuine quinquina; and that magnesia, even the calcined
sort, is adulterated with lime.

Chemical cunning has even contrived to extract the quinquina, in which
consists the whole virtue of the bark, leaving it a completely inert
mass. And even the quinine itself is sophisticated, being frequently
contaminated with lime, tallow, sugar, and sulphate of cinchonas.

It is necessary also to make some little inquiry, and use some little
exercise of one’s understanding, in ascertaining for what reasons
certain physicians recommend particular druggists, and particular
drugs which are manufactured by the “said particular” druggists. Dr.
Reece, in his Monthly Gazette of Health for August 1829, has tended to
open one’s eyes a little on the subject. He informs us that the late
Ambrose Godfrey, the nostrum-monger, contrived to get his preparation
of arrow-root into notice and sale at double the price for which
it might have been obtained of any other druggist, by accompanying
samples of his commodity with presents of haunches of venison to
certain physicians, and that by judicious repetitions (“neither few
nor far between”) of the said conciliating haunches of venison, he
contrived to maintain the reputation and supposed superiority of the
said arrow-root, and to keep the monopoly to himself, as all the said
learned and grateful physicians always, as in due allegiance and duty
they were bound, recommended the said Godfrey Ambrose’s arrow-root as
superior to that of all other simple wights, who supposed that their
composition of arrow-root could be good for any thing, if they forgot,
or were not able, to give character to the commodities by means of the
mute but irresistible influence or eloquence of the said judiciously
disposed-of haunches of venison. From this account it appears that
the “sons of Galen” and the artificers of “the pestle and mortar” are
not behind their brethren of “the long robe,” and “of the quill and
parchment tribe” in the “art of _huggery_.” How often has a “learned
barrister” contrived to get into the good graces of an attorney and
secured practice by invitations to dinner, and judiciously and well
timed (for few persons are better versed in the art of throwing a sprat
to catch a whale than a hungry and briefless, and it must be admitted,
often highly gifted barrister;) presents of game, by a hearty and
unseen shake of the hand in the street, which he dared not have given
at Westminster Hall, and by all those ingenious means, to which men of
great talent have before now condescended, and by which men of little
talent have sometimes gained considerable fortunes.

Nor has the spirit of adulteration allowed even the accredited patent
or quack medicines to escape its ingenuity. Dr. James’s Fever Powders,
and Norris’s Fever Drops, besides a variety of other popular receipts,
are to be obtained in all possible degrees of strength and flavours
from the various venders and manufacturers of the articles.

Even the simple articles arrow-root, worm-seed, Spanish liquorice,
lemon acid, soda water, lozenges, honey, spermaceti, and a long list
of other commodities in general use, receive the _benefit_ of the
sophisticators’ ingenuity.

The greater part of the commodity sold under the name of arrow-root
in the shops of the druggists and grocers is prepared from the fecula
or starch of wheat and of dry mealy potatoes, with a portion of
arrow-root. When good, the grains of arrow-root are very fine, with
numbers of little clots which are formed by the aggregation of the
minuter grains while the commodity is drying, and when examined by a
magnifying glass appear pearly and very brilliant.

The seeds of the tansy are often offered for sale, for worm-seed; but
the more _conscientious_ dealer sometimes treats his customers with an
equal portion of the genuine and the adulterated article.

The Spanish liquorice juice of the shops is generally composed of the
worst kind of gum arabic, called Indian or Barbary gum, and imported
chiefly for the purpose of making shoe-blacking, with a small portion
of the genuine juice; and the factitious composition, when inspissated,
is formed into rolls, resembling the genuine article imported from
Catalonia, nicely sprinkled or stratified with particles of dry
bay-leaves, and skilfully impressed with the word “_Solaz_,” in the
true cast of Spanish engraving. _Refined_ liquorice is frequently
manufactured from Spanish juice, with an equal quantity of carpenters’
glue or starch. The specimens of genuine juice are generally small,
perfectly black, brittle, and break with a smooth and glassy fracture.
They are also soluble either in the mouth or in water, without leaving
any residue.

The lemon acid of commerce is, as I have before said, a counterfeit;
tartareous acid being employed as a cheap substitute for lemon or
citric acid.

The soda-water on general sale is frequently contaminated with copper
and lead, produced from the action of the carbonic acid contained in
the water on the metallic substances of which the apparatus in which it
is made is constructed.

The lozenges of all varieties, hues, flavours, and qualities,
particularly those in the composition of which ginger, cream of tartar,
magnesia, &c. are used, are sophisticated with a liberal portion of
pipe-clay, as a cheap substitution for sugar; but this fraud is readily
detected by laying one of the suspected lozenges on the pan of a fire
shovel or sheet of iron made red-hot; when, if it be pure, it will
readily take fire and be consumed, but if it be adulterated, it will
burn feebly, and a hard strong substance will remain, resembling the
lozenge in form.

It is well known that but little genuine honey can be obtained in
London. The tests of good honey are its fragrance and sweetness. When
it is suspected to be adulterated with starch or bean flour, the fraud
may be discovered by dissolving the honey in cold water, when the flour
will be readily seen, as it will not dissolve, but falls to the bottom
of the vessel in powder. If honey thus adulterated be exposed to heat,
it soon solidifies and becomes tenacious.

Honey is of three kinds; the first, called _virgin honey_, and which
is of the finest flavour, is of a whitish cast, and in a fluid state,
about the consistence of a syrup. The second is that known by the name
of _white honey_, and its texture is almost solid. The third kind is
the common yellow honey, obtained from the combs, by heating them over
the fire, or by dipping them into hot water, and then pressing them.

Manna is sometimes counterfeited by a composition of sugar and honey,
mixed with a small portion of scammony.

The adulteration of spermaceti is generally effected with wax; but the
fraud may be detected by the smell of the adulterating ingredient,
and by the dulness of the colour; whereas pure spermaceti is of
a semitransparent crystalline appearance. It is also said that a
preparation of the oil obtained from the tail of the whale is likewise
vended for genuine spermaceti; but, as this factitious commodity
assumes a yellow shade when exposed to the air, this imposition is also
of easy detection.

The adulteration of the essential oils obtained from the more expensive
spices is so common, that, as Mr. Accum says, “it is not easy to meet
with any that are fit for use,” and so much subtle ingenuity is made
use of in the sophistications, that no known tests or agents exist for
the detection of the fraud. The only certain tests are the taste or
flavour, and the smell.

It is worth while to attend to the plausible excuses of the respective
“artists” of these sophistications. They allege that they are obliged
to have recourse to the fraud, to meet the fancies “of those clever
persons in their own conceit who are fond of haggling, and insist
on buying better bargains than other people, shutting their eyes to
the defects of an article, so that they can enjoy the delight of
getting it cheap; and secondly, for those persons, who being but bad
paymasters, yet as the manufacturer, for his own credit-sake, cannot
charge more than the usual price of the articles, he thinks himself
therefore authorized to adulterate it in value, to make up for the risk
he runs, and the long credit he gives;”—they therefore are reduced to
the necessity of keeping, as they term it, “_reduced articles_,” and
genuine ones. This is excellent logic, and no doubt well understood by
the whole sophisticating tribe. The public are indebted to Dr. T. Lloyd
for this information, which he communicated to the Literary Gazette,
No. 146.

The ready methods or tests for ascertaining the good qualities of the
most common drugs are:

Castor-oil, when good, is of a light amber or straw colour, inclining
to a greenish cast. That which has the least smell, taste, and colour,
is considered the mildest. The necessity of some attention to these
signs may appear, when I state that I once took seven ounces of this
oil in successive doses, and do verily believe that I might have
continued to this present hour taking, daily, the usual dose furnished
from the same quarter, with as little effect, had not my good genius
directed me to send for an ounce from Apothecaries’ Hall. I recommend
my readers to purchase their drugs, &c. in the same place.

Ipecacuanha.—As this drug is sold to the public in a pulverized state,
there is no short or off-hand test for discovering its purity. It is
adulterated with emetic tartar.

Opium.—Good opium in a concrete state should be of a blackish brown
colour, of a strong fetid smell, a hard viscous texture, and heavy; and
when rubbed between the finger and thumb, it is perfectly free from
roughness or grittiness. This drug is liable to great adulteration,
being frequently vitiated with cow-dung, or a powder composed of the
dry leaves and stalks of the poppy, the gum of the mimosa, meal and
other substances. The flavour alone indicates the goodness of opium in
a liquid state.

Rhubarb.—The marks of the goodness of rhubarb are the liveliness of
its colour when cut; its being firm, dry, and solid, but not flinty or
hard; its being easily pulverizable, and appearing, when powdered, of
a fine bright yellow colour; and its imparting to the spittle, when
chewed, a deep saffron-colour, and not proving slimy or mucilaginous
to the taste. When rhubarb has become worm-eaten, druggist-ingenuity
is called into play, by filling up the holes with a paste made of
rhubarb-powder and mucilage; and then the physic-artists roll the
mended pieces in the finest rhubarb powder to give their handy works a
good colour and an appearance of freshness.

Senna leaves are frequently mixed and sophisticated with leaves of
argol, box leaves, &c.

But among the frauds and impositions practised on the public, none
are more odious and unprincipled, and, at the same time, more loudly
call for the prompt and active interference of the Legislature, than
the tricks and effrontery of impostors, quacks, and empirics in
medicine, both regular and irregular. It cannot but have been the
frequent subject of regret to every honest and reflecting person
that this vile trade should receive A LEGAL SANCTION AND PROTECTION,
which it most assuredly does by virtue of the stamp duty imposed on
the villainous trash; and it cannot be sufficiently deplored that any
government should find itself reduced to straits so deplorable, or be
so short-sighted in its views of enlightened policy, as to be under the
necessity of extracting a paltry and disgraceful profit to the revenue
of the state, from the tolerance and encouragement of ignorance,
imposture, and mischief.

The assertion is true, that those pests of society the charlatans
and nostrum-mongers “_quarter_” themselves only on the ignorance and
credulity of mankind, and that their patrons and supporters are wealthy
but ignorant men, and superstitious old women, or profligate and
thoughtless rakes; but this is a miserable excuse, and but lame kind
of reasoning: if it means any thing, it proves the necessity of public
protection from the abominable and anti-christian nuisance. Can there
be greater libel on the utility and operation of English law, than that
vermin of the description of the “_Balsam of Rackasiri_” empirics[M]
should be tolerated and allowed to spread their mischief and
destruction among the population of a country professing Christianity
and civilization, and forsooth, to boast of “the thousands they pay
yearly to the government and the public press,” in the form of duty to
the one for _its sanction and licence_, and to the other in the form
of remuneration for giving a disgraceful and destructive publicity to
their nefarious designs.[N]

Nor is the absence of a proper discrimination between right and wrong
of a certain prating brazen-faced

