« PreviousContinue »
what height they may charge them afterward. Toward the end of this chapter, he warns the heads of parties against believing their own lies, which has proved of pernicious consequence of late ; both a wise party, and a wise nation, having regulated their affairs upon lies of their own invention. The causes of this he supposes to be, too great a zeal and intenseness in the practice of this art, and a vehement heat in mutual conversation, whereby they persuade one another, that what they wish, and report to be true, is really so: that all parties have been subject to this misfortune. The jacobites have been constantly infested with it, but the whigs of late seemed even to exceed them in this ill habit and weakness. To this chapter the author subjoins a calendar of lies, proper for the several months of the year.
The ninth chapter treats of the celerity and duration of lies. As to the celerity of their motion, the author says it is almost incredible : he gives several instances of lies, that have gone faster than a man can ride post : your terrifying lies travel at a prodigious rate, above ten miles an hour: your whispers move in a narrow vortex, but very swiftly. The author says, it is impossible to explain several phenomena in relation to the celerity of lies, without the supposition of synchronism and combination. As to the duration of lies, he says there are of all sorts, from hours and days, to ages; that there are some, which, like insects, die and revive again in a different form ; that good artists, like people who build upon a short lease, will calculate the duration of a lie surely to answer their purpose; to last just as long, and no longer, than the turn is served.
The tenth chapter treats of the characteristicks of lies; how to know, when, where, and by whom, invented. Your Dutch, English, and French ware are amply distinguished from one another; an exchange lie from one coined at the other end of the town: great judgment is to be shown as to the place where the species is intended to circulate : very low and base coin will serve for Wapping: there are several coffeehouses, that have their particular stamps, which a judicious practitioner may easily know. All your great men have their proper phantateusticks. The author says he has attained, by study and application, to so great skill in this matter, that, bring him any lie, he can tell whose image it bears so truly, as the great man himself shall not have the face to deny it. The promissory lies of great men are known by shouldering, hugging, squeezing, smiling, bowing; and their lies in matter of fact, by immoderate swearing
He spends the whole eleventh chapter on one simple question, Whether a lie is best contradicted by truth, or by another lie? The author says, that, considering the large extent of the cylindrical surface of the soul, and the great propensity to believe lies in the generality of mankind of late years, he thinks the properest contradiction to a lie, is another lie. For example ; if it should be reported that the pretender was at London, one would not contradict it by saying, he never was in England ; but you must prove by eye witnesses, that he came no farther than Greenwich, and then went back again. Thus if it be spread about, that a great person were dying of some disease, you must not say the truth, that they are in health, and never had such a disease, but that they are slowly recovering of it. So there was not long ago a gen
tleman, who affirmed, that the treaty with France, for bringing popery and slavery into England, was signed the 15th of September; to which another answered very judiciously, not, by opposing truth to his lie, that there was no such treaty ; but that, to his certain knowledge, there were many things in that treaty not yet adjusted.
[The account of the second volume of this excellent
treatise is reserved for another time.]
HUMBLY OFFERED BY
THE COMPANY EXERCISING THE TRADE AND MYSTERY OF
AGAINST PART OF THE
FOR THE BETTER VIEWING, SEARCHING, AND EXA
MINING DRUGS, MEDICINES, &c. 1724
BEING called upon by several retailers and dispensers of drugs and medicines about town, to use our endeavours against the bill now depending for viewing, &c. In regard of our common interest, and in gratitude to the said retailers and dispensers of medicines, which we have always found to be
very effectual, we presume to lay the following reasons before the publick against the said bill.
That the company of upholders are far from being averse to the giving of drugs and medicines in general, provided they be of such qualities as we require, and
• In the year 1724, the physicians made application to parliament to prevent apothecaries dispensing medicines without the prescription of a physician : during which this tract was dispersed in the court of requests.
administered by such persons, in whom our company justly repose the greatest confidence : and provided they tend to the encouragement of trade, and the consumption of the woollen manufacture of this kingdom.
We beg leave to observe, that there has been ng complaint froin any of the nobility, gentry, and citizens whom we have attended. Our practice, which consists chiefly in outward applications, having been always so effectual, that none of our patients have been obliged to undergo a second operation, excepting one gentlewoman ; who, after her first burial, having burdened her husband with a new brood of posthumous children, her second funeral was by us performed without any farther charges to the said husband of the deceased. And we humbly hope, that one single instance of this kind, a misfortune owing merely to the avarice of a sexton, in cutting off a ring, will not be imputed to any want of skill, or care, in our company.
We humbly conceive, that the power by this bill lodged in the censors of the college of physicians to restrain any of his majesty's subjects from dispensing, and well-disposed persons from taking, what medicines they please, is a manifest encroachment on the liberty and property of the subject.
As the company, exercising the trade and mystery of upholders, have an undisputed right in and upon the bodies of all and every the subjects of the kingdom ; we conceive the passing of this bill, though not absolutely depriving them of their said right, might keep them out of possession by unreasonable delays, to the great detriment of our company, and their numerous families.