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oppressed, it is as difficult to write as to fry; as impossible to dress up an ode or an epigram as to cook a dinner. Dryden always took physic as a preparative for writing; and Apollo is alike the god of medicine and of verse. In fact, an attentive observer might detect in himself a thousand nuances of temper, the indulgence of which has been more or less injurious to his affairs, which could be readily traced to an indigestion or a fit of bile. The likening the passions to the attacks of bodily disease is a favourite simile with the poets—
There heats and colds still in our breasts make war,
But simile non est idem; and this likening of two things perfectly identical, instead of being poetical, is a flat niaiserie. So strictly is the body dependent on mind, and so truly are all our excesses of passion bodily infirmities, that with a little ingenuity the history of nations might be converted into a course of pathology. There is indeed scarcely an event of any importance, which, if it could be traced to its true causes, would not be found to turn upon the caprice of some individual ; and that caprice in its turn would be seen to have arisen out of some hitch in the animal machine, some poco piu or poco meno in the animal fluids, or some morbid irritation of an internal organ. Thus the downfall of monarchy in Rome is an obvious consequence of Tarquin's having suffered from a plethoric distension of the veins; and the execution of Louis the Sixteenth (and therefore the rise and fall of Napoleon, and the triumphs of the Holy Alliance,) as notoriously were occasioned by that monarch's having, while on his journey to Varennes, laboured under bulimia, a disease which, in common language, may be defined an inordinate appetite for mutton chops. "It is but increasing," says an ingenious writer, " or diminishing the velocity of certain fluids, to elate the soul with the gayest hopes, or sink her into the deepest despair; to depress the hero into a coward, or advance the coward into a hero." Now this being the case, who shall say that there was more than a dose of physic of difference between a Whitelock and a Wellington? Who shall say that if Napoleon had slily slipped some medicament into the breakfasts of our grenadiers, on the morning of the battle of Waterloo, —if he had found some " rhubarb, senna, or some purgative drug," to have " drugged their possets" with on that eventful morn, he might not indeed have "scoured these English hence," and turned the tide of his fortunes once more in his favour? So likewise, if some pharmaceutic preparation had caused a metastasis, and removed the velocity from King James's heels to his animal spirits, on the day of the battle of the Boyne, who knows but popery and wooden shoes might not have had a better chance in old England? Where then would have been our glorious constitution, the American war, our national debt, and all other consequences since the great Revolution?
But whatever insights men may have had into the nature of things, they have never yet followed up their discoveries to a practical result. If history be but pathology seen in a particular light, morals and politics must necessarily become resolvable into therapeutics. Generalizing, therefore, the case of the French cook, and varying its application according to the nature of circumstances, it would be possible to supply by art the constitutional deficiencies of heroes, statesmen, and diplomatists ; and, by a due course of medicine, to preserve their bodies in that condition in which they could best promote the welfare of the states committed to their charge, purging away those peccant humours, those bilious and melancholic vapours, which " ascending," as Falstaff has it, "to the brain," are so apt to disturb the peace of Europe. Thus, for example, Mr. Pitt was said uniformly to prepare himself for great debates by eating highly devilled beef-steaks, and drinking a couple of quarts of black strap; and when I think of the fact, I no longer wonder at the many "just and necessary" campaigns into which he plunged the country. If, instead of applying " hot and rebellious fluids," ay, and solids too, to his blood, he had made use of emollients and sweeteners; if, instead of inflaming his passions by inflaming his liver, he had cooled his intellect and his pulse down to a peace establishment by watergruel and panada, who knows but he might have earned the reputation of his father, and England have been many millions the better in purse and in constitution by the regimen?