“barrister” less reprehensible. I love and venerate “the Bar;” but I
must be free to say that when a man can be found so devoid of just
and proper feeling as to appear, for the paltry remuneration of a few
pounds, or for _any_ remuneration however large, in the defence and
evidently proves that there are some members of that distinguished
profession who are not possessed of the high and honourable feelings
which belong to those who are gentlemen by birth and breeding,
scholars by education, and Christians and honourable men from
moral and religious feeling. But it is to be hoped that there will
never occur again a similar exhibition to that which took place at
Marlborough-street on the infamous Rackasiri-balsam fraud, practised
on Miss May, by “the _learned graduates_ of Petticoat-lane,” and
“_regularly bred physicians_,” the Jew pedlars and old clothesmen
“of _wonderful abilities_,” the “_Doctors_” C. and J. Jordan; who
“feel _awkwardness_ in recommending to public notice their _uncommon
discoveries and talents_.” The more I consider that transaction, the
more I am satisfied that the magistrates are to blame for having
allowed the piece of impudent effrontery and imposture to have had
the semblance of their sanction, by their singular taciturnity which
happened on that occasion. Of the newspapers which gave currency
and circulation to the artful and fiend-like exculpation, language
will not afford terms strong enough to express one’s abhorrence and
indignation. O shame! where is thy blush? How much human misery and
destruction has the insertion of those disgraceful and wicked puffs
occasioned, by inducing the weak and credulous to give credit to that
as a piece of intelligence coming from editors of accredited and
impartial journals, which is merely the contrivance and fabrication
of wicked impostors to delude and ensnare the thoughtless and
unsuspecting; and for the giving of its mischievous publicity, the
proprietors and editors of certain newspapers received large sums
of money. But let those thoughtless men reflect, that it is the
very consummation of cruelty and unprincipled conduct to sanction
the infamous tampering with the lives and happiness of one’s fellow
creatures for the mere sake of lucre. Nor is the conduct of the
magistrates of certain police offices (particularly those to whom the
jurisdiction of the city of London is entrusted) less reprehensible,
and less fraught with mischievous consequences. What! ought the frauds
and murderous designs of the basest miscreants alive to receive the
solemn and imposing sanction and authority of an oath made before a
judicial tribunal? Surely a grosser violation of duty and a more stupid
and reckless indifference to the destruction of human health and life,
were never, in the most barbarous country, and the most uncivilized
age, exhibited, than the want of sense and foresight displayed by some
city-magistrates in allowing affidavits to be made before them of the
“wonderful cures” performed on the deluded and perjured _agents_ and
“_stalking horses_” of the empirics and impostors; but, fortunately
for mankind, the culpable act will ever remain on record as a stigma
and reproach of city-legislation and moral economy. The trade of
_legalized_ poisoning and destruction of public health has received
greater and more effectual help and recommendation from that source
than from all the arts and devices of the impostors, though aided by
the sanction of a government duty, and the disgusting and unprincipled
puffs and paragraphs of a certain portion of the public press. To put
an end to these culpable and mischievous proceedings, either on the
part of magistrates or of editors of newspapers, in future, I wish
those gentlemen to bear in mind that their “misdoings” shall entitle
them to a “niche and an escutcheon of immortality” in the pages of

      “If there’s a hole in a’ your coats,
    E’en from Land’s End to John o’Groats,
      I’d rede ye tent it;
    A chiel’s amang you taking notes,
      And faith he’ll prent it:”

and that no threats or intimidations of “actions” and “reparations due
to the wounded feelings of gentlemen,” shall deter me from my duty.
If I should offend, of course the courts of justice are open to every
injured man, and he will most assuredly receive his due measure of
justice there; but should I give that offence for which the “LAW OF THE
LAND” affords no redress, the man of honourable feelings and conduct
shall never have to complain of my backwardness to give a most prompt
and satisfactory reparation; but, at the same time, I wish that those
who have been privy, whether by overt or covert acts—whether from
their love of “filthy lucre,” or their natural propensity to fraud—to
the destruction of the lives or health of their fellow-creatures, to
recollect that I shall be prepared to treat them with the scorn and
contempt which their conduct and their misdeeds may merit.

It has been well said that it is not easy to determine whether the
fraud and impudence of the empiric or nostrum-monger, or the folly
and credulity of the sufferer, are the greater. But the fact is that
quacks and impostors of all kinds, whether medical or political,
_pædagoguecal_ or _corporational_, live and thrive on the infernal
popish maxim, that IGNORANCE IS THE MOTHER OF DEVOTION, that is, in
plainer phrase—of GULLIBILITY. But to the case of the quacks.—It surely
indicates no ordinary share of dupery, to believe that one and the same
nostrum can cure all and every disorder contained in the long catalogue
of human woes and miseries; such a belief must incline the victim of
its hallucination to suppose an exact similarity of symptoms and a
perfect identity of nature in all the disorders to which the frailty of
our common nature has rendered us subject. On this momentous subject
few persons have written more forcibly than the admirable author of
the “_Manual for Invalids_.” May the following quotation from that
valuable work awaken the attention of those who foolishly confide their
health and lives to the care of quacks, nostrum-mongers, jugglers, and

“Where dwells the boasted march of intellect when the understanding is
continually insulted with the most impudent and daring pretensions of
impostors, who, while they pretend to restore your health, are making
a direct attack upon your credulity and your purse. What encouragement
exists for the well educated men, regular graduates of Universities,
of high classical and literary attainments, who have chosen the
profession of medicine or surgery as a business of life, and in order
to practice with credit and character, have directed their attention,
their time, and their property to its studies,—who have made the nature
of diseases and the efficacy of remedies a study of life—when they
find themselves completely superseded by some inspired pretender—some
ignorant quack. Lord Bacon has long since said, in his work on the
advancement of learning, ‘If the same honours and rewards are given
to fools, which ought to be awarded to the wise, who will labour to
be wise?’ That the ignorant pretender should be encouraged by the
public, is a reproach to the understanding of any people; but that
the revenue of any country should be supplied by a stamp duty[P] on
empirical nostrums, instead of the government taking measures either of
prevention or punishment, can only be explained by exhibiting similar
acts of atrocity on the sentiments of nature; but the truth is, the
auri sacra fames has the power of making that appear relatively right,
which is absolutely wrong.”[Q]

“Beware of hypocrisy of every description,” adds the same excellent
writer; “you may as well believe that the Pope can send you to
perdition, as that an advertising charlatan can, by any empirical
nostrum, restore you to health.”

But, unhappily, it appears that poor John Bull and “his hopeful
family” are not gifted with the power of being “beware of hypocrisy,”
“advertising charlatans” and “empirical nostrums;” but that through
their proneness to gullibility and the love of the marvellous, the
trade of quackery is daily increasing, and that hundreds of quacks
swarm in every quarter of the metropolis, and fatten on the murders
which they are constantly perpetrating with their poisons; and to
add to the monstrous combination against the lives and health of the
community, that the aid of even the pulpit is invoked to further the
propagation of the imposture! Instances are on record where mercenary
preachers have been wicked enough to sermonize and expatiate on the
miraculous virtues and benefits of the poisonous nostrums[R] and
remedies of the mountebank jugglers and impostors.

But humbug and imposture, as it has been truly said, is a many-headed
monster, and is of very catching influence; it has worshippers at the
corner of every street; hordes of the most ignorant vagabonds and
jugglers are engaged in its propagation, and announce their impostures
as “prepared and sanctioned by His Majesty’s august authority;” but
to waste my pages with the mention of the “ladies’ fever” _doctors_
Lamert, Peede, Davis, Eady, Caton, Courtenay, (alias Messrs. Currie
and Co.) Fiedeberg (alias Sloane and Co. alias Jones and Co.);—the
surreptitious knights, His Carpentership, Sir Gully Daniels, and his
Plastership, White Arsenic Sir Cancer Aldis;—the firm of Goss and
Company, the consulting Surgeons of Ægis and Hygeiene notoriety;—the
miniature painter, “the learned and celebrated” artful artist and curer
of consumption, Long St. Long,—the crazy chap who entitles himself
the “hygeist”[S]—Taylor and Son, the Leake’s pill-men,—Samuel, the
syphilis-pill-man,—the old canting staymaker and life-guardsman,
Gardner, who can manufacture tape-worms wholesale and of a league in
length from the intestines of cats and chickens,—the piddle-taster,
or morning water-doctor, Cameron (alias Crumples,) as also all other
quacks, whether of the masculine or feminine gender, who cure _by
proxy_, or by simply pronouncing that the disease shall be cured, (for
there have been impostors impudent enough to make such pretensions;)
or by any art or delusion, and who by chalk, chuckling, and chicanery
are battening on the vitals of society, would be an insult to the
understanding of my readers, further than to say that each of those
worthies, as well as their honourable compeers the balsam of Rackasiri
vagabonds and impostors, can, no doubt, recognize the reality of their
deeds in the following quotation from the pages of Hudibras:

                  “Nor doctor epidemic.
    Stored with deletery med’cines,
    (Which whosoever took, is dead since,)
    E’er sent so vast a colony
    To both the under worlds as he.”

Perhaps a few words said on the subject of the former occupations
of some of the mountebank impostors, who are practising, and have
practised their frauds and villanies on the community, may tend to open
the eyes of this very gullable nation as to the extent and quality
of their medical knowledge, unless it should be supposed that they
acquired it by miraculous inspiration or divine influence, to which
high pretensions, indeed, many of the vermin have had the audacity to
lay claim, well knowing that the bolder their assertions were, the more
gullable they would find their ninny patients.

Know then that the “groundly learned physicians” —“of superior skill
and judgement”—high character and situation,” the _Doctors_ Mordecai
J. and C. Jordan, were Jew pedlars; (and here, reader, recollect
that more than one half of the mountebanks and impostors who have
gulled and laughed at our gullable nation, are or were circumcised
Jews, either of native or of foreign breed;)—the renowned _Doctor_
Eady, of cyprianic memory, and who owed his reputation to the joint
exertions and recommendation of the saints of Providence Chapel,
and the coal-heaving-preaching-and-praying-sinner-saved Huntingdon,
was a bumpkin haberdasher and retailer of small wares in an obscure
country village;—Monsieur John St. John Long, the celebrated curer
of consumption, was a dauber in the miniature-line;—the once
celebrated, and now warmly nestled and scoffing Doctors Brodum and
Solomon were, by turns, porters either in a drug warehouse or Jew
pedlars; the canting worm manufacturer in Long Acre was a staymaker
and life-guardsman;—Yankee noodle do Whitlaw and Don celestial
Graham filled the honourable posts of a day labourer and tom-fool to
a strolling company of players;—and many of the by-gone mountebank
vagabonds were cobblers, tailors, weavers, footmen, blacking-makers,
cat’s-meat men, &c. &c. &c.: but they all, during their tremulous
career of iniquity and canting,

    “———— Making sanctity the cloak of sin,
    Laugh’d at the fools on whose credulity
    They fattened.”——

The sanction and encouragement given to quacks and quackery in this
country have long and loudly been stigmatized by foreign writers as a
national opprobrium to Britain; and it must be allowed very justly. The
increase of these vermin and pests of society has long been a disgrace
to the legislature and government of the country. “They manage these
things,” as Sterne says, “better in France.” How careful our neighbours
are of the health of their community may be gleaned from the following
paper lately read before the Royal Academy of Medicine, at Paris:—

“1st. That for several centuries, by the vigilance of the
administration, in concert with the most distinguished medical men,
the strongest efforts have been made to rid society of the pestilence
constantly springing up from secret remedies. 2dly. That the most
favourable circumstances are at present combined to free them from the
tribute of money and life, which, on no consideration, ought longer to
be tolerated.”

It is to be hoped that our government will be influenced by like
motives and follow the glorious example of our neighbours. If they
want precedent,—the great bugbear of improvement either in morals,
politics, law, religion, or even common sense, in our error-ridden
nation, history furnishes us with sufficient examples. But, while those
methods and laws are being planned and prepared, let us, in the mean
time, resort to the good old practices of correcting and punishing the
jugglers of the present day.

In the reign of Edward VI. one Gregg, a poulterer, in Surrey, was set
in the pillory at Croydon, and again in the Borough of Southwark,
during the time of the fair, for cheating people out of their money,
for pretending to cure them with charms, by only looking at the
patient, and examining his water. In the reign of James I., an order
of council, founded on the statute of Henry, granted to the College
of Physicians, was issued to the magistrates of the city of London,
for the apprehension of all reputed empirics, to bring them before
the censors of the College, in order to their being examined as to
their qualifications to be trusted either with the lives or limbs of
the subject. On that occasion several mountebanks, (among others,
Lamb, Read, and Woodhouse,) water casters, ague charmers, and nostrum
venders, were fined, imprisoned, and banished. This wholesome severity,
it may be supposed, checked the evil for a time; but in the reign of
William III. it became again necessary to put the laws in force against
those vermin; in consequence of which many of them were examined, and
confessed their utter ignorance even of reading and writing. Some of
the miscreants were set in the pillory, and some were put on horse-back
with their faces towards the horses’ tails, whipped, branded, and

In Stowe’s Annals is to be found an account of a water caster being set
on horse-back, his face towards the horse’s tail, which he held in his
hand, with his neck decked with a collar of urinals, and being led
by the hangman through the city, was whipped, branded, and afterwards
banished. One Fairfax, in king William’s time was fined and imprisoned
for doing great damage to several people, by his aqua celestis. Antony,
for his aurum potabile; Arthur Dee, for advertising remedies which he
gave out would cure all diseases; Foster, for selling a powder for the
green-sickness; Tenant, a water doctor, who sold his pills for 6l.
each; Ayres, for selling purging sugar plumbs; Hunt, for putting up
bills in the streets[T] for the cure of diseases; and many others, were
all punished, and compelled to relinquish their malpractices.

