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tain privileges : were the Members of the House of Commons to attempt to degrade that body, what would be the consequence? the case is analogous; the Royal College of Physicians degrades itself, by this unjust exclusion ; for the Physicians of one University and the Physicians of another, are in point of rank and respectability co-equal, and neither, according to the due intention and spirit of the acts, are to claim priority; for those acts were never framed to exclude any regular graduate, they merely were passed for the prevention of quackery.
It has been said that the Universities of Scotland have granted diplomas to men of no science; so has the London College; but mark the motives that induced the Colleges to grant the diplomas. The College of London 30 years ago granted licenses to many ignorant and low bred men, for the sake of mortifying some of their minor members: —the Universities of Scotland have granted diplomas to many,butnot without a certificateof their abilities, signed by two respectable Physicians; and if ignorant men have been occasionally admitted, we are not to pronounce censure on the Colleges, baton the Physicians signing those certificates,and whose conduct we cannot too severely reprobate; nay, we are of opinion that such Physicians, forfeit all claim to their academic honour: but though we carry our censure to them, yet we cannot condemn the Colleges, they are rather entitled to our praise for the liberality of their spirit; for though a few ignorant and designing men, have been admitted, yet that defect has been in a twofold measure compensated for, by the admission of men of pracft'ca/experiencewho otherwise would have been lost to Society: the Temple of Fame, ought never ±o shut its doors; genius in every clime requires the fostering hand of introduction, and if in its bloom the chilling frost of captious etiquette nips it, it withers on its virgin stalk, and society has to deplore the loss of a favourite floweret. We are going to examine how far the defined laws of the institution have been carried into effect, and the benefit society has derived from the execution of those defined laws; we shall not enter into the particular clauses of those laws, but investigate the principal laws, as far as they affect the welfare of the human race.
One of the advantages society ought(to derive, from the incorporation of this body, is the inspection of drugs; Have ye, members, performed your duty? no; ye have most shamefully neglected the most essential part of your duty; here you stand self convicted; and to your very centre will we shake you :';has not a period of twenty years elapsed since you have visited some shops? can you controvert us? Can negligence in a branch of duty inspire public confidence? No. It is by your supineness, by your want of energy, and by a deficiency of respect to your own body, you have forfeited all claim to public confidence: it is the separate, secret, or combined power of these circumstances, that has given to Surgeons the proud pre-eminence they possess over the once great and enlightened Physician. Mankind begin now to be wed conyinced, that the science of medicine can only be taught in the dissection room, the chamber of the sick, and the shop; and they, most brilliant among men, have doubts, whether the graduates of Cambridge and Oxford are qualified to detect the adulteration of drugs.
"0 Lucifer, thou son of the morn,
The College of Physicians have an undoubted right to examine every shop within their jurisdiction; it is a duty inseparable from their constitution, and the charter becomes obsolete, if that duty is not performed. We make a sacrifice of private feelings on the altar of public good, when we are * thus called upon in our public capacity, to lay before the public, a plain statement of facta, and there is one question in this stage of the business, we wish the Royal College to answer: we wish them not to answer us as private individuals, for
our object is, not to degrade any body of men, but we wish them to give the answer to the public; and the public are entitled to that respect: we desire to have it in our power to inform the publie, if it would not be more consistent with the dignity of the Royal College, to endeavour, as far as lay in their power, to repress an actual than a supposed grievance: that no misconstruction may be given to our question, we will place it in so clear a light, that a child may give its decision without fear of erring