Under the strong influence of these verities, I have employed many years in developing my ideas and reducing them by private experiments, to practice, in order to the bringing them before the public on a grand scale, and proposing the formation of a great national hospital, to be appended to a certain other national establishment in Westminster, with an infirmary ward to be applied to the especial use of the inhabitants of Downing-street. Hitherto my success has justified the most sanguine expectations; and in order that my readers may have some notion of what lies before them, I shall proceed to cite a few of my cases, not selected, as the custom is, for making the best of my story; but fairly taken without reference to their results,
Case I.—Timothy Wildfire, Cornet of Dragoons, a blood of the first head, hits the ace of spades at twelve paces, is deep in the fancy, has fought three duels in five weeks, and pulled seven antagonists by the nose. On entering a coffee-house full of the determination to call out a rival fire-eater whose pretensions to bullying crossed his own, I contrived to slip, unperceived, three grains of emetic tartar into his negus, while he was penning his " reproof valiant," and before he could seal the envelope he retired to his barrack, heartily sick of the business, and at once threw up the affair, at least for the present occasion.
Case II.—Moneytrap Gobbleton, merchant, after a series of civic entertainments, disinherited his eldest son in a paroxysm of bile, on account of what he called an imprudent match. Six weeks at Cheltenham brought his skin to its colour, and his temper to serenity. He agreed to see the young couple, and cancelled his will.
Case III.—Lydia Lovesick, having, by a course of amatory poetry, fallen into an inflammatory diathesis, was on the point of eloping with a married man. Fortunately, however, the disease took another turn. She was seized with inflammation of the lungs; and the loss of thirty ounces of blood saved her from infamy and wretchedness. In two days after the bleeding, followed by other antiphlogistic remedies, she confessed the whole matter to her mother, desired back her picture and her letters, and wondered what had made her in love with a man who was neither young nor handsome.
Case IV.—Robert Sneak, esq. troubled with a constitutional coldness and timidity, has for many years laboured under a vixen wife, who snubs him before company, keeps the house, and occasionally even boxes his cars. By taking only one pint of brandy, ho was enabled to kick his domestic torment down stairs. But like John Moody's master, though he began well "he could na hauld it." After six hours comfortable sleep he awoke as bad as ever, or rather I should say, much weakened by the experiment.
Case V.—Benedict Snugg, bachelor, aged 65, under a paroxysm of gout, had bespoke a licence for marrying his cook. Being interested for his nephew, I advised, on the plea of general health, the abandonment of a nightly glass of hot brandy and water, and the pretermission of a warming-pan. This regimen was not without its good effects: 'but the patient resuming his old habits too soon, on the 1st of May 1823, this gentleman, after eating one hundred of oysters, and taking an extra tumbler over night, committed matrimony in the face of his whole parish, and in six months his nephew was disinherited by the birth of a son.
Not to trouble the reader with farther details, I have adduced sufficient evidence to shew that a judicious application of a blister, a dose of calomel, or a stimulant, might on many an occasion have saved Europe from a vast deal of calamity: so that there can be no doubt that a skilful physician attached to congresses and private meetings of sovereigns, might prevent much mischief, by a timely administration of physic to the " high contracting parties." Nor should I despair, by the antiphlogistic regimen, of cooling the courage even of a Charles the Xllth., or of blistering a Henri into a declaration of war. To the immediate application of this system, there are two objections which I will not conceal. One is, that the greater part of the actual race of kings are convicted incurables. What could be done for a Ferdinand or a Francis? Another is, that it is not usual to make experiments on royal and noble patients. On these accounts, therefore, I should prefer following the customary routine of practice, and commencing " in corpore vili" to try our hands upon such thieves and murderers as are within the reach of the law. For this purpose Newgate might be divided into two compartments; and while Mrs. Fry carried on her operations in the one, Lawrence or Brodie might undertake the care of the other. Thus in process of time a judicious issue in the neck might supersede the hempen cravat; and a blood-letting from the arm take the place of a scarification on the loins. If these experiments were successful, we might next undertake a certain portion of the press, which every body admits requires purging. Thence the step is not far to public defaulters; though it would certainly require a strong emetic to make such persons disgorge. If any thing like a cure could be boasted in this quarter, we should be encouraged to proceed to the higher servants of the state. A certain law-officer could not but be much improved by giving him something generous. The anti-Catholic part of the cabinet might try hellebore; but if that failed, we have nothing to recommend but resignation. The Attorney-general or the members of the Constitutional Society who are offended at a strong light, might mend under the use of a green shade; and as the malady of the saints obviously proceeds from weakness, they might be encouraged to a more free use of wine and carminatives to relieve their hypochondria. Thus, then, I flatter myself that I have at last hit off the true balance of power; and discovered the secret of a blessed millenium of peace and good will. We have indeed only to say with Shakspeare " take physic, pomp," and all forms of government will become indifferent; for, at least in a medical
That which is best administer'd is best.