But it is not only the interloping quack—the irregular and illegitimate
charlatan and self-dubbed doctor that does mischief and destroys the
health of the public, but the “regular” and legitimate pretender to
medical knowledge, or as they have been significantly and appropriately
termed by Dr. Morrison, the “roturiers,” or dabblers in physic, often
do not much less mischief. The following extract from the Manual for
Invalids is so much to the purpose, that the wider its circulation can
be promoted, the greater good will be produced to society at large.

“In the restoration of health, the poor often try the efficacy of the
wine vaults and the medical wisdom of the druggist, who flourishes
greatly in low neighbourhoods, in the metropolis, and even in some
large provincial towns. These men, whose solitary qualification for
this honest mode of existence has been commonly an apprenticeship
behind the counter, have often placed in imminent peril many a valuable
life. Sometimes it has occurred that a shrewd boy, employed to clean
bottles and sweep out the shop, has received an intuitive call, and has
felt himself fully qualified for the important office of recovering
and regulating the health of many invalids. The writer has a knowledge
of a general practitioner of this description who was received behind
a druggist’s counter in the manner before related, and perhaps,
learning audacity from his late employer, has obtained, through the
medium of puffing friends, a surreptitious reputation, and is cried up
by those worthies as a very skilful, even a “delightful” and “fine”
man, particularly for nervous invalids, and more especially for the
disorders of women and children.”

Thousands and thousands of the population of this blessedly gifted
country in medical science, are killed by this disgraceful quackery of
the drug-shop, and the iniquitous drug-jobbing of apothecaries. What
murders, what numerous murders have those men to answer for by their
careless and injudicious use of powerful medicines—calomel and opium!
But perhaps they console their unfeeling and selfish hearts with the
miserable subterfuge that they are merely removing that portion of
the increasing population which is the great bugbear, that is hourly
threatening to eat up Mr. Parson Malthus and his believing disciples by

But the prescribing druggist, the drugging apothecary, and the
soi-disant surgeon are not the only regular and legitimate quacks; we
have quack physicians, who by the remittance of the enormous sum of
£15 to a Scotch university are entitled, legally and professionally,
to tack the wonder-working cabalistical initials M.D. to their names,
and are then entitled to kill the king’s liege and loving subjects,
“secundum artem,” with licensed and legitimate potion, pill, and
draught; who to return obligations to their “_pals_” the apothecary
and surgeon, prescribe draughts by the quart and the gallon—bleeding,
blistering, and purging, ad infinitum. By these mystified and jabbering
doctors, whose little-or-no wisdom consists in foolish words of little
or no meaning, and dog Latin, or disputes about precedence and the
receipt of fees, the laws of vital existence and the astonishing
functions of the animal economy, are understood by hearsay and

This statement of the general ignorance of the medical profession
is not exaggerated. “Five sixths of the medical profession,” says
Dr. Morrison, in Medicine No Mystery, “know little or nothing of the
science of life.” The cause of this lamentable ignorance arises from
the abominable and disgraceful system of medical education in vogue,
according to which the bought and sale prices of the current drugs,
and the art and mystery of dispensing medicines often constitute the
whole and sole knowledge of those who are entrusted with the health and
lives of their fellow-creatures; in whose bungling and self-interested
practice hearsay and precedent supply the place of experience, and by
whom signs and symptoms are mistaken for causes. Another cause is the
deplorable deficiency of the public in the knowledge of medicine. Were
the principles of medical science to form a part of general education,
the public would be enabled to select well educated and honest medical
men, and escape the fangs and delusions and murderous acts of quacks
and impostors, whether interlopers, or those who are enrolled in one
or other of the medical institutions of London. It really seems an
anomaly in the pursuit and attainment of knowledge that a man should
conceive it necessary to be able to judge whether his shoe or his
cravat is made in a good and workman-like manner, but of that science
which treats of himself, and with which his health, his life, and all
his comforts are so intimately and seriously connected, he should be
in the most abject state of ignorance, and, unhappily, not hesitate to
avow that ignorance! But while it is an incontrovertible truth that
the community in general should have some knowledge of medicine, in
order to enable them to judge of the qualifications of their medical
attendants, (to the attainment of which knowledge popular medical
writings, such as Dr. Kitchener’s Art of Invigorating Life; Sir
John Sinclair’s Code of Health and Longevity, Dr. Reece’s Medical
Guide, and the Oracle of Health and Long Life, or Plain Rules for the
Preservation and Attainment of Sound Health and Vigorous Old Age, and
a few others, are calculated to afford the most effectual help;) it
must be deeply regretted by every well disposed member of society, to
observe books got up by rash and inexperienced persons, professing to
give directions for the management of health, which are filled with the
crudest and the falsest instructions, the nature and consequence of
which are decidedly destructive of health, if not of life itself. And
what must add to that regret, is that the title-page and covers should
be blazoned with the professed sanction and recommendation of a late
eminent medical practitioner. But surely that gentleman could never
have read, among many other dangerous fooleries and extravagancies, the
silly and monstrous instructions to sleep with open windows, to swallow
as much salt as possible, &c. &c. &c. or if he did read them, it is
but an act of courteous feeling towards him to suppose that he did not
comprehend their purport. Another circumstance deserving reprobation
respecting the means which have been taken to get that ill-judged
little book into circulation has been the profuse and repeated attempts
of a portion of the public press to give it notoriety and circulation.
It certainly savours a little of presumption, that those who have not
made the science of medicine a study or a profession, should venture
to give opinions of the merits or demerits of a work professing to
treat of the momentous subjects of health and life. These remarks
are not made in any petulant feeling. I believe the author to be a
well-intentioned though a misguided man, and as he hints that he
published his work with the hope of adding to his income from the
profits, I sincerely wish that he had chosen a subject for which he
may be more competent, as then I should have been relieved from the
necessity of making these remarks, in the expression of which a sense
of public duty has alone actuated me. It gives me, however, great
satisfaction to draw the public attention to the masterly abstract of
Cornaro’s Treatise appended to the book, and which, from its disparity
of style, is evidently written by another person. It is no extravagant
praise to say that the public is under infinite obligations to the able
and experienced writer who made that valuable addition to the book.
Comaro’s works may now be read with advantage by every one, as it is
freed from the disagreeable prosings, tautologies, and incongruities
which pervade that work. It is to be hoped that the proprietor of the
book will favour the community with its publication in a separate form.

Considering the severity of the remarks I have made in the preceding
pages on the medical profession, it may be supposed I have set myself
up in opposition to medical men of all descriptions. I have no such
intention. The intelligent and skilful physician and surgeon I
reverence, and only wish that the following observations were not a
true portrait of their often unsuccessful progress.

It is certain no body of men can produce more noble instances of
integrity, liberality of mind, and strength of intellect, than the
Professors of Physic; but, as with other bodies of men, this high
character will not apply diffusedly. To find, therefore, a fit person
with whom to intrust our health, is not an easy matter. Fortunately,
however, for the profession, people are not very fastidious on this
point; and if they or their friends are but sent to the grave in a
regular way, they bear the load of ills which their own follies and
the ignorance of the practitioner may have heaped upon them, with
great philosophy, imputing the whole to the natural order of things.
Indeed, to judge of the merits of a medical man is extremely difficult;
and, when we see one man ordering away, with contempt, the medicine
which another has thought a specific, and pursuing a totally different
course, we are forced to conclude that education alone will not make
a physician. Reputation is not unfrequently got without merit, for
who is to judge? Accident, solely, both with the drug and the doctor,
has often been the maker of their fame. This may be exemplified by an
anecdote of a deservedly eminent physician, which, though perhaps it
has been often related, is not less to the point. The doctor happened
to be sent for one evening, after having indulged at a convivial
meeting, so that by the time he had been whirled to his patient’s door,
he was very ill qualified to decide in a case of difficulty. Having
made shift to reach the drawing room, and seeing a lady extended on
a sofa, assisted by a female attendant, he, by a sort of mechanical
impulse, seized her hand; but finding himself utterly unable to form
an opinion on the case, he exclaimed, “D—— d drunk, by G—d!” (meaning
that he was in that unfit state) and immediately made the best retreat
he was able. Feeling rather awkwardly at this adventure, he was
not impatient to renew his visit; but being sent for on some other
occasion, he took courage, and was preparing an apology, when the lady
presently removed his apprehensions, by whispering these words in his
ear—“My dear doctor, how could you find out my case so immediately the
other evening?—It was certainly a proof of your skill, but for God’s
sake not a word more on that subject.” Thus, the doctor added to his
repute by a circumstance which might have endangered that of a less
fortunate man. This, though a ludicrous event, may serve, as well as
a graver one, to elucidate the fact that many owe their celebrity,
not so much to any _judgement of their own, as to a want of it in
others_. As it is with other professions, so it is with physic. Many
of its professors possessing great skill are doomed to pass their
lives in obscurity, whilst they see others, of inferior knowledge
and judgement, rise to importance. It has been truly said by one who
was not unacquainted with the causes of medical success or failure,
that, “Even among the regularly bred physicians accident will often
accomplish what merit strives for in vain; and those coincidences of
circumstances which frequently elevate one man and depress another in
the medical art, are more the production of what is called chance, than
from any extension of mind, or any peculiar tact or skill in the art of
intellectual combinations.”


 [M] The remarks of the learned editors of the Monthly Gazette of
 Health, Nos. 160 and 162, are so much to the purpose, and so deserving
 of diffusion among all ranks and classes of the community, on the
 exhibition of the jew pedlars, the “_groundly learned physicians_,”
 the “_Doctors_” J. and C. Jordan, “_physicians_ to the West London
 Medical Establishment,” and “proprietors of the _celebrated_ Balsam
 of Rackasiri,” and the _celebrated_ “Salutary Detersive Drops,” as
 the vagabonds impudently and unblushingly style themselves and their
 nostrums; and their redoubtable champion “Mr. _Counsellor_ Bluster,”
 that I cannot do a greater service to the cause of truth and honesty
 and the discomfiture of roguery of all descriptions, than to refer my
 readers to those numbers of that work.

 [N] These “Hebrew” Jewish knaves having at length been driven from
 their strong-hold of delusion, and finding their trade of imposture in
 the “balsam” rapidly declining through the patriotic exertions of “the
 heroic Miss May” and the Editors of the Monthly Gazette of Health, have
 had recourse to a new source of fraud and villainy, “the celebrated
 Salutary Detersive Drops”—and as the vermin have the unblushing
 audacity to designate their filth—a “most _important discovery_, which,
 by _long study_, _deep research_, and at _great expence_, they have,
 _fortunately_ for the human race, brought to a degree of perfection
 which ASTONISHES themselves!!!” and which “is a _certain_ and _speedy
 cure_ for _all_ the most distressing diseases to which human nature is
 heir,” when administered “by _their superior skill_ and _judgment_”
 and sanctioned “by _their high character and situation in life_!!” And
 the IMPIOUS and BLASPHEMOUS wretches invoke the Great God of Nature
 “that HE who has the power of doing all things” may FURTHER their
 villainous and murderous designs! But it is some consolation, though
 the government of the country may be silent and indifferent lookers-on
 to “_doings_” so nefarious and diabolical, that there are hearts that
 feel indignant at the wickedness and imposture of adventurers and
 monsters in iniquity, whom the ignorance of mankind in the principles
 of life and the science of medicine has, as Dr. Morrison justly says
 in _Medicine No Mystery_, “enabled to possess palaces BOUGHT and
 CONSTRUCTED with the TREASURES and BLOOD of their victims.”

