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These are not the representations of a Quack's bill; • I detest the arts of quackery as much as any man living. I deal not in nostrums or mysteries, or magic or expedient to captivate:
Non sibi, sed toto genicum se credere mundo.'
If he who invented one new pleasure was formerly thought entitled to imperial munificence, what reward does the Doctor deserve, who has added as many luxuries to the list, as there are diseases in the catalogues of nosology? Scotland, though not remarkable in this department of literature, has the honour of producing an author, who, in an advertisement published not long ago, has added to the stores of natural history the following very curious facts with regard to the properties of air and heat. Mr. Fair, mason, opposite to the White Hart Inn, Grass-market, Edinburgh, thus delivers himself on the subject of pneumatics :
Air and smoke,' says he, are two elastic fluids, capable of being condensed • and expanded. Heat, or the fire in the grate, expands • the air. Being expanded, it becomes lighter. And,
as it is in nature for light matter to swim to the top of
heavier, it rises up the vent, carrying the smoke along • with it. This is the principle by which fire burns, • and smoke ascends. Now, that the particles of air may • be brought above the fire, that they may be healed to expand and carry off the smoke, should be the chief care of a mason in finishing of the fire-places. On the contrary it is the cause of smoke. • The other cause of smoke is the wind.
Wind is a * current of the air always rushing into voids. At the
same time it goes forward, by the law of gravity, it • has a tendency to press downwards. Now, when it • blows over any one object higher than the chimney-top, gravity brings it downward, pressing the smoke before it,'
It will be observed, that, like many other great theorists, Mr. Fair uses a language in some places a little obscure ; and that in others, as where he mentions the tendency of wind to press downwards, his expression borders on the jocular; a liberty in which some of the greatest philosophers have frequently indulged.
These discoveries, however new and astonishing, are not supernatural. But I have just now read an advertisement, which carries its information beyond the bounds of space and time : and though the modesty of its author allows that she has borrowed something from the Eastern Magi, may fairly be deemed an original. Mrs. Corbyn, at No. 41, Stan
hope-street, Clare-market, London, by the genuine • rules of the real astronomical arcana, for which the I wise men of the East were so noted, undertakes to answer all legal astrological questions, in a most surprising manner. Continues to give the most amazing ac · • counts of persons by sea and land. Gives attendance
at the warehouse every day from ten in the morning to eight at night. The wise men of the East and some other
astrologers, might perhaps retail some predictions ; but the idea of a warehouse of prophecy was, I am persuaded, reserved for Mrs. Corbyn of Clare-market.
In the ornamental department of science, has there been any thing, since the days of Medea, that could so effectually give beauty to homeliness, or restore youth to age, as the Circassian Wash, or the Venetian Flower-water? or has the cunning of art ever rivalled the productions of nature more success. fully than in the Elastic Cushion and Spring Curls, which,' says the advertisement,' are as natural and
becoming, nay, by many thought more so, than the na• tural hair itself??
Nor is the merit of those gentlemen much inferior, where they apply arts already discovered, to purposes which their inventors never dreamed of. Socrates was said to have brought down philosophy from heaven to dwell with men. I think the same eulogium may be fairly bestowed on the very ingenious artist, who has informed us in an advertisement, “That he makes leather-breeches by the rules of • trigonometry.'
Having thus done justice to the merit of those authors in point of substance, I proceed to shew their excellence in the composition and style of their productions. Amidst a variety of instances, I shall make choice of one, merely because it strikes my view in last night's Public Advertiser. It is the production of a very voluminous writer in this de. partment, Mr. Norton, of Golden-square.
* E. S. Gent. of Tenterden in Kent, was long afflicted with an inveterate scorbutic disorder. I first broke out in bot pimples and dry scales all over his * face; then appeared in great blotches on various parts
of his body, and ædimatous swellings in his legs, which "ferminated in dreadful excoriations and fatid ulcers. • All this was attended with a total loss of appetite, and,
at last, with such extreme languor and debility, that 'the poor gentleman was utterly despaired of by several • of the most eminent of the faculty who attended him ;
till, at last, by the providential discovery in the newspapers, of the efficacy of Maredant's drops, by taking
a few bottles of them, all the above terrible symptoms • began gradually to disappear, his appetite returned, . bis complexion regained its pristine bloom, his skin • became as smooth as that of a new-born babe, and • his flesh recovered the soundness and elasticity of the most vigorous habit. He has ever since been perfectly
stout, hale, and active, and has had three children born to him, all thriving and healthy.'
This may be considered as a sort of tragi-comic recital, and, if examined by the rules of Aristotle, will be found to contain all the requisites of the best dramatic composition. Here is a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning, the breaking out of Mr. S.'s disorder; the middle, the progress of the disease; the end, its perfect cure. Here too, in some sort, is the Ayewgons, and here evidently, the Tegotteteld, the two great beauties of a perfect drama; the Ayuwgrois, the providential discovery of Maredant's drops; the TIEgutetea, the change of situation from pimples and scales to a blooming complexion, from blotches and ulcers to smoothness of skin and soundness of flesh, from extreme debility and languor, to being the father of healthy children.
Nor is this class of writers less remarkable for adaptation of style than for correctness of composition. The advertisement above recited of Dr. Doo miniceti, and the daily performances of Mess. Christie and Ansell, shew to what elevation they can raise it, when the subject requires elevation. On the other hand, where shall we find more truly characteristic simplicity than in the following notice from a gentleman-tailor? • Wanted, by a single gentleman-tailor, a
servant maid, to act as house-keeper and cook, where a girl is kept to attend and wait upon the master. • None need apply who will prelend to manage the • kitchen fire without his directions, as he understands
management of coal.fires, which few servants in * this town do. As he commonly dines out of a Sunday,
he expects his servants to go to church, instead of cooking • dainties to themselves, such as shoulders of veal stuffed ' &c. ; as, though he is a single man he is very
well in. structed by a neighbour how to manage his family. * Apply next door to the steps, Panton Square.'
Other writers, often equally poor and proud, may perhaps object to the class of authors whom Í commemorate, that they write not from the love of science, or the desire of fame, but from motives merely interested and selfish. But a little acquaint. ance with many of their productions will effectually remove this reproach. Is it not benevolence alone that forces Mr. Speediman, in spite of his natural modesty, to address the public in an advertisement ? • Mr. Speediman would be unjust to the Public if he any longer delayed acquainting them of the virtues of
his stomach pills.' Are there not daily advertisements of sales far below prime cost,' which continue for several years to the evident advantage of the Public, and loss of the advertiser ? and does not Mr Molesworth press adventurers in the lottery to purchase his tickets and shares, though he knows, by certain calculation, that they are to be drawn prizes?
To such men may not the above quoted motto of the illustrious Dr. Dominiceti be most deservedly applied ?
Non sibi, sed toto genitum se credere mundo ;'
which, however, as malice is always ready to de. tract from merit, I heard a wicked
of quaintance translate t'other day to a company
of ladies, That the Doctor's fumigations were to • make himself live, and to kill all the world beside.'