If there is any spirit left in this country, the force of public opinion will not fail to bring this matter to a speedy issue; and, as the plan will supersede radical reform, the House will hardly hesitate, at least, to refer the matter to the College of Physicians, or to a committee up-stairs. When this is done, the Editor of this Journal will be enabled to do me justice, by making known to the public, who is the ingenious personage that writes in the New Monthly Magazine under the signature of
We part—and thou art mine no more!
When scarcely flutters the snowy sail,
Oh! could I beneath the billows dive,
Long had Hoonga's inmost cells
Of the waves among the shells,
• See, for an account of the Cavern of Hoonga and romantic history of the lovers, Mariner's " Tonga Islands."
THE NATIONAL MUSEUM, AND ITS EFFECTS.
The English people generally have little feeling for the higher classes of painting and sculpture. This is a fact confirmed by everyday experience. Those branches of the fine arts which are immediately useful, those which flatter self-love and are convenient for embellishing the apartments of our fragile houses, are in good request; but these are not regarded for the sake of art itself. In forming private collections, ostentation goes a great way; and thus far art may be benefited. Many individuals, on obtaining an accession of fortune, or having just come of age, hear that my Lord so and so, or Mr. A. or B. is much extolled for his grand collection of paintings, and having a desire to attain the same notoriety, and a strong inclination to pass for cognoscenti, they pick up a competent agent to make purchases for them; or, if it so happen that a collector is deceased, purchase in the lump the whole of his gallery, which, perhaps, forms the nucleus for a yet more extensive collection. They buy some convenient house in town, or alter their own so as to display their pictures to the best advantage, allow a few persons by special permission to visit them, never refusing the request from " a gentleman of the press;" and in a short time the superb gallery is trumpeted from mouth to mouth. Such a treasure could not have been in the possession of any one, select as it is said to be, without immense cost. The devotion to the fine arts, and the unsparing magnificence displayed in these purchases, give the reputation of exorbitant wealth, the possession of which, in England, takes precedence of every thing else. Then self-love is flattered by the praises bestowed upon the exquisite taste in art of the possessors, judging from their pictures; and they become at once, in name at least, patrons of artists, (a term now, thank God, without a meaning in our literature); deficient as many of them may be in every qualification required to form a correct judgment of painting, and consequently without one particle of true discriminating feeling for art itself. Academicians flock to the tables of such; and they are vain of the compliments and eulogies which some artists know so well how to lavish upon great men, to the derogation of the dignity of art, and at the expense of their own independence. Not to be thought too sweeping in my censures, I must observe that there are distinguished exceptions among noblemen and gentlemen who possess collections in this country; that I advert only to a proportion; and that I thus discriminate, because the possession of works of art may not be thought, as it too generally is, a proof of a genuine and correct feeling for it. Every good collection of painting and sculpture, when the public can have access to it, even occasionally, does good. It makes the eye accustomed to the truth of nature, to correct forms, and to images of beauty, which will ultimately tell well. There is a fashion, while making collections, productive of great benefit, and that is, the rage for paintings by great masters, or the desire to have great names without regard to the excellence of the execution, whether the best or worst, finished or unfinished, of such masters. This has had the effect of bringing here an immense number of fine subjects, in every state of finish, for the study of the artist. . Sir John Leicester, I believe, has almost the only choice collection by British masters alone, and has enabled us to contrast it