 [O] That the ignorant, the thoughtless, and the “fashionable,” should
 become the dopes of mountebank-imposture is not much to be wondered
 at; but that persons of respectability and character, the heads of
 the CHURCH and of the STATE, (I have not yet ascertained that that
 sly old beldam “THE LAW” has stupified herself so much as to lend
 her countenance to the imposture,) should give their sanction and
 support, and endanger their health and lives, by either patronizing
 or using the deleterious compounds of mountebanks, and thus becoming
 the dupes of the most groveling imposture and the vilest quackery,
 cannot really be reasonably accounted for. The old worm-mountebank in
 Long Acre boasts that he has a list of fifteen hundred “CLERGYMEN”
 who can give testimony of the virtues of his nostrums. The miraculous
 powers of Barclay’s Antibilious Pills, Ching’s Worm Lozenges, and some
 other articles in the list of quack medicines, are attested by some
 “RIGHT REVEREND FATHERS IN GOD!” Nor was that notorious and impudent
 mountebank “le Docteur” James Graham, who cured patients by only
 breathing the air of his “Apollo” hall or chamber in the Adelphi,
 which was always impregnated (as he said) with celestial æther and
 influences, without NOBLE AND REVEREND PATRONS. But the consummation
 of dupery was most powerfully displayed in the case of the old
 New England quack, _Cherokee_ Whitlaw. In the case of this Yankee
 quondam gardener, “ROYALS” (as well of native as of foreign breed),
 “RIGHT HONOURABLES,” “REVERENDS,” “SENATORS,” and even some gentle
 “LADYSHIPS,” were his patrons, and those of his mountebank-asylum at
 Bayswater, and the recommenders of his “American Herb Extracts,” which
 were a compound of cabbage water, treacle, turpentine, and Epsom salts,
 and for a pint of which the canting old varlet was barefaced enough
 to demand eight shillings in lawful British specie, though the cost
 price of the mixture did not exceed three half-pence-farthing. But it
 is a lamentable fact, as Dr. Morrison observes in his well-intentioned
 little work, entitled “_Medicine No Mystery_,” that in nineteen cases
 out of twenty (and this, he emphatically remarks, is the proportion
 that ignorance bears to knowledge,) the charlatan, with his mysterious
 phrases and gestures, is more sought after and more prized than the
 accomplished and experienced physician; “so much of the leaven of the
 old idea of the connexion between physic and occult and mysterious
 sciences still subsists,—of those days when physicians pretended to
 judge of their patients’ diseases by seeing their urine; when the stars
 were consulted before a dose of physic was taken; when the king’s evil
 was supposed to be cured by royal touch; when women flocked to surround
 the body of the executed criminal, and rubbed his hands to their
 breasts as a cure for cancer or epilepsy, &c.”

 The mock philanthropy of the contemptible quack Whitlaw, and the
 blasphemous, the monstrously blasphemous and diabolical effrontery
 of the conventicle and meeting pulpit-charlatans, (the vile tools
 of harpyism and religious knavery,) who puffed off this “threadbare
 juggler’s” disgusting impostures by an odious comparison of his selfish
 and detestable tricks with the enlarged and godlike benevolence and
 charity of the Saviour of mankind, deserve the severest reprobation
 and chastisement, though sanctioned by the weak and culpable patronage
 of royals, nobles, statesmen, M.P.’s, and divines, and swallowed by
 the gaping mouths of the ignorant,—of foolish women, and half witted
 men. But of the two species of imposture, the pulpit charlatanry of
 ignorant and selfish empirics is the most disgusting. The diabolical
 farces of those wolves in sheep’s clothing—their ignorant and designing
 perversion of the plain practical morality laid down by the Saviour
 of mankind in the gospel,—the brain-turning and mind-deranging
 fanaticism they inculcate, and which they profanely and audaciously
 call soul-searching and sinner-awakening doctrines, and other like
 unmeaning and abominable stuff which they inculcate under the
 evident chieftainship of the devil, loudly demands some legislative
 interference. It has been well observed, that though the benign spirit
 of toleration has permitted religious empiricism—though folly and
 ignorance have countenanced medical quackery and imposture—and though
 there are persons weak enough to entrust their lives and health, as
 well as their moral and religious instruction, to enthusiastic cobblers
 and tailors; yet considering the strange infatuation of mankind, and
 the proneness of human nature to delusion and imposture, it is the
 duty of every wise and paternal government to protect the weak and
 uninformed from the designs of the devil’s agents, who, in order
 to practise their selfish villanies on their unsuspecting victims,
 become, to use the words of Dr. Robertson the historian, “outrageously
 Christian” in their professions.

 [P] The impolitic and monstrously inconsistent patent medicine act,
 which legalizes and sanctions and promotes the sale of quack poisons,
 has no doubt annually been the unweeting cause of more murders, than
 the joint influence of typhus, small-pox, and consumption. The tax or
 stamp-duty on this odious and destructive trash was, no doubt, at the
 time of its imposition, intended as a prevention of the evil which
 it contemplated to suppress. But this is one of the consequences of
 short-sighted and vicious legislation, and of the entrusting of the
 concoction of the laws to incompetent persons—in the emphatic phrase
 of the most eloquent of human tongues, mere ita lex scripta est
 lawyers—men who make a boast of never having read, or who have had
 but little or no opportunity of reading any other kind of books than
 their musty, ill-written, badly digested law-books; such as certain
 “_learned_ gentlemen,” of prodigiously scholar-like and scientific
 attainments—men, whom the Times Newspaper has justly characterised by
 the style and title of “THE MINDLESS;” and who contrive by the arts of
 “_huggery_” and favouritism to deprive the public of the benefits to
 be derived from the talents of men of “high classical and literary,
 and even legal attainments,” and of the most enlarged and enlightened
 philosophy, but who scorn to court the favour of those in power and
 “high places” by mean and dirty practices.

 [Q] This kind of doctrine will, no doubt, be unpalatable in _a certain
 quarter_, and the productiveness to the exchequer of the DISGRACEFUL
 REVENUE arising from the pest, will be adduced as an argument for
 its continuance. But it is to be hoped, as Mr. J. D. Williams said
 in his meritorious petition to the Commons House of Parliament on
 that subject, that the health of the public will be held superior
 to any such consideration. The lottery, no doubt, brought into the
 state-coffers a considerable revenue; but as it was found to undermine
 and ruin the morals of the community, it was abolished. And the persons
 at the head of the government at the time have the thanks and gratitude
 of every true friend of his country for the act. Surely the HEALTH OF
 THE PUBLIC is entitled to the same provision.

 [R] The whole farrago of quack or patent medicines is destructive of
 health and life, whether cordial or vegetable balsams, tinctures,
 syrups, or elixirs,—pectoral or antiscorbutic drops, bile or
 antibilious pills, tonic or digestive wines, balms of gilead,
 guestonian embrocations, Leake’s pillula salutaria, and a thousand
 other poisonous and life-destroying trash. Thousands upon thousands
 of children under three years of age are consigned yearly to the
 tomb in London alone, by means of the soothing or vegetable syrups,
 the infants’ balms, the worm-cakes, the anodyne necklaces, Godfrey’s
 cordial, Daffy’s elixir, Dalby’s carminative, apothecaries’ draughts
 and powders, and other infernal recipes; which, if they do not cause
 immediate death, occasion fits, convulsions, fevers, excruciating
 gripes, palsy, and often confirmed idiotcy. Gowland’s lotion, the
 kalydors, the macassar oils, the cosmetiques royales, the red and
 white olympian dews, the blooms, the various hair dyes, &c. have not
 only robbed many a female of her charms and loveliness, but have even
 produced severe pains of the bowels and of the brain, have occasioned
 convulsions, and laid the foundation of those diseases which have
 deprived the victims of life itself. The folly of depending for cure
 or relief upon the “gout extractors,” “the metallic tractors,” “animal
 magnetism,” and “signatures,” has been at length exploded; it is
 therefore unnecessary to say a word on the subject.

 [S] The audacity of this fellow exceeds, if possible, the unblushing
 and incorrigible effrontery of the other impostors. He undertakes
 to cure all kinds of diseases without any kind of medicine; and he
 asserts that all difficult surgical operations can be superseded by
 merely taking a sup or two of his delectable compound of combustibles.
 According to the modest pretensions of this exotic esculapius, he
 obtained the knowledge of physic and the power of subduing disease, by
 intuition or inspiration: he had no need to learn: there was no period
 of infancy in his medical attainments; he at once attained the highest
 point and full maturity of medical and chirurgical knowledge! Was
 there ever a more audacious piece of imposture attempted to be palmed
 upon the credulity of the most credulous of mortals, Mr. Bull and his
 progeny? But perhaps the philippics of this gaunt-looking “hygeist”
 against surgery and anatomy may produce some good. It is true that to
 a certain degree, those arts should be esteemed and cherished; but
 after the allowance of suitable consideration, they should fall into
 their proper rank, with wholesome restrictions. Both the arts are
 overrated in point of real utility. Were a knowledge of the living
 laws of the human frame more inculcated by medical professors than is
 the case, it would be found of more essential service than all the
 coxcombry of the present day respecting surgical distinctions and
 anatomical dissections. In many complaints, indeed, in the principal
 part to which the human frame is subject, the inutility of dissection
 is well known to every well informed man. But the assumption of the
 title of “Surgeon,” and the false importance (not to mention the legal
 security which it affords against prosecution, and the facility of
 exemption from examination of competency,) it gives the claimant in the
 estimation of the ignorant part of mankind, have contributed largely
 to the propagation of the erroneous notions which are so anxiously
 disseminated on the subject. Though it would be fruitless to attempt
 to expose this popular folly of the day, (which like all other follies
 or fashions will “have its rage” until its own enormity cures itself,)
 yet “it is some consolation to reflect that in another age a more
 successful practice of medicine will diminish the false estimation in
 which surgical foppery is now held; when to save a limb will be deemed
 a superior exertion of skill to its amputation.”

 Nor is the other branch (namely, that which was once designated
 by the now exploded and unfashionable title of _apothecary_) free
 from reprehension. Those “sons of the pestle and mortar,” whose
 money-interest induces them rather to encourage disease than to
 subdue it, as the longer they keep the patient in hand, the greater
 number of phials, pill-boxes, gallipots, draughts and powders they
 will be entitled to charge for, are so wedded to routine, that they
 can seldom bring themselves to lay aside the lumber and unmeaning
 farrago of materia medicas, pharmacopœias, &c. Their prejudices and
 pertinacity in favour of received opinions and established usage are
 so blind and inveterate, that they will never allow themselves to have
 recourse to the simple remedies which Nature points out: all must be
 mystery, complication, and conformity to etiquette with them: to _lead_
 nature by simple means would be unprofessional; to practise “secundum
 artem,” she must be driven by powerful remedies, as blue pill, or some
 active chemical preparation; and they must bring into play in the
 simplest ailment to which the human frame is subject that huge mass
 of disjointed practices and experiments, which is held together by no
 order, and is not capable of any satisfactory application, or even
 elucidation. On this subject, the remarks of the editor of the Monthly
 Gazette of Health are so deserving of observation, that I cannot deny
 myself the advantage of enriching my pages with them.

