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preparing, which being exactly completed secundum artem, by fermentations, fumigations, sublimations, putrefactions, rectifications, quod. libifications in Balnea Mariæ, in the crucible, becomes nature's palladium, health's magazine, one dram of which is worth a bushel of March dust, for if any of you chance to have your heads cut off or your brains beat out, ten drops of this, seasonably applied, will recall the feeting spirits, and, in six months, will restore the life to its pristine vigour, with all its functions, vital, rational, and animal.
• To qualify myself for this noble profession, I never troubled my head with reading Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Celsus, Galen, and other reverend block heads of antiquity, neither did I think it worth my while to lose any time in perusing the modern coxcombs, for so I may justly call them. No, gentlemen, I went a wiser way to work; instead of turning over old musty Pagan volumes, I have walked over every mountain in England, Scotland, and Wales; I have enquired into the nature of every plant and vegetable; I have examined every moss, grass, herb, and flower, and, by virtue of thirty years observation and upwards, have forced them to confess their respective virtues and qualities.
• I have been thirty years contriving my anti-tussient pills, which are compounded of those admirable balsamic ingredients, that the party takiag them may lie up to his chin in water for a fortnight together, or cover himself all over in snow, as when he came first into the world, and if he coughs forty years afterwards, I am content to lose my ears. Shew me a fellow that has got as much water in his abdomen as will fill the tun of Heidelberg-shew me, I say, such a fellow if you dare; I would willingly ride two thousand miles, at my own expense, to see such a sight. Now, you will say, what will you do with him when you have got him? Why, before you can answer me, what's this,—I'll tap his abdomen, and set him to rights, Shew me a son of Bacchus, who, by his indefatigable lifting up of his hand to his head, and his nocturnal industry, has acquired as many pimples in his face as there are jewels in Lombard-street, nay, whose phiz is so fiery and rubicund that it would put the last conflagration out of countenance : I have a water that in a moment shall extinguish all those volcanoes, and make him look as fair as a sinner newly come out of the powdering tub, or, if you please, as pale as a guinea-dropper when he's carried before a worshipful justice. Shew me a man so pitted with the small-pox, that his face looks like the map of Switzerland, with the hills and vallies in it; with my Lympha Cosmetica, or Levelling Drops, I'll make it as even as a bowling-green.'
From St. John Long's history of his own pretensions, we turn to the catalogue of his performances, as they are described in sundry epistles, familiar and otherwise, all of them the spontaneous effusions, he tells us, of his grateful patients. There was a Lord Girdlestone once, who was induced froin peculiar reasons to undertake the difficult and tedious task of investigating, personally, alleged cases of wonderful cures, the supposed patients themselves being the attesting witnesses. The record of this anecdote adds, that his lordship found, during the inquiry, that upwards of twothirds of the persons asserted to have been cured, had died almost immediately after they experienced the benefit of the sapative process! We do not mean to insinuate that St. John Long has
near the nun, or any of the fanie amongst; from the be of un for a time in is not a thing of has been the few, in whic
established any thing like the same rate of mortality amongst his confiding acquaintance. We will indulge the gentleman as far as even his modesty may choose to draw upon us. We yield obedient credit to his appendix of correspondence; we raise no objection to the documentary testimony which he has adduced, although there is, occasionally, we confess, an intermission of dates and places of address, which exceedingly serupulous people might make matter of grave observation, but which, we are willing to believe, may be satisfactorily explained. We take it, then, for granted, that Mr. St. John Long has cured an abundance of patients, not, however, any thing near the number which has been effected by Dr. Eady, or the Messrs. Jordan, or any of the thousand empirics, that lift themselves for a time into profitable fame amongst the ignorant. The success of a quack is not a thing of yesterday; from the beginning of the world impudent pretension has been the creator of unbounded confidence, and the instances are not a few, in which, after the appliances of rational physic have failed, the mummeries of a merry Andrew have been attended with a signal triumph. It is impossible for inexperienced persons to believe the vast agency which the imagination exercises over the animal frame. John Hunter has cured an epidemic by administering pills which the patients were assured would infallibly cure them. The wonderful remedy consisted of nothing but crumbs of bread! We believe that the London lady is not yet extinct who removes every description of disease merely by wagging her thumb over the patient. She absolutely has netted a thousand a