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towards the beginning of the reign of King William” (the third) and that “ the author is since dead.”

Philander not only speaks facetiously of the gout, but also deals very irreverently with that dangerous body, the members of the faculty of medicine. For, not having the fear of the Senate of Warwick-lane before his eyes, he thus dedicates his work:

“ To all the numerous offspring of APOLLO, whether dogmatical sons of art, or empirical by-blows; to all pharmaceutic residentiaries in town or city: also to all strolling practitioners and impostors.

“ Gentlemen,- If this letter shall happen in any measure to spoil your trade, heaven make me thankful, for I well know that your's is the very trade of two famous Princes*, that have, by one method or other, rid out of the way great numbers of men.

“ A malefactor condemned to die ought to be free from all manner of insults as he goes to execution; I know it, and therefore do not dedicate this letter to you by way of insult, but friendly to mind you, that since your unrighteous trade is broke, or breaking, you would timely bethink yourselves what honest employment you may be fit for, If you will take my advice, you

shall travel, for, to your sorrow, you have known an overgrown farrier from abroad make a great doctor in England. Why should not you make as good farriers abroad as they do doctors here?

“ This is certain, like true farriers, you have prescribed to many a weak man a medicine fit for a horse.

So, then, for the materia medica, 'tis the same. Nothing will be troublesome and uneasy to you in your new profession, but that you shall never get as much by practising on the spavin as the gout, but you must be content with less earnings. What! you can't in conscience expect as much for killing a horse as a man.

“To this change of your profession, not only the discovery of the frauds and dangers thereof, but also the name of your great patron, Hippocrates, invites. What are you more than he ? Come, come, ονόμα και τέχνην μεταμέιψατε - Change your name and profession. Better a murrain among

horses than a plague among men. Having thus obliged you, Gentlemen, in an epistle dedicatory, by minding you of the imminent decay of your practice upon human bodies, and teaching you how to make the best of a bad market, by trying experiments upon horseflesh, I hope you will make me that grateful return, as to prevent the obligation I confer on you from turning to any prejudice.

“Therefore, if any gouty person that may happen to malign you shall object against me, and say, I had better have made a forlorn regiment of you, and sent you to have been knocked on the head in Flanders, than given you a license to kill horses; remember to say this for yourselves and your benefactor, that when the devils were ejected out of human bodies, they were suffered to enter into swine.”

* Qu. Lewis XIV, and King William III. ?


This epistle dedicatory is followed by a copy of verses, Upon the First Fit of the Gout, which may be characterized as more pungent than poetical, more witty than melodious. Then the author, who professes to write during a paroxysm of the complaint, commences his Letter, by blaming his friend, because,“ not having a right sense of things before his eyes, he had, to the disgrace of his virtue, given his tongue the liberty, in an open coffee-house, to speak ill of the gout.”. In allusion to the Nonjuring Jacobite clergy, who abounded in the time of king William, and to the political differences then subsisting, he thus remonstrates with the citizen, on this failure of due respect to this disease, which, for his part, he acknowledges as, upon the true Whig principles, his legitimate sovereign.

“ Would you yourself, sir, patiently endure the honour of our great master, our rightful and lawful king, to be contemptuously reflected on, by e'er a recreant piece of conscientious priestcraft, that infests the town? Then why should I not be concerned for the honour of my great master, the gout, who claims not, 'tis true, the power he exercises over me by any hereditary pretence, but from an origin altogether as sacred and indisputable, namely, some voluntary acts and deeds of

my In vehement rebuke of an allegation of his friend, that the gout is the offspring of the devil, Philander maintains, that if the devil ever created any thing, it was the doctor ;" of whom,”. says he," since you have made, so much use, I know not but it may be rationally inferred, that you have dealt with the devil.” The gout, he affirms, “was postnate to the creation, and younger, something, than the fall of man; who, having: incurred the sentence of death, the friendly gout was sent in mercy down from heaven, to lengthen wasting life.” He then, in further proof that his satanic majesty is not the father of the gout, very ingeniously contrives, according to the fashion of the day, to have a fling at the pope, winding up a lengthened argument, on this topic, by observing, “ that as antichrist, or the pope, who, according to the ancients, are one and the same first-born of the devil, has never, as it appears

from Platina, been favoured with the gout, it is plain that the devil did not create it.”

Having despatched this preliminary matter, Philander now handles his subject in due form, and goes on to demonstrate the honour and blessing of the gout, by six cogent arguments. The first of these is, that "the gout gives a man pain without danger."

“Suppose," says he," that a man, suffering under a painful, threatening distemper; what's his first question to the physician; but

this? 'Doctor, pray be plain with me, and let me truly know what I am to expect. Don't flatter a sick man, but tell me, am I like to recover or no ?' That pain, you see, which he suffers, does not at all trouble him. He is only afraid he shall die. Secure him against that danger, and all is well with him. Cut, slash, burn-no pain is grievous if it promise to set us out of the danger of death.

“ When the other doctor comes, the physician of the soul I mean, whose coming bodes no good to the body, he tells the decumbent a long story of the pains and miseries of life, in order to make his nunc dimittis go down the easier. But that method seldom takes; for not one of a hundred is so bad but he is content to live, and put the rest to the venture. The fear of death is generally more grievous than all the cruel pains of a wretched life. But since we must have pain while we live, give me the pain of the gout, which has no danger attending it.”

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We solicit the attention of our readers to the following passage, which affords a happy specimen of an objection fairly stated and readily obviated.