 That learned gentleman (who has contributed more to the exposure of
 quackery and imposture than any writer of the age) having introduced to
 the notice of his readers Dr. Mackie’s communication of the medicinal
 virtues of the Guaco plant in cases of hydrophobia among the Indians
 of South America, closes his information with the following striking

 “The mode of treating diseases which is generally adopted by the native
 practitioners of South America, and the East Indies, by decoctions,
 infusions, and the expressed juices of vegetable productions, has, at
 any rate, that great recommendation—_simplicity_; but, contemptible
 as it may appear to be to the practitioners of this country, who
 suppose that no disease can be successfully combated without blue pill
 or calomel, or some active mineral or vegetable poison, agreeable to
 some favourite theory, it often proves successful; and, indeed, from
 the information which we have received from the intelligent gentlemen
 who have spent some years among the natives of South America and the
 East Indies, (some of them members of the medical profession,) we are
 disposed to believe that in some diseases, particularly scorbutic and
 scrofulous affections, and those termed _pseudo-syphilitic_, the native
 surgeons are more successful than the practitioners of this country.
 To us, the great difference between the practice of the former and
 that of the latter appears to be, that the one _lead_ nature by simple
 means, which enable her to correct the constitution, and to produce
 a healthy process of mutation in a diseased part, whilst the other
 _drive_ nature by powerful remedies, as blue pill, or some active
 chemical preparation. Often have we witnessed the recovery of patients,
 who had been discharged from a hospital, under the simple treatment
 by decoction of an apparently simple vegetable, and by fomentations
 under the direction of an old woman; and whoever considers how
 simple the operations of nature are, will not be surprised that such
 treatment should succeed even in a formidable chronic disease. Every
 practitioner of experience and observation will, we think, admit that
 many thousand invalids are annually hurried to their graves in this
 metropolis, by persevering in the use of calomel and blue pill, or a
 drastic purgative, who might have been cured, or whose lives might
 have been prolonged many years, by a mild alterative treatment; and
 that many a limb might have been saved by a mild topical treatment of
 the local diseases, which has been consigned to the knife. In cases
 of internal acute disease, or active inflammation of a vital part, a
 decisive treatment is absolutely necessary to save life; but in chronic
 diseases, attempts by potent remedies to drive nature but too often
 distract her. To the new theory of chronic inflammation, or ulceration
 of the mucous membrane of some part of the alimentary canal, thousands
 have already been sacrificed.”

 [T] The disgusting practice of having one’s hands and eyes polluted at
 every corner of a street with the abominable bills and placards of the
 quacking vermin, is past endurance, and loudly calls for suppression.



There are few trades in which greater frauds are practised than in “the
coal trade.” The dealers in the “black diamonds” are versed in all
the _allowable_ legerdemain and trickery of “_auld_ England’s honest
tradesmen:” the most skilfully initiated in the art of sleight-of-hand
would find himself at fault in attempting to rival the dexterity of
the true “son of the coalshed,” under the old régime of measuring, in
ingeniously tossing his “spadefuls” into the measure so as to enable
“the darlings” to lie lightly and “go far,” and assume the form of a
solid cone, while the hollow cavity within proved as treacherous to any
one treading on its “well raised summit,” as if he had put his foot
on the surface of a quagmire. Nor was the well-fed, gaily clothed,
richly lodged coal-merchant, with his “extensive concerns” to be easily
“_out-done_” in well devised craft and contrivance: nicely pinched
sacks, not foolishly flapping inwards so as to betray the precise
amount of their contents,—well planned deliveries, either so early
in the morning that the heads of the family might prefer the arms of
Morpheus to the hazard of being choked with volumes of coal dust, or so
late in the evening, that there might be a possibility of their being
engaged in the “solid recreation” of their dinner, were a few of the
demonstrations of generalship frequently exhibited by this portion of
“the monied interest” and “great capitalists of the nation.”

But to come to the point in hand. An honest writer on the subject, Mr.
Eddington, in his Treatise on the Coal Trade, p. 94, informs us that
the keeper of a coalshed felt himself dissatisfied with his measure,
if in doling out his article to his poor, half-starved, shivering
neighbours, in pecks, half pecks, or bushels, he could not measure out
at the rate of forty-two bushels from every chaldron of thirty-six
bushels; without taking into consideration the gain to be obtained from
vending the inferior coal, and the consequent increase of quantity by
throwing a few bushels of sifted ashes, pieces of stone, bones, or any
other commodity which will assume a black form after having been well
rummaged among the heap of coals.

Another great source of unfair profit arising to the vender of coals is
the “Macadamizing” of them, and like true “nursing fathers” carefully
and sedulously giving them their due quantum of moisture. For under the
old régime of measuring, the cunning varlets knew full well that by
the greater number of angular points that they were able to produce,
they filled their measure with the least possible quantity of coals.
This paternal fulfilment of the command “to increase and multiply” they
still piously and faithfully observe, as the greater progeny of small
bits and dust that they can produce from a lonely and solitary lump,
the more they will be able to increase the weight by their considerate
and frequently repeated waterings and drenchings. Accordingly they
set their shoulders to the work, and patriotically and radically
proscribe every rebellious lump in their shed, by smashing it into as
many figures as possible, often exceeding in number the ever varying
mutations of the kaleidoscope, or _Orator_ Hunt’s _two hundred thousand
unity_ tales. Nor are their “_betters_” “the merchants” less skilled
in the art. Those considerate and sharp-sighted gentry, foreseeing
that the large masses and blocks which are delivered out of the ships
into their barges, _round_ as they came from the mine, would be an
inconvenience to their customers, and probable tumble on some fair and
delicate damsel’s toes, kindly set to work, and smash away; so that
when _the round coals_ of every chamber, containing the ingrain of
five chaldron and a half, have undergone the process of their friendly
thumpings and republican equalization, they will measure out again from
six to six and a half chaldrons. The increase by breakage appears by
the following statement from Dr. Hutton’s Mathematical Dictionary: “If
one coal measuring exactly a cubic yard (nearly equal to five bolls)
be broken into pieces of a moderate size, it will measure seven bolls
and a half; if broken very small, it will measure nine bolls.”

And even after the coals have gone through the conjuring process of
being increased in bulk by the aforesaid smashing or Macadamising art,
and have reached their destination at the wharf, the ingenuity of
“the monied interest” and “the great capitalists” is still at work.
Careful that the purchaser may not be put to the trouble of wetting his
coals to make them cake and burn well, those considerate and obliging
_gentlemen_ relieve him from the task by _scientifically_ wetting the
commodity; and as a reward for their well intentioned and meritorious
labours they generally contrive to produce, as Mr. Eddington informs
us, “from six to six and a quarter, or even six and a half, chaldrons
from each room,” containing five and a half chaldron of smashed or
“macadamized” coals. A correspondent to the World newspaper for
September, 1829, who signs himself a Coal Merchant, says that instances
are on record where eighty and even ninety sacks have been measured out
of a room of coals!

According to the new régime of weighing, (which has already proved one
of the most deceitful hoaxes that ignorance and cupidity ever contrived
against the interests of the poor,) the quantity is increased in a like
proportion in favour of the coal dealer.

Another hint or two on this matter may be of some service to thee,
friend Bull. Always recollect, John, in the purchase of your coals,
that you pay attention to the season of the year; for there is with
every article a cheap season and a dear one, and with none more than
with coals: by purchasing at the proper season, often from twenty to
thirty per cent. are saved. The method of purchasing should always be
considered; for by purchasing a room of coals, which is called _pool
measure_, two fourths of a chaldron is often obtained in every five
chaldrons; for a room of coals contains in general from sixty-three
to sixty-eight sacks. Therefore, where the quantity is too much for
the consumption of one family, two or more should join together in the

But the legislature, that is, “the _collective wisdom_ of the nation,”
aware of thy disposition to gullibility, has, John, taken thy affair
of coals into its paternal and law-making consideration, and has made
some regulations, as to the possibility of thy receiving “_good_ and
_lawful_” weight. They are as follow:—To ensure _lawful_ weight to
the purchaser, and prevent frauds in the sale and delivery of coals,
the vender of all coals exceeding 560lbs. is to cause the carman to
deliver a paper or ticket to the purchaser before he shoots any of
the coals out of his cart or waggon, specifying the number of tons,
the description of the coals, and the weight of the sack. And a
weighing machine is to be carried in such cart or waggon, with which
the carman is directed to weigh gratis the coals contained in any one
or more of the sacks which the purchaser or his servant may require
to be so reweighed. But no ticket is necessary to be delivered with
coals purchased at the “COAL MARKET,” or with coals exceeding 560lbs.
purchased in bulk from any vessel or wharf, if purchasers do not
require a ticket. The seller of the coals not sending a ticket and a
weighing machine with the coals, and the carman not delivering the
ticket, or neglecting or refusing to weigh the coals, are subject to
distinct penalties.

No less than seventy-seven kinds of sea coal are brought to the London
market; forty-five of which are imported from Newcastle, and the rest
from Sunderland. The best of the Sunderland produce are Stewart’s
main, Lambton’s main, and Hetley main, or as they are more generally
termed in imitation of the old Russell Walls End, Stewart’s Walls End,
&c. The Scotch and Staffordshire coals are inferior to the sea coal
both in durability and the heat which they give, being about one-third
less productive in those qualities than the Newcastle and Sunderland

The test of good coal depends on the burning, and the quantity
of bitumen it affords in its combustion; and no bad signs of its
inferiority are that it is dull, small, stony, or slaty. But the
quality of coals is in a great measure determined by the weight; for
there often occurs a difference of 30lbs. weight in two sacks of
different qualities, though equally filled: largeness of size is no
proper criterion, for the inferior coals are often of the largest size.


 _Painters’ Colours or Pigments, Hats, Broad Cloth, Kerseymeres,
 Linens, Laces, Cambrics, Silks, Jewellery, Stationary, &c._

The spirit of adulteration pursues poor John even into his domestic
arrangements. Should he design to decorate his dwelling—“his neat
suburban cottage”—and have the walls or wainscot of his drawing-room
painted a delicate pink colour to rival the carnation tints of the
cheek of his “cara sposa,” or those of his breakfast parlour, to
imitate the lively blue of the bright eyes of his “lovely cherubs,”
the vile sophisticators mar all his wishes, and he is able to obtain
nothing else than dull and darkling daubs. In fewer words, he cannot
obtain genuine colours wherewith to have his house painted. And this
sophistication does not only extend to the common house-paints, (as
where white lead is mixed with carbonate or sulphate of barytes;
vermilion with red lead, and a long et-cetera;) but should honest
John wish that his hopeful progeny may rival the Zeuxis or Apelles
of antiquity, or confine his paternal longings to the more modern
artists—a Reynolds, a Gainsborough, a Moreland, or a David,—he has
the mortification of seeing his fond illusions dissipated by the
adulterating manufacturers of ultramarine, carmine, lake, Antwerp
blue, crome yellow, Indian ink, and all the other et-ceteras of

The covering of even John’s sconce is not exempt from sophistication.
In the room of the dear bought, far fetched beaver, the adulterators
adorn John’s pate with a strange combination of wool and the homely
and cheaply purchased fur of the rabbit and mole. This, it must be
admitted, is cruel usage of the good old gentleman, and must, as
the witty author of the Indicator says, bring to his mind an odd
association of ideas, (namely, of cheatery and forgiveness,) in one
of those communings with his hat’s lining, while, like a polite
worshipper, he is whispering his preparatory ejaculations, before he
turns round with due gravity and composure, and makes a bow of genteel
recognition of the Mr. and Mrs A. and the Misses B. who have assembled
in the pew before him.

Nor is he better treated by his clothier or man’s mercer. Not to
mention the slight texture of the articles, and the substitution
of inferior materials for the “_best superfine_ Spanish” and the
“_super-extra_ Saxony,” the sly varlet artfully stitches the selvage
of broad cloths, kerseymeres, and ladies’ “extra superfine,” dyed of a
permanent colour, to the edge of cloth dyed with a fugative or fading
dye; and this operation is performed with so much skill and nicety as
to elude John’s most penetrating optics.

Neither are Mrs. Bull and her “lovely daughters” more exempt from the
knaveries of the linen-draper, the dealers in laces, veils, silks,
“Cashmere shawls,” French cambrics, and the other paraphernalia of
the female wardrobe: they are all sophisticated, and often no more
like the native article than “the moon is like green cheese.” Like
“a true bred knight,” I shall not forget to furnish the female part
of Mr. Bull’s family with the means and criteria for judging of the
goodness of those commodities, in the work which, as I have before
said, I have nearly ready for press. Nor shall I omit to take notice in
the same publication, to give directions for the proper selection of
the articles of furniture of the old gent’s house; such as feathers,
blankets, carpets, &c. &c.

