« FöregåendeFortsätt »
nursing up his gout, as he found pleasure in acquiring it? He must, otherwise he would never reject such repeated assurances of instant relief. What can be more convincing than the manner in which the sick are invited to be well? The doctor first begs the most earnest attention of the public to what he is going to propose; he solemnly affirms the pill was never found to want success; he produces a list of those who have been rescued from the grave by taking it. Yet, notwithstanding all this, there are many here who now and then think proper to be sick :-only sick did I says there are some who even think proper to die! Yes, by the head of Coufucius, they die! though they might have purchased the health-restoring specific for half-a-crown at every corper.
I can never enough admire the sagacity of this country for the encouragement given to the professors of this art; with what indulgence does she fóster up those of her own growth, and kindly cherish those that come from abroad! Like a skilful gardener, she invites them from every foreign climate to herself. Here every great exotic strikes as soon as imported, and feels the genial beam of favour; while the mighty metropolis, like one vast munificent dunghill, receives them indiscriminately to her breast, and supplies each with more than native nourishment.
In other countries, the physician pretends to cure disorders in the lump; the same doctor who combats the gout in the toe, shall pretend to prescribe for a pain in the head; and he who at one time cures a consumption, shall at another give drugs for a dropsy. How absurd and ridiculous! this is being a mere jack of all trades. Is the animal machine less complicated than a brass pin? Not less than ten different hands are required to make a brass pin; and shall the body be set right by one single * The English are sensible of the force of this reas soning; they have therefore one doctor for the eyes, another for the toes; they have their sciatica doctors, and inoculating doctors; they have one doctor who is modestly content with securing them from bug.bites, and five hundred who prescribe for the bite of mad dogs.
But as nothing pleases curiosity more than anecdotes of the great, however minute or trifling, I must present you, inadequate as my abilities are to the subject, with an account of one or two of those personages who lead in this honourable profession.
The first upon the list of glory is doctor Richard Rock, F. U.N. This great man is short of stature, is fat, and waddles as he walks. He always wears a white three-tailed wig, nicely combed, and frizzled upon each cheek. Sometimes be carries a cane, but a hat never: it is indeed very remarkable that this extraordinary personage should never wear a hat; but so it is, a hat he never wears. He is usually drawn, at the top of his own hills, sitting in his arme chair, holding a little bottle between his finger and thumb, and surrounded with rotten teeth, nippers, pills, packets, and gallipots. No man can promise fairer or better than he; for, as he observes,
Be your disorder never so far gone, be under no uneasiness, make yourself quite easy, I can cure you.'
The next in fame, though by some reckoned of equal pretensions, is doctor Timothy Franks, F.O. G. H. living in the Old Bailey. As Rock is remarkably squab, his great rival Franks is as remark. able tall. He was born in the year of the Christian æra 1692, and is, while I now write, exactly sixty. eight years three months and four days old. Age, however, has no ways impaired his usual health and vivacity; I am told he generally walks with his breast open. This gentleman, who is of a mixed reputation, is particularly remarkable for a becom. ing assurance, which carries him gently through
life; for, except doctor Rock, none are more blessed with the advantages of face than Dr. Franks.
And yet the great have their foibles as well as the little. I am almost ashamed to mention it. Let the foibles of the great rest in peace. Yet I must impart the whole. These two great men are actual. ly now at variance; like mere men, mere common mortals.-Rock advises the world to beware of bog. trotting quacks; Franks retorts the wit and the sarcasm, by fixing on his rival the odious appellation of Dumpling Dick. He calls the serious doctor Rock, Dumpling Dick! Head of Confucius, what profanation! Dumpling Dick! What a pity, ye powers, that the learned, who were born mutually to assist in enlightening the world, should thus differ among themselves, and make even the profession ridiculous! Sure the world is wide enough, at least, for two great personages to figure in: men of science should leave controversy to the little world below them; and then we might see Rock and Franks walking together, hand in hand, smiling onward to immortality.
ADVENTURES OF A STROLLING PLAYER.
TAM fond of amusement, in whatever company it
is to be found; and wit, though dressed in rags, is ever pleasing to me. I went some days ago to take a walk in St. James's Park, about the hour in which company leave it to go to dinner. There were but few in the walks, and those who staid scemed by their looks rather more willing to forget that they had an appetite, than gain one. I sat down on one of the benches, at the other end of which was seated a man in very shabby clothes.
We continued to groan, to hem, and to cough, as usual upon such occasions; and, at last, ventured upon conversation. I beg pardon, sir,' cried I, .but I think I have seen you before; your face is fa. miliar to me.'— Yes, sir,' replied he, I have a good familiar face, as my friends tell me. I am as well kuown in every town in England as the dromedary, or live crocodile. You must understand, sir, that I have been these sixteen years Merry Andrew to a puppet-show: last Bartholomew-fair my master and I quarrelled, beat each other, and parted; he to sell his puppets to the pincushion-makers in Rose. mary-lane, and I to starve in St. James's park.'
I am sorry, sir, that a person of your appearance should labour under any difficulties. O sir,' re. turned he, my appearance is very much at your service; but, though I cannot boast of eating much, yet there are few that are merrier: if I had twenty thousand a year I should be very merry; aud, thank the Fates, though not worth a groat, I am very merry still. If I have three-pence in my pocket refuse to be my three half-pence; and, if I have no money, I never scorn to be treated by any that are kind enough to pay the reckoning. What think you, sir, of a steak and a tankard? You shall treat me now, and I will treat you again when I find you in the Park in love with eating, and without money to pay for a dinner.'
As I never refuse a small expense for the sake of a merry companion, we instantly adjourned to a neighbouring ale-house, and, in a few moments, had a frothing tankard, and a smoking steak, spread on the table before us. It is impossible to express how much the sight of such good cheer improved my companion's vivacity, I like this dinner, sir,' says he, for three reasons : first, because I am naturally fond of beef; secondly, because I am hungry; and, thirdly and lastly, because I get it for nothing: no meat eats so sweet as that for which we do not pay.'
He therefore now fell to, and his appetite seemed
to correspond with his inclination. After dinner was over, he observed that the steak was tough ' and yet, sir,' returns he, bad as it was, it seemed a rump-steak to me. O the delights of poverty and a good appetite! We beggars are the very fondlings of Nature: the rich she treats like an arrant stepmother; they are pleased with nothing; cut a steak from what part you will, and it is insupportably tough; dress it up with pickles, and even pickles cannot procure them an appetite. But the whole creation is filled with good things for the beggar; Calvert's butt out-tastes champaign, and Sedgeley's home-brewed excels tokay. Joy, joy, my blood; though our estates lie to where, we have fortunes wherever we go. If an inundation sweeps away half the grounds in Cornwall, I am content; I have no land there: if the stocks sink, that gives me no un. easiness; I am no Jew. The fellow's vivacity, joined to his poverty, I own, raised my curiosity to know something of his life and circumstances; and I entreated that he would indulge my desire. That I will,' said he, and welcome; only let us drink, to prevent our sleeping; let us have another tankard while we are awake; let us have another tankard; for, ah, how charming a tankard looks when full!
• You must know, then, that I am very well descended; my ancestors have made some noise in the world, for my mother cried oysters, and my father beat a drum: I am told we have even had some trumpeters in our family. Many a nobleman cannot show so respectful a genealogy; but that is neither here nor there. As I was their only child, my father designed to breed me up to his own employment, which was that of drummer to a puppet. show. Thus, the whole employment of my younger years was that of interpreter to Punch and king Solomon in all his glory. But, though my father was very fond of instructing me in beating all the narches and points of war, I made no very great progress, because I naturally had no ear for music ;