year. When we consider the state of hope or rather of confidence to which a young, and, from long suffering, a very excitable female, for instance, is wrought by the presence of an imposing and disciplined cure-monger, it will not be difficult to explain the cases of apparently wonderful cures which it is always the care of these traffickers in credulity to promulgate. Then how many instances are there, in which the empiric is called in at that critical moment when the germ of health has just sprung into imperceptible existence in the patient's frame, the result of the former treatment. But, however we may account for those apparent victories of quackery, there is one feature of its history which, if any thing can, ought to open the eyes of those who are yet not fully sensible of the wickedness of enduring it. How comes it, that the self-same disease has yielded to one description of application in the hands of a quack at one time, and, at another time, to a remedy of a totally different character. Nothing is more certain than that nostrums, essentially opposite in their nature, operations, and effects, have been attested to produce the removal of the same disorder. Consumption, for example, in the like stage, has been proved (so far as the compurgators of the quacks can prove any thing) to have been cured in turns by acids, by alkalis, by narcotics, by stimulants, by making this patient live high, and making that patient live low; it has been completely removed by animal magnetism, which puts the sufferer into a charming sleep; and now we are told that the extraction of acrid matter from the lungs, can alone effect a cure ! Instead, then, of believiog that it is by any mysterious agency of medicine that all these quacks have been able to restore health, seeing how different their respective remedies are for the same distemper, how much more reasonable is it to suppose that their success depends on that description of inAuence which is common to them all, namely, the influence arising from an assumption of superior knowledge and of an infallible power of dissipating disease.
But there is one description of encouragement to which quacks are almost always chiefly indebted for such temporary fame, and its consequences, as they enjoy. We allude to the patronage and support which they are almost certain to procure from some person of their own quality in point of intellect, but to whom accident has assigned the advantages of birth, station, and opulence. There is a singularly uniform tendency in two fools to come together; no matter how much asunder in rank circumstances may have placed them, they are instinctively driven to take a prodigious interest in each others fortunes. In chemistry, the strongest acid will be induced to quit its connection of an hundred years, and will be attracted into an inviolable union with some alkaline base, towards which, at the very first opportunity, it betrays the most violent predilection. This sort of natural combination is only a type of that syınpathetic alliance which we often observe to take place between members of the two extreme classes of society. A Duke, sometimes, and a footman will be marvellously well paired in intellect. Perhaps the two principal protectors of Mr. St. John Long, whom we are about to name, will ihink it no incivility to them, if we assume that it is upon some such principle of mutual aptitude as to their mental structure, that they have been inclined to advocate the claims of that speculator, ' to the confidence of the public.' Of Sir Richard Jodrell, Baronet, to whom the' Discoveries' are dedicated in suitable strains, we remember that he was distinguished in early life, at the university, for an extraordinary facility in the composition of nonsense verses ;' and if his mind, in its maturity shews any thing at all like the reality of its juvenile promise, then would we maintain him against any man in Christendom for absurdity. The other more powerful, we dare say, and apparently more sanguine patron of St. John Long, shall be allowed to speak for himself. He is the eldest son of Earl Talbot, bis name is the Lord Ingestre, he is arrived at his twenty-sixth year, but whether or not at the years of discretion, is a point upon which much may be said on both sides.
. 5, Mansfield-street, 20th June, 1829. • Sir,—As I am leaving England for some time, I wish to send you some letters from persons that have been under your care; and you have my permission to make use of them in any wav, provided you have that also of the individuals themselves. These letters, as you know, were written to me by persons whom I had requested to make known their
cases to me in writing, that I might form a judgment of your system. I am willing to bear ample testimony to the fact of your having extracted a fluid like mercury (!!!) from the head of one of your patients in my presence, on one or two occasions ; and I think it but justice to add, that in the various cases I have seen under your hands, it is my conviction, you effected cures of many, benefited most, and at all events did harm to none.
If these remarks can be of any use to you, as being those of an eyewitness, and of one who has studied to arrive at the truth, I hope you will make what use you please of them.
I am, your obedient servant, • St. John Long, Esq.
