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girls are by this time reduced to the paleness of a cockney? I propose

in a little time to make a second journey to this place in order to see how the doctor's physic has operated. By searching the parish register and comparing the number of funerals made weekly before the doctor's visit with those which have followed, it will be easy to form an estimate of the havoc which this itinerant man-slayer made in the space of two hours. I shall then proceed to compute the number of quacks? in the three kingdoms, from which it will be no hard matter to determine the number of people carried off per annum by the whole fraternity. Lastly, I shall calculate the loss which the government sustains by the death of every subject; from all of which the immense damages accruing to his majesty will evidently appear, and the public will be fully convinced of the truth of what I have heretofore asserted, viz. that the quacks contribute more towards keeping us poor than all our national debts, and that to suppress the former would be an infallible means of redeeming the latter. The whole scheme shall be drawn up in due form and presented to the parliament in the ensuing session, and that august assembly, I don't doubt, will pay all regard thereto, which the importance of the subject and the weight of my argument shall require.

Methinks the course of justice, which has hitherto obtained among us, is chargeable with great absurdities. Petty villains are hanged or transported, while great ones are suffered to pass impune. A man cannot take a purse upon the highway, or cut a single throat, but he must presently oe called to answer for it at the Old Bailey, and perhaps to suffer for it at Tyburn; and yet, here are wretches suffered to commit murthers by wholesale, and to plunder, not only private persons and pockets, but even the king and the Exchequer, without having any questions asked! Pray, Mr. Mist, what were gibbets, gallows, and whipping posts made for?

1Cf. Tatler, 240, and Spectator, 572. The latter by Zachary Pearce is largely similar to Defoe's essay. Defoe had reason to know about the subject, as his Review was filled with quack advertisements.

But to return to Doctor Thornhill. I have had the curiosity to examine several of his medicines in a reverberatory, reducing compounds into their simples by a chemical analysis, and have constantly found a considerable proportion of some poisonous plant or mineral in every one of them.

Arsenic, wolf's-bane, mercury, and hemlock are sine quibus non, and he could no more make up a medicament without some of these than remove a mountain. Accordingly as they are variously mixed and disposed among other drugs, he gives them various names, calling them pills, boluses, electuaries, etc. His pills I would prescribe as a succedaneum to a halter, so that such persons as are weary of this troublesome world and would willingly quit it for a better, but are too squeamish to take up with that queer old-fashioned recipe called hanging, may have their business done as securely and more decently by some of these excellent pills. His bolus, too, is very good in its kind; I have made experiments with it on several animals, and find that it poisons to a miracle. A moderate dose of it has perfectly silenced a bawling dog that used to disturb my morning slumbers, and a like quantity of it has quieted several other snarling curs in my neighbourhood. And then, if you be troubled with rats, Mr. Mist, there's the doctor's electuary is an infallible remedy, as I myself have experienced. I have effectually cleared my house of those troublesome animals by disposing little packets of it in the places they frequent, and do recommend it to you and your readers as the most powerful ratsbane in the world.

. It would be needless to enumerate all the virtues of the doctor's several medicines,

(M 249)

but I dare affirm that what the ancients fabulously reported of Pandora's box is strictly true of the doctor's packet, and that it contains in it the seeds and principles of all diseases.

I must ask your pardon, Mr. Mist, for being so grave on so ludicrous a subject and spending so many words on an empty quack. Mr. Mist, Your humble servant, Philygeia.




Interea dulces pendent circum oscula nati,
Casta pudicitiam servat domus.

_Virg. Georg. ii. 523.
His cares are eas'd with intervals of bliss;
His little children, climbing for a kiss,
Welcome their father's late return at night,
His faithful bed is crown'd with chaste delight.



THERE are several persons who have many pleasures

and entertainments in their possession, which they do not enjoy. It is, therefore, a kind and good office to acquaint them with their own happiness, and turn their attention to such instances of their good fortune as they are apt to overlook. Persons in the married state often want such a monitor; and pine away their days, by looking upon the same condition in anguish and murmur, which carries with it in the opinion of others a complication of all the pleasures of life, and a retreat from its inquietudes.

I am led into this thought by a visit I made an old friend, who was formerly my school-fellow. He came to town last week with his family for the winter, and yesterday morning sent me word his wife expected me to dinner. I am, as it were, at home at that house, and

every member of it knows me for their well-wisher. I cannot, indeed, express the pleasure it is, to be met by the children with so much joy as I am when I go thither. The boys and girls strive who shall come first, when they think it is I that am knocking at the door; and that child which loses the race to me runs back again to tell the father it is Mr. Bickerstaff. This day I was led in by a pretty girl, that we all thought must have forgot me, for the family has been out of town these two years. Her knowing me again was a mighty subject with us, and took up our discourse at the first entrance. After which, they began to rally me upon a thousand little stories they heard in the country, about my marriage to one of my neighbour's daughters. Upon which the gentleman, my friend, said, · Nay, if Mr. Bickerstaff marries a child of any of his old companions, I hope mine shall have the preference; there is Mrs. Mary is now sixteen, and would make him as fine a widow as the best of them. But I know him too well: he is so enamoured with the very memory of those who flourished in our youth, that he will not so much as look upon the modern beauties. I remember, old gentleman, how often you went home in a day to refresh your countenance and dress when Teraminta reigned in your heart. As we came up in the coach, I repeated to my wife some of your verses on her.” With such reflections on little passages which happened long ago, we passed our time, during a cheerful and elegant meal. After dinner, his lady left the room, as did also the children. As soon as we were alone, he took me by the hand; “Well, my good friend,” says he, “I am heartily glad to see thee; I was afraid you would never have seen all the company

Swift borrowed the name from a locksmith's sign, and Steele adopted it because, from Swift's use of it, it was sure to gain “an audience of all who had any taste of wit".

that dined with you to-day again. Do not you think the
good woman of the house a little altered, since you
followed her from the playhouse, to find out who she was,
for me?” I perceived a tear fall down his cheek as he
spoke, which moved me not a little. But, to turn the
discourse, I said, “She is not indeed quite that creature
she was, when she returned me the letter I carried from
you; and told me, 'she hoped, as I was a gentleman, I
would be employed no more to trouble her, who had
never offended me; but would be so much the gentle-
man's friend, as to dissuade him from a pursuit, which he
could never succeed in'. You may remember, I thought
her in earnest; and you were forced to employ your cousin
Will, who made his sister get acquainted with her, for
you. You cannot expect her to be for ever fifteen.”
“Fifteen!” replied my good friend: "Ah! you little under-
stand, you that have a lived a bachelor, how great, how
exquisite a pleasure there is, in being really beloved! It
is impossible, that the most beauteous face in nature
should raise in me such pleasing ideas, as when I look
upon that excellent woman. That fading in her counten-
ance is chiefly caused by her watching with me in my
fever. This was followed by a fit of sickness, which had
like to have carried her off last winter. I tell you sin-
cerely, I have so many obligations to her, that I cannot,
with any sort of moderation, think of her present state of
health. But as to what you say of fifteen, she gives me
every day pleasures beyond what I ever knew in the
possession of her beauty, when I was in the vigour of
youth. Every moment of her life brings me fresh in-
stances of her complacency to my inclinations, and her
prudence in regard to my fortune. Her face is to me
much more beautiful than when I first saw it; there is no
decay in any feature, which I cannot trace, from the very
instant it was occasioned by some anxious concern for


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