While gallantly professing my knight-errantry in the cause of Mrs. Bull
and “her lovely daughters,” I find that I have made an unpardonable
omission—not a word on laces and muslins! To propitiate their “kind
consideration,” I hurry to supply the unpardonable omission. Let
then every “lovely fair one” know that laces are now generally made
from single cottons (instead of good double thread, as was formerly
the case), and in order to make them look fine and clear, they are
stiffened with starch, which occasions the delusive articles, as soon
as they are washed, to fall to pieces. In some articles of lace,
particularly veils, many of the springs and flowers are fastened on
with gum, which, as soon as they are wetted, immediately fall off and
betray the cheatery. Caps and other articles of female habiliments sold
in the streets, are often united together in the most ingenious manner
by means of gum or paste.

Muslins are not free from sophistication-ingenuity. Poor, thin, rough
specimens are rendered stiff, high glazed, and thick with a quantum
sufficit of pipe-clay, &c.; sometimes a paper-pulp is spread over the
deteriorated article; and the fibres of the cotton which ought to be
dressed off, are left in order to hold the composition put in.

Stockings are often rendered stiff and thick to the feet, by bleaching
them with brimstone. And coarse woollen cloth receives the addition of
large quantities of fuller’s-earth to give it body and closeness; while
the right or pressed side is finished off with oil, in order to give
the cloth a fine, soft, and smooth appearance. Never choose woollen
cloth which is glossy and stiff.

“The frauds committed in the tanning of skins, and their conversion
into leather; and in the manufacture of cutlery and jewellery,”
says Mr. Accum, “exceed belief.” And I can assure my readers that
that gentleman is not mistaken in his assertion; and, had he added
that of cabinet wares and silver plate of all sorts, he would not
have over-stepped the limits of truth. To those acquainted with the
manufacture of silver goods, it is well known that you cannot always
be sure that the various costly articles are of the legal standard
with which Pride and Vanity, Luxury and Fashion, when they “set up
for _Gentry_ and _Stylish_ people,” and have a desire for “_shewing
off_,” gratify their whims and fantastic notions of gentility, and
their ambition of “_outplating and outdishing_” their friends and
neighbours. The prosecution instituted some years ago against a
“legitimate” son of Crispin for the manufacture of shoes, the soles
of which were ingeniously united to the welts by only six stitches in
each shoe, while the external parts of the soles exhibited evident
traces of a multiplicity of stitches rivalling the number of the stars
of the firmament of the heavens in extent and variety, and their exact
mathematical precision seemed to display the exertion of the genius of
a Euclid, cannot have slipped the recollection of all my readers.

And to complete the climax of sophistication, even the paper on
which John gives birth to his “winged words,” and expresses his
indignant feelings at the extent and the audacity of the frauds and
impositions practised on his good-nature and credulous disposition,
is sophisticated. In the manufacture of paper, a large quantity of
plaster of Paris is often mixed up with the paper-stuff, instead of
its consisting of good linen rags only, and the foreign substance is
added to increase the weight of the commodity. Nor is he, when, like
ourselves, desirous of having his thoughts and discoveries rendered
“enduring for ages,” (monumentum ære perennius,) by having them cast
in stereotype, and thus “save a penny,” exempt from the designs and
contrivances of sophistication;—the founder deceives him by casting
his “words that breathe and thoughts that burn” in a metal as soft
and ductile as lollipop. Thus honest Bull is circumvented in all his
intents, and surprised and overpowered at every turn by the Genius of


Friend Bull! if thou hast carefully and dispassionately (that is,
if thou hast sufficiently divested thy honest mind of its usual
scepticism—videlicet, its unwillingness to be convinced against its
constitutional prejudices,) read my disclosures, I am willing to
believe that thou wilt readily admit that I have established all my
allegations of the frauds and impositions to which thou art subject
in this sophisticating age, and that I have proved the truth and
propriety of the title of my little book, “DISEASE AND DEATH IN THE
POT AND THE BOTTLE.” What remedy (for a good advocate seldom forgets
that prospective part of his duty,) to recommend thee to adopt,
in order to free thyself from the knavery and effrontery of the
sophisticators, I know not, except, hermetically to close thy jaws
so as to prevent the entrance of any of the sophistications into
them, or the more pleasurable remedy of preferring a petition to thy
“gracious Sovereign,” who “can do no wrong,” praying “the omnipotency
of Parliament,”—in its “collective and superlative wisdom” to take
thy deplorable case into consideration,” and to devise some means, in
the plenitude of its conjoint wisdom, to protect thee and thy “little
ones,” in this “land of equal law,” from the arts and devices of slow
poisoning. In the success of thy humble and righteous remonstrance
believe me, thy fellow sufferer, and “enemy of fraud and villany,”
will heartily and sincerely join.


       *       *       *       *       *

POSTSCRIPT.—In reviewing my well-meant, and, I trust, useful
denunciations of fraud and villany, I find that I have omitted to speak
of false weights and measures. But as the proverb says, better late
than never. Not to mention the trick of clapping a piece of weight or
other metal underneath the scale in which the commodity to be sold
is weighed; commercial balances are frequently misconstructed for
fraudulent purposes, by making the arm from which the substance to be
weighed is suspended longer than that from which the counterpoise is
hung, thereby giving the substance to be weighed a greater leverage.

⁂ _Authenticated_ communications of adulterations thankfully received,
and liberally paid for.


Note to page 28.

I have said at the above mentioned page that “the perfection of
adulteration is in gin;” and on reviewing that passage I have no cause
to modify the expression; but must, with all my heart and soul, assent
to the declaration of honest Jonas Hanway, that it is “a liquid fire;”
and must further agree with the said true-hearted old Englishman, that
“it should be sold only in quart bottles, sealed up with the king’s
seal, with a very high duty, and never sold without being mixed with a
strong emetic.” This I admit is a very harsh prescription, and no doubt
every true lover of “blue-ruin” will exclaim, notwithstanding that he
or she is aware that their “comfort” is in the most abandoned state of
adulteration, and is a rank slow poison, equally ruinous to the health
and the purse;—What! a gin-drinking nation, and yet not a drop of “the
genuine”—of the popular English beverage, the diurnal consumption of
which in the metropolis alone, would inundate the largest parish within
the bills of mortality—not a drop of “the genuine” to be had for money!
Yes, Bull, whether thou beest of the masculine or feminine gender,
this is the truth; and it is a circumstance, the reformation of which
would well become the labours of the informing tribe and the bellowers
of radical reform. Here there would be a fine field for radicalism and
“informing” to exercise themselves in.

Note to page 83.

I have stated at page 83, that fish out of season is unwholesome. The
following fact will confirm the truth of this assertion. It is well
known that in Ireland and Scotland, where great facility is presented
to the country people in catching salmon, both during and after
the spawning season, the eating of the fish in that state has been
productive of very serious consequences to the health of the consumers.
Probably the unwholesome consignments of noxious fish obtained
_exclusively_, as the fashionable fishmongers phrase it, out of season,
and to be purchased only at extravagant prices, often occasion to their
epicurean customers and the legitimate gourmands much of the illness
assigned to other causes.

Note to page 87.

At page 87, I have said that the quantity of tea consumed in this
country is between twenty and thirty millions of lbs. weight; but I
forgot to state that between two and three millions of pounds sterling
are drawn out of the pocket of the public yearly in its purchase,
either in the form of price or of duty. Surely the expenditure of this
enormous sum by the good people of this country, and considering that
tea has become so essential a part of the diet of every person in the
kingdom, imposes an obligation on the sovereign company of tea dealers
in Leadenhall Street to take care that the inhabitants of “this land of
milk and honey,” who pay nearly eight times as much as their neighbours
do for the same article (namely bohea tea), have a good and fresh
commodity, instead of the tasteless, parched, insipid, and scentless
rubbish which they retail out to the public, after having remained in
the warehouse long enough to perish its good qualities even were its
flavour and taste ten times more delicious and grateful than they are.
Would it not, as it has been well said, be to the credit of some of our
genuine members of the legislature to endeavour to procure the sale of
a pure and good article, instead of the trash that is foisted upon the
public at present, and which they cannot appeal from, by introducing a
law into parliament legalizing the purchase of the article from other
hands than the Leadenhall Street monopolists.

Note to page 89, &c.

An experienced friend in the tea trade who has read over and approved
of the various tests I have mentioned at page 89, &c. for detecting the
qualities of tea, has kindly furnished me with the following valuable

“As a ready test of black tea being manufactured from old tea-leaves,
dyed with logwood, &c. moisten some of the tea, and rub it on white
paper, which it will blacken when not genuine. If you wish to be more
particular, infuse a quantity of the sample in half a pint of cold soft
water for three or four hours. If the water is then of an amber colour,
and does not become red when you drop some oil of vitriol or sulphuric
acid into it, you may presume the tea to be good. Adulterated black
tea, when infused in cold water, gives a bluish black tinge, and it
becomes instantly red with a few drops of oil of vitriol.

Note to page 154.

I observe that I have forgotten to give “a local habitation and a name”
among the morning water and Sir Reverence doctors, to his _Doctorship
Doctor_ Laing, of Newman Street, Oxford Street. And I have to beg
pardon, most humbly and reverently, for passing over the quondam
Greenwich Crumples, alias _Doctor_ Cameron, alias _Mister_ Coley, in
Berners Street, Oxford Street;—the _Doctor_ to a new patient with his
morning water and “_shiners_” in hand, but _Mister_, when the said
“_humbugged_” patient, having discovered the fraud practised upon him,
returns to “_blow up_” the _Doctor_ for his tricks and ignorance.

Note to page 166.

After all the vapouring and drivelling nonsense that has been said,
sung and trumpeted forth by a certain portion of the Periodical Press
respecting the “Simplicity of Health,” it is really consoling to find
at last a man of sense and critical acumen having spirit and honesty
enough to relieve the public from the delusions under which it is
suffering from the book in question.

“An immense quantity of drivel,” says the spirited Editor of The
Edinburgh Literary Journal, 1829, “has found its way into books
professing to give an account of the best mode of preserving health;
but of all the drivel it has ever been our lot to peruse, that
contained in the work entitled the “Simplicity of Health,” is the most
pre-eminent.” The ingenious and honest reviewer, after having pointed
out several of the fooleries and extravagancies of the book, adds, “We
have no patience with a piece of humbug like this; we shall not insult
the good sense of our readers with more of this doting nonsense.”
It must be admitted that this sentence is dictated in the strictest
and the justest sense of criticism, and that had all those who have
ventured to laud and recommend that dangerous little book adopted
somewhat of its spirit, much bodily and mental suffering might have
been saved to many people who will become the victims of its misjudged
and culpable directions.

The burst of indignation and ridicule expressed by the Critic
respecting Hortator’s foolish directions for “_Squirting water briskly
into the eyes_ BY _a syringe_,” is too fraught with truth and utility
to be omitted: “Is it not plain from this, that the poor squirting
wretch must have bleared and blood-shot eyes? Imagine a beautiful girl
at her morning toilette, presenting one of this dirty old booby’s
squirts at her clear blue laughing eyes! But the fact is, this impudent
old wife must be descended from a long line of tailors, who have bred
in and in, till the imbecile race has ended in the scarecrow who has
spawned the “Simplicity of Health.”

It is with much satisfaction that I am able to support the opinion
which I have expressed at page 166, by so just and judicious a
criticism as the above; had I stood alone in opinion, that opinion
would have been assigned to any other than its true cause—_a sense of
public duty_, which ought with every true patriot to be paramount to
every other consideration.