IngestRE.' A fluid like mercury! and from the head too! Well, if St. John Long be not the trustee of the downright philosopher's stone, we cannot even guess at his secret. More improbable things, let us tell Lord Ingestre, have been undertaken, than a scheme such as Mercury in the head, instantly suggests, for the meridian of the Royal Exchange. But what raptures must the friends of the young nobleman experience at the prospect of being able, one day or another, to reconnoitre the interior of his lordship's cranium. We should be curious to know for which of the precious metals it is,
that nature has provided a place within the interesting sphere of his i lordship’s head. Let us entreat of St. John Long to repay the
kindness of his noble patron, by extending his discoveries’ to the unattempted field of Lord Ingestre's cerebellum. A flow of mercury, to be sure, may not reward the toils of the medical engineerbut metals are now more numerous than ever-and if we might venture to express our opinion, the means adapted to the extraction of leaden ore would be by no means amiss upon this occasion.
But we turn from this levity to the deplorable fortune of such a country as this, where a sort of influence that is in its origin and usual operation, so natural and beneficial, should be perverted to the most mischievous ends. The example of the higher orders of society is of great authority upon those below them. How lamentable, then, to find such an influence as the upper ranks possess, employed in abetting the most vulgar and injurious prejudices of the ignorant; employed, not only in the depreciation of sterling merit, but in sustaining presumptuous incapacity. The immortal Harvey nearly lost his practice after his invaluable discovery of the circulation of the blood, defrauded, whilst living, of that crown, which it remained for a more discerning and equitable generation to award him. Jenner died almost of a broken heart, after having left to the world the means of saving many a heart from being broken. Perfectly in harmony with this neglect of such men is the cherishing, by the same part of the public, of imbecility, of ignorance, of spurious systems, of rash speculations on the public health, of which we have so many instances. Shame upon those, who, having the power to lead the minds of society, exercise it to the end of setting up unlettered impudence upon the destruction of despised genius, and learning and character.
Art.VI.-1. Insect Architecture. 12mo. pp. 420. London: Knight. 1830. 2. The Natural History of Insects. Vol. I. 12mo. pp. 313. London:
Murray. 1829. As often as, in the course of our reading, we chance to light upon volumes connected with the lower aninial world, our astonishment is renewed, that the wonderful subjects of which they treat, receive so little attention from the mass of mankind. There have been, in all periods, a few persons, the chosen priests of nature, who have worshipped her with a holy enthusiasm, who have explored her mysteries through all her favourite haunts, and claimed, for her productions, the admiration to which they are so abundantly entitled. But from the days of Pliny, to the present hour, naturalists have made but a partial impression upon the minds of men, in seeking to attract them for a while from the busy paths of life, to the wilderness and the mountain, the forest and the river,—there to see not only innumerable proofs of the active superintendence and power of an Almighty Being, but also models of ingenuity, which, if properly attended to, might be turned to practical advantage in almost every branch of science and art.
Few of our readers, who have not made themselves conversant with the history of insects, will, perhaps, believe, that among them are to be found miners, masons, carpenters, and upholsterers, who were perfect in their different trades six thousand years ago! The common spider has made everybody familiar with his proficiency in the art of weaving; a similar insect, who has taken up his abode in the water, might have suggested the idea of the diving-bell many centuries before it was discovered ; and if we had our senses about us, when wandering in the fields of a fine evening in summer, the honour of inventing the air balloon would not have belonged to the French; we might have derived the principle of it from the little spider, who lifts himself into the air upon his tiny web of gossamer, an elevation which he could not otherwise have any chance of attaining. The bees have, perhaps, been more frequently observed and watched in our gardens, than any other creature of the insect race. Yet how few have followed them into the hive, and there learned how much may be done in a given time by division of labour; bow, by ingenuity of contrivance, many mansions and store-houses may be erected with the greatest possible economy of space, and how, by mutual assistance and general subordination, thousands may live together in affluence and peace. Before Babylon was thought of, the social tribes of ants had constructed towers, and cities, and domes ; lad raised fortresses, and built covered ways, with all the art of an experienced engineer. The vulgar idea is that these insects feed upon corn. They do no such thing. They take it to their habitations, and break it up amongst the other materials of their edifices, but their food is of a much more