“ Here some malevolent adversary may importunely object, • did never any man die of the gout? To this I answer (1.) I have not yet affirmed that the gout can make a man immortal; though I will boldly say thus much, it very often keeps a man alive till all his friends are weary of him. “ But (2.) should I venture to say that the gout has in itself the

man immortal, it ought not to seem so very strange, all things being considered. If that be true which some authors write of the noble Paracelsus, he had the secret to make a man immortal ; and I would not say he lied, though himself died about forty; for perhaps he did not like his company: but it must have been by way of his discovery to give any man the gout when he pleased. In that I am positive.

" Here the objector will scornfully put me in mind, that gouty persons scape death no more than other men, which is very true ; but that is, because men are fools, and don't know when they are safe. They must be curing the gout, forsooth; and to that end they deal with the doctor, i. e. with the factor of death, the emissary of hell, the purveyor of the grave; damned alchymist, good at calcining nothing but living bodies into dust and ashes. Let every one bear his own burden. The gout has nothing to do with the carnage of the doctor.”

Philander states as his next argument in favour of the gout, that it " is no constant companion, but allows its patients lucid, joyous intervals.” In support of this argument, he launches out into a metaphysical dissertation on the aptitude of the human mind to be delighted with variety. Upon this principle the vicissitudes of nature are grateful to the human

feelings, and man contemplates the earth, the sea, and the firmament, with ever-new pleasure. Having despatched this preliminary disquisition, he applies his doctrine, (as the divines say,) in the following terms.

“ That reverend Calvinist, Dr. Twiss, affirms that it is better to be damned than annihilated. I might, I suppose, with less offence affirm, that 'twas better to be dead than never to be sick of the gout. Nay, this I am sure of, that all the sober and experienced people will be so far from taking offence, that I shall have them on my side if I venture on that paradox. For how often have I heard a grave adviser, one that has tried health and sickness alternately for many years, tell some robust, young, riotous fellow, that he knew not the value of health. No!' how should he, having never been sick ? But why should his sober adviser press him to be careful of his health? That's the way never to understand the deliciousness of it. By that time he gets the gout, he'll thoroughly understand the matter, I'll warrant him. Set me two men together, one that never knew pain, and another newly recovered of the gout. Observe them both narrowly. In the former, perhaps, you may perceive an easy, even temper; but the latter is ravished with joys and satisfactions, which if his tongue does not declare, his hands and feet and gestures shall. Such are the lucid intervals between heart-breaking fits of the gout, worth all the ravings and roarings which the violent paroxysm forces from the tortured patient. And who would spoil the refined pleasure of his recovery, by wishing to have one angry throb, one heavy groan, abated him?"

After indulging for some time in this sort of badinage, our author advances to his third position, namely that “the gout presents us with a perpetual almanack.” This useful implement, he observes, has one singular advantage, namely, that it is never out of the way, but it is always ready for use, being safely deposited in the internodia of the bones. In comparison with it he holds very cheap barometers, thermometers, and other inventions of men. These serve more for curiosity than use; their indications are fallible and uncertain. Lilly and Gadbury were frequently mistaken in their prognostics; but the “ bone almanack” is sensible of all changes, and unerring in its predictions. After a renewed philippic against the physicians, he declares that people of good sense are content to let the gout take its course, and are, moreover, proud to publish the advantages which they derive from this visitation.

For instance," says he, “ as to the foreknowledge of the weather; the gout never twitches their nerves, but they will be telling others what changes are near at hand: Now," continues he, “ what I propose is this, that people should not think it enough to know thus much of the gout, but study to improve and encrease their knowledge. For, no doubt, more may be made of this blessing than ever yet was done by the happy man that has enjoyed it longest. I am persuaded that if the fortunate patient would be at the pains to observe all the motions of the gout, in his pinching, smarting, galling accesses; in his gnawing, stabbing, burning paroxysms; in his evacuating, tender, remitting recesses; he might quickly come to wind a storm so long before, that, in a short time, no owners would think their ship safe but with a gouty master; nor would any experienced seaman that wanted a ship offer himself to the merchants but upon crutches.”

The mention of crutches reminds our author that it may possibly be objected to the honour of the gout, that it reduces the patient to the state of a cripple. We cannot enter at large into the argument by which he rebuts, or rather counterbalances, this objection. Suffice it to state, that by a reference to a certain queen of the Amazons for the fact, and to Montaigne for its physiological reasons, he demonstrates, to his own satisfaction, that cripples are, in certain important requisites, peculiarly well qualified to obtain the good graces of the fair sexes.

The fourth argument which Philander brings forward in favour of the gout is, that " gouty persons are most free from the head-ache.” In proving this proposition, he displays a large store of physiological learning, and talks very knowingly of nerves, fibres, and membranes; of the two meninges, the pericranium and the periostia ; of the muscles and the panniculus çarnosus. In short, he evinces a familiarity of acquaintance with the structure of the head, which would not disgrace a Gall or a Spurzheim. He also treats of vicious humours being set on fire, wasted and evacuated, with all the gravity with which medical practitioners of the old school were so long wont to impose upon their patients, the public and themselves, whilst they disguised their ignorance by “ heaping up words without knowledge.” In the same satirical spirit, he describes the “ inimicous contesting particles thrown off from boiling blood and turgid nervous juice," as falling down to the remote parts of the body. To this physical operation, he gravely attributes the clearness of the understanding and the activity of thought which he avers to be generated by the transfer of disease from the head to the lower extremities, which takes place in a regular fit of the gout.

This doctrine he follows up by asserting, on the alleged authority of Confucius, the celebrated Chinese philosopher, that, though a gouty person may possibly be a knave, no instance occurs of such an one being a fool; since the visitation, under the pain of which he is apt, in his ignorance and incon

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