       *       *       *       *       *

I shall now close my well meant, and I hope I may say, useful and
patriotic little volume, with a few words respecting those pests
and scourges of society, the sharking and extortionate part of the
pawnbroking trade, and those banes of human comfort and existence the


It has been well said, that as the poorest, the most distressed, and
the most friendless are those who are compelled to have dealings with,
and are exposed to the “tender mercies” of pawnbrokers, it is of the
utmost consequence that such men as follow the calling should be
honest, correct, and even humane characters. For the sake of honesty it
is to be hoped that there are many of this description; but a little,
and but a little unhappy experience when urgent necessity may compel
the unfortunate to have recourse to shops of this description, will
convince the most thoughtless person alive, that there are numbers
of heartless, griping, and extortionate scoundrels in that trade,
whose conduct and dealings are a disgrace to the most contemptible
sharper and swindler alive,—who by every species of fraud, extortion,
and oppression, rob, harass, and plunder the poor and the miserable,
and add to the distresses of those whose misfortunes have reduced
them to have dealings with the detestable harpies. The taking of
illegal and excessive interest is comparatively the least important
of their delinquencies, though this to the poor and unfortunate is
grinding in the extreme, as these knaves in their dealings with those
who have neither money nor friends, treat the act of Parliament for
the regulation of the Pawnbroking trade as a mere dead letter. The
substitution of articles of inferior description for such as are of a
greater value,—the taking off the gold hands and removing the interior
works of watches, and replacing them with others which resemble them,
of base metal or inferior value,—and the scraping or diminishing
articles of plate and the cases of watches, are well known to those
whose wants or emergencies compel them to send their property on its
travels up the spout of the pop-shop. And through the defect of the
law, and as the poet Crabbe says, “the protection of a drowsy bench,”
sufferers but rarely obtain any redress. A periodical writer, in
expressing his abhorrence of the frauds of these vermin, recommends
the sufferers to lay “incessant informations against the malpractices
of these villains.” But had that kind-hearted man been acquainted with
the fact that informations have been repeatedly laid, and have always
miscarried, and will always miscarry while the law remains in its
defective state, he would, no doubt, have recommended a petition to
Parliament, praying to subject the infamous impostors to the punishment
of transportation for their audacious and daily frauds and swindlings
practised “on the children of sorrow and the heirs of unnumbered woes
and wants.” The fate of informations has been fully proved in the
numerous instances in which a scoundrel in the neighbourhood of Snow
Hill has defeated the purposes of justice by the contemptible quibbles,
evasions, and subterfuges resorted to by his attorney in all cases
in which he has been summoned before the magistrates at Guildhall,
and by whose very disgraceful objections as to technicalities, he has
contrived as hitherto, to laugh at and hold in contempt both Law and


“Where the noble mind’s o’erthrown.”

How true is the remark that “the history of the _Red_ and _White
Houses_,” like that of the Red and White Roses, would afford many
interesting though appalling particulars were they collected in a
detailable form.

      “For who to that dread spot consigned,
      Amid the maniac’s horrid yell
    Has liv’d, and in that den confined,
      Could not some secrets of the madhouse tell.”

“Yes! there still live some few who have escaped perpetual torture and
confinement, which the soothing care of _disinterested friends_ would
have buried alive in those inquisitorial receptacles, but for the acute
discernment of the eye of humanity, which accident or curiosity had
directed to the spot.

“Of private madhouses there has long been but one prevailing opinion.
The generality of them are instituted as a medium of existence by
talentless and avaricious individuals, who are better, by far, adapted
for the office of turnkeys to Newgate, than for the exercise of such
moral and physical means as would appear calculated to restore lost
reason. They manage these things much better in Paris; but it is not
our intention to enter into particulars as regards the management of
these licensed houses of correction in the home department, where every
fibre of humanity appears paralysed, where victims are left to linger
out their miserable and wretched existence, and to perish by means we
know nothing of.” Instances innumerable are on record of the improper
treatment of the unhappy persons immured in these dreary abodes; the
inquest that sat at the Elephant and Castle, Pancras Road, on the body
of a poor woman named Ann Goldstock, alias Coldstock, in the month of
August, 1828, who came by her death, under singular circumstances, in
the madhouse, otherwise yclep’d the White House at Bethnal Green,
kept by one Warburton, cannot have slipped the recollection of all my
readers. The case of an unfortunate man of the name of Parker confined
in that place for alleged insanity, is also too remarkable to be passed
over in silence. My man-servant importuned me to see the poor fellow.
I accordingly went to him, and must acknowledge, that after a long
interview in which I closely cross-examined him, he gave a statement of
his life and transactions, distinguished for its accuracy, minuteness,
and consistency. I wish the parties concerned in that affair to
recollect, though I have been refused admittance to the unhappy man
by one of the understrappers of that place, that I will not let this
affair pass unheeded, as I have very little doubt but that I shall be
able to bring to justice the knaves who have stripped the poor fellow
and his injured family of their property, and who, to screen their
villany, have consigned him to a madhouse.

                               THE END.


  _September 1, 1832._

                            PRACTICAL BOOKS


                          Sporting Subjects,


                              PRINTED FOR

                      SHERWOOD, GILBERT, & PIPER,



[Illustration: Dogs head carrying hunting equipment]

_Just published, in One large Volume, Octavo, illustrated with numerous
highly-finished and emblematical Engravings, price_ £1:11:6, _bound in

                       A NEW AND ORIGINAL WORK,

                             ENTITLED THE

                        SPORTSMAN’S CYCLOPÆDIA;

Being an Elucidation of the Science and Practice of the FIELD, the
TURF, and the SOD; or, in other Words, the Scientific Operations of the
CHASE, the COURSE, and of all those Diversions and Amusements which
have uniformly marked the British Character; and which are so ardently
cherished, and so extensively followed, by the present Generation:
comprehending the Natural History of all those Animals which are the
Objects of Pursuit, accompanied with illustrative Anecdotes.

                           BY T. B. JOHNSON,

             _Author of the Shooter’s Companion, &c. &c._

IN offering the present work to the SPORTING WORLD, the Publishers do
not deem any apology necessary, as there is no Book on sale professedly
of a similar character, nor one that will furnish a Sportsman with that
information which he may desire on the various Field Sports of the
present day.

Under such circumstances, the Publishers conceive that a “_Sportsman’s
Cyclopædia_” will be not only acceptable to those who follow the
_Hounds_, pursue the _Feathered Tribes_, frequent the _Lake_, or the
_Stream_, or attend the _Course_, but also to the Public in general.

They, therefore, honestly and fearlessly assert that the Author and
Compiler of it is a well-known Sportsman, who has made the various
subjects of the book the business of his life, and whose practical
knowledge of FIELD AMUSEMENTS, in its various ramifications, is
uniformly acknowledged. Nor have they spared either pains or expense in
the Printing or the Embellishments which illustrate and adorn the Work;
their object being to produce, not merely a Book of General Reference,
but a complete SPORTSMAN’S LIBRARY.

This Work is elegantly printed on Fine Paper, and illustrated with
most characteristic Style of Excellence by those eminent Artists,

  &c. &c.

It is presumed that the alphabetical Arrangement of the Work will
afford every facility to the Reader, and that it will be found to

THE NATURAL HISTORY OF THE HORSE, in all its Ramifications; the most
approved SYSTEM OF GROOMING (particularly of the HUNTER) and STABLE
MANAGEMENT, with copious Notices of the Diseases to which he is liable,
and the most judicious Mode of treating them.


THE DOG, in all his Varieties, with his Diseases and Manner of Cure,
and Instructions for Breeding, Breaking, or Training Him for the
different Pursuits; with Directions for entering Hounds.

HUNTING the Fox, Hare, Stag, &c. and the Nature of Scent, as
exemplified in their Pursuit; also, particular Notices of various Packs
of Hounds. The various kinds of Pointers and Setters, and the Method of
Breeding those best calculated for the Sportsman.

Information relative to the Use of the Fowling Piece.

COURSING, with Notices of celebrated Greyhounds; and the most judicious
Plan of Breeding these interesting Animals.

THE RACE COURSE, with its Operations, in all their Varieties; of
Breeding the Racer, of Training Him, &c. &c. with particular Notices of
the most distinguished Running Horses.

THE COCK PIT, and Management of Game Cocks.

THE WHOLE ART OF ANGLING AND FISHING in all their different Forms, &c.

⁂ For the accommodation of the public, the Sportsman’s Cyclopædia may
be had in Twelve Parts, by one or more at a time, price 2_s._ 6_d._
each. The whole Work forms ONE LARGE VOLUME in OCTAVO, closely printed,
and contains as much matter as five ordinary sized Volumes.


THE COURSER’S COMPANION; or, a Practical Treatise on the LAWS of the
LEASH, with the defects of the old Laws considered; and a NEW CODE
proposed, with Explanatory Notes. By an EXPERIENCED COURSER. Price
5_s._ Boards.

“Though small in size, this book is great in value; the author’s name,
Mr. Thomas Thacker, of Derby, who is an old Courser, and which is a
passport to it, is too modestly kept back. To real sportsmen, who read
for solid information, the volume will exhibit unquestionable proofs of
being thoroughly practical on the subject of COURSING.” _Sporting Mag._

_Osmer on Horses._

laid down the proper METHOD OF SHOEING the different Kinds of FEET:
whereunto are added, some New Observations on the ART OF FARRIERY,
chiefly as relate to Wounds, to Epidemic Distemper, to Surgical
Operations, to Debility, to Tumours, &c. Also, on the Nature and
Difference in the Breeds of Horses.

By WILLIAM OSMER, Veterinary Surgeon and Shoeing Smith.

Fifth Edition, newly re-written, with considerable Additions, and a
Treatise on Debility, &c. &c. By JOHN HINDS, V.S. Author of the Groom’s
Oracle, Veterinary Surgery, and Practice of Medicine.

⁂ “_Osmer’s Treatise on the Horse_, by _J. Hinds_, is among the most
valuable of our recent publications. This and Mr. Hinds’ ‘Grooms’
Oracle’ ought to be in the possession of every Gentleman, who either
has in possession, or has a chance of possessing, the noble animal
to whose proper treatment the Author has directed his enlightened
researches.”—_Taunton Courier._

_Thompson on Riding._

RULES FOR BAD HORSEMEN; Hints to Inexpert Travellers; and Maxims worth
Remembering by the most experienced Equestrians. By CHARLES THOMPSON,
Esq. A new Edition, with modern Additions, by JOHN HINDS, V.S. Editor
of Osmer’s Treatise on the Horse; Author of the Groom’s Oracle, &c.
Price 3_s._ 6_d._

_Hinds’ and White’s Farriery Improved._

Description of the true Symptoms and most rational Treatment of all
Diseases incident to the Horse; adapted to the ready comprehension of
every class of Horsemen, viz. Owners, Farriers, Farmers, Horsekeepers,
Grooms, and Lads. Comprising all that has been usefully said by various
Authors. Revised and corrected, with considerable important modern
Improvements, by JOHN HINDS, V.S. and Others. With illustrative Plates,
price 5_s._

⁂ The design of this _multum in parvo_ volume has been to compress
into a small portable manual as large a quantity of really important
useful matter as usually occupies works of much greater magnitude,
whilst adding thereto all the new discoveries in the art. This has been
accomplished by a strict economy in printing, by a singularly terse
style of writing, and the rigid rejection of numerous superfluities.
By these means several new modes of practice, and valuable
Veterinary observations, have been introduced—principally as regards
Constitutional disorders—the Epidemic Distemper of 1832—Inflammation of
the organs of life—Tumours—Liver complaints—Debility—Disorders of the
the signs by which to ascertain what illness at any time impends over
the ailing Horse.

easy, but efficacious, Instructions for the PRESERVATION OF GAME,
as exemplified in the Mode of Managing it, particularly during the
Breeding Season. Of Hatching the Eggs of Pheasants and Partridges
which have been mown over, and the best method of Rearing the Young.
Also for taking or killing all kinds of Vermin, as exemplified in the
Mode of Trapping and Destroying them. By T. B. JOHNSON, Author of the
Sportsman’s Cyclopædia, Shooter’s Companion, &c. Price 5_s._ 6_d._

_Brown on Horse-Racing._

THE TURF EXPOSITOR; containing the Origin of Horse-Racing, Breeding
for the Turf, Training, Trainers, Jockeys; Cocktails, and the System
of Cocktail Racing illustrated; the Turf and its Abuses; the Science
of betting Money, so as always to come off a Winner, elucidated by a
variety of Examples; the Rules and Laws of Horse-racing; and every
other Information connected with the Operations of the Turf. By C. F.
Brown. Price 6_s._ boards.

_Brown’s Anecdotes of Horses._

_In a thick Volume, royal 18mo. containing Fourteen Portraits of
celebrated Horses, &c. engraved on Steel, Price 10s. 6d. cloth._


By Captain THOMAS BROWN, F.L.S. M.R.P.S. M.K.S. &c. &c.

“We have now before us the pleasing fruit of Captain Brown’s labour
and investigation. Setting out with the early history of the horse,
and tracing it to the present period, the author next goes through the
various breeds, and finally enlivens the whole with the accounts of
feats and other memorabilia, which are well calculated to astonish and
amuse.”—_London Literary Gazette._

“Captain Brown’s work is an entertaining and instructive miscellany.
Pleasanter gossip than that of horses we do not know, and richer food
for it cannot be found, than in this volume.”—_Spectator._

“Those who have any relish for this noble animal—any wish to know
its history and habits—will find all they want in Captain Brown’s
book. There are nine excellent plates, and nearly 600 pages of
letter-press.”—_New North Briton._

“With Captain Brown’s delightful volume of ‘Anecdotes of Horses,’ just
issued, every one who crosses a saddle ought to be intimate.”—_Glasgow
Free Press._

_Conversations on Conditioning._

Management of Horses generally, as to Health, Dieting, and Exercise
are considered, in a Series of Familiar Dialogues between two Grooms
engaged in Training Horses to their Work, as well for the Road as the
Chase and Turf. With an APPENDIX, including the RECEIPT-BOOK of JOHN
HINDS, V.S. Second Edition, considerably improved, embellished with an
elegant Frontispiece, painted by S. Aiken, price 7_s._ cloth.

⁂ This enlarged edition of the “Groom’s Oracle” contains a good number
of new points connected with training prime horses; and the owners
of working cattle, also, will find their profit in consulting the
practical remarks that are applicable to their teams; on the principle
that _health preserved_ is better than _disease removed_.

_Blaine’s Farriery._

subordinately, of those of NEAT CATTLE and SHEEP. Illustrated by
Surgical and Anatomical Plates. By DELABERE BLAINE.

The Fourth Edition, considerably improved and increased by the
introduction of many new and important Subjects, both in the Foreign
British practices of the art, and by the addition of some new Figures.
Price 1_l._ 4_s._ _cloth, and lettered_.

_Girard on the Age of the Horse._

A TREATISE ON THE TEETH OF THE HORSE; showing its Age by the Changes
the Teeth undergo, from a Foal up to Twenty-Three Years Old, especially
after the Eighth Year. Translated from the French by M. GIRARD,
Director of the Royal Veterinary School at Alford, by T. J. GANLY, V.S.
11th Light Dragoons. Price 3_s._ 6_d._ or, with the Plates coloured,
4_s._ 6_d._ boards.

⁂ This work is strongly recommended by Professor Coleman, in his
Lectures to the attention of persons studying the Veterinary
Profession; and who may wish to be well acquainted with the Horse’s Age.

“The above useful Treatise is calculated to be of considerable service,
in the present state of our knowledge. We recommend the work to the
Amateur, the Practitioner, and the Veterinary Student.”—_Lancet._

_A Complete Manual for Sportsmen._

HUNTING, COURSING, RACING, FISHING, &c.; with Observations on the
Breaking and Training of Dogs and Horses; also, the Management of
Fowling-pieces, and all other Sporting Implements. By WILLIAM HENRY

⁂ This Work is beautifully printed, on fine paper, and illustrated
with upwards of _Fifty highly-finished Engravings_, Thirty-four on
Copper, executed in the most characteristic style of excellence, by
the remainder cut on Wood, by CLENNELL, THOMPSON, AUSTIN, and BEWICK.
The author’s object has been, to present, in as compressed a form as
real utility would admit, Instructions in all the various Field Sports
in Modem Practice; thereby forming a Book of General Reference on the
subject, and including in one volume, what could not otherwise be
obtained without purchasing many and expensive ones.—In demy 8vo. Price
1_l._ 18_s._ or, in royal 8vo. 3_l._ 3_s._ boards.

“It gives us pleasure to observe the respectability of the Work
entitled ‘British Field Sports.’ In this kingdom, the Sports of the
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the technical distribution of this knowledge, together with Facts,
Instructions, and Anecdotes, form the basis of this valuable
publication.”—_Farmers’ Journal._

_Laporte’s Horse._

made use of to denote his various Parts, engraved from an Original
Painting of G. H. LAPORTE, Esq. size 10 Inches by 8. Price 1_s._ 6_d._
accurately coloured.

_Johnson on Hunting._

THE HUNTING DIRECTORY; containing a compendious View of the Ancient and
Modern Systems of the Chase; the Method of Breeding and Managing the
various kinds of Hounds, particularly Foxhounds; their Diseases, with a
certain Cure for the Distemper. The pursuit of the Fox, the Hare, the
Stag, &c. The nature of Scent considered and elucidated. Also, Notices
of the Wolf and Boar Hunting in France; with a variety of illustrative
observations. By T. B. JOHNSON, Author of the Shooter’s Companion.
Printed in 8vo. price 9_s._ boards.


[Illustration: Man with gun, dog and brace of birds]

_Just Published_, THIRD EDITION, _very considerably Improved, and
Illustrated with numerous Cuts. Price 9s. bound in Cloth._

as well as of those Animals which constitute the Objects of Pursuit; of
the BREEDING of POINTERS and SETTERS, the Diseases to which they are
liable, and the Modes of Cure. TRAINING DOGS for the GUN. Of Scent,
and the Reason why one Dog’s Sense of Smell is superior to another’s.
The FOWLING PIECE fully considered, particularly as it relates to the
use of Percussion Powder. Of Percussion Powder, and the best Method of
making it. Of Gunpowder. Shooting Illustrated; and the ART OF SHOOTING
FLYING or RUNNING, simplified and clearly laid down. Of WILD FOWL and
FEN SHOOTING; as well as every information connected with the use of
the Fowling Piece. The Game Laws familiarly explained and illustrated.

“This is a well-written and well-arranged production; containing much
interesting information, not only to the professed sportsman, but to
those who may occasionally seek this fascinating recreation. It is not
the production of any ordinary sportsman, but of one who can enjoy the
pleasures of the library as well as those of the field.”—_Literary

“We now take leave of the work, recommending it, in comparison
with most others on the same subject, as luminous to a degree; and
reflecting on the talents, experience, and feeling of the author, the
highest credit.”—_Sporting Magazine._

_Blaine on the Diseases of Dogs._

CANINE PATHOLOGY; or, a Description of the DISEASES of DOGS,
Nosologically Arranged, with their Causes, Symptoms, and Curative
Treatment; and a copious Detail of the RABID MALADY: preceded by a
Sketch of the NATURAL HISTORY of the DOG, his Varieties and Qualities;
with practical Directions on the Breeding, Rearing, and salutary
Treatment of these Animals. Third Edition, Revised, Corrected, and
Improved. Price 9_s._ boards. By DELABERE BLAINE.

_Stevenson’s Cattle Doctor._

Practical Hints and Receipts for preventing and curing the most
&c. with a very copious List of the most valuable Veterinary Medicines
and the manner of preparing them for Animals of every Description. By
JOHN STEVENSON, Esq. Price 5_s._

_Lawrence on Live Stock._

their Breeding, Management, Improvement, and Diseases; with Remedies
for Cure. By JOHN LAWRENCE, Author of the “New Farmer’s Calendar.”
Second Edition. In one large vol. 8vo price 12_s._ boards.

“If the Author had not already recommended himself to the Public by his
‘New Farmer’s Calendar,’ and other works, the judicious observations
and useful hints here offered would place him in the list of those
rural counsellors who are capable of giving advice, and to whose
opinion some deference is due. His sentiments on general subjects
expand beyond the narrow boundaries of vulgar prejudice; and his good
sense is forcibly recommended to us by its acting in concert with a
humane disposition.”—_Monthly Review._

Mr. James White, in his work on Veterinary Medicine, says, “Mr.
Lawrence’s _General Treatise on Cattle, the Ox, the Sheep, and the
Swine_,” ought to be in every one’s hands, who is interested in the

comprehending the Choice, Management, Purchase and Sale of every
Description of the Horse, the Improved Method of Shoeing, Medical
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CATTLE; being a complete Set of Tables, distinctly pointing out the
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[Illustration: A horse]

_Beautifully printed in 4to. embellished with Forty highly-finished
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THE SPORTSMAN’S REPOSITORY, comprising a Series of highly-finished
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By the Author of “British Field-Sports.”

It would be difficult to imagine any selection from the great
storehouse of Nature more likely to merit general attention, or to
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to name two which are so intimately associated with our wants, our
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we are indebted for the power of transporting ourselves from place
to place, with speed and comfort, and for the means of participating
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for increased activity and productiveness.

But it is not on this ground alone that it aspires to patronage. It
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reception. Who is there that has not, at some period of his life,
acknowledged the influence of an attachment between himself and his
dog? Who is there that does not recognize in this faithful, vigilant,
sagacious, humble, and silent friend, the possessor of qualities, which
are not always to be found in the human and more talkative friend?

It is only necessary further to observe, that the literary execution
and graphic embellishment of this work are not unworthy of the subjects
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_The following are the Subjects of the Plates which embellish the
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 1.—GODOLPHIN ARABIAN, the Property of Lord Godolphin.

 2.—ARABIAN, the Property of the Right Hon. Henry Wellesley.

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 4.—KING HEROD and FLYING CHILDERS, the Property of the Duke of

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 11.—CART-HORSE, _Dumpling_, the Property of Messrs. Horne and Devey.

 12.—PONIES, _Shetland_, _Forester_, and _Welsh_, the Property of Jacob
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 13.—A MULE, the Property of Lord Holland—and an ASS.


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The Work complete comprehends Ten Parts, price 5_s._ each: or with
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BELL. Price 1_s._

THE GENTLEMAN’S POCKET FARRIER; showing how to use a Horse on a
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_Curtis on Grasses._

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_Sir John Sinclair on Agriculture._

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The Subjects particularly considered, are

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 2. The Means of Cultivation which are essential to ensure its success.

 3. The various Modes of improving Land.

 4. The various Modes of occupying Land.

 5. The Means of improving a Country.


[Illustration: A farmyard]

also, an interesting Account of the Egyptian Method of Hatching Eggs
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information in plain and intelligible terms. The convenience of a
small poultry-yard—two or three pigs, with a breeding sow—and a cow
for cream, milk, butter, and cheese—in an English country-house,
appears indispensable; and to point out how these may be obtained,
at a reasonable expense, seems to have been Mr. Moubray’s object. By
adopting the plan of his work, any family may furnish their table with
these luxuries at one-third of the price they are obliged to pay at
the markets; and the farmer and breeder may render it the source of
considerable profit.”—_Farmer’s Journal._

_Bucknall on Fruit-Trees, and the Husbandry of Orchards._

as to Manure, preventing Blight, Caterpillars, and Cure Canker, as
patronized by the Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures,
and Commerce. By the late T. S. D. BUCKNALL, Esq. M.P. In 8vo. price
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⁂ This Work obtained for the Author the Prize Medal and Thanks of the
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                     SHERWOOD, GILBERT, AND PIPER,

                         23, PATERNOSTER-ROW.

_Jennings’s Code of Useful Knowledge._

1. THE FAMILY CYCLOPÆDIA: a Dictionary of Useful and Necessary
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_Moubray on Poultry, Pigs, and Cows._

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_Dickson’s Law of Wills._

ADMINISTRATORS, AND LEGATEES; being a Practical Exposition of the
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With Rules and Directions for the Valuation of Lands and Fixtures: to
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copious Appendix of Precedents. (Originally written by T. WILLIAMS,
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bound in cloth.

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes

Obvious typographical errors have been silently corrected. Variations
in hyphenation have been standardised but all other spelling and
punctuation remains unchanged.

The repetition of the "Author's Address to the Reader" has been removed.

The sequence of section numbers in Part II of the original is I-VI,
VII, VII, VIII, XI. This has been corrected. The final entry in the TOC
has also been corrected to page 187.

Italics are represented thus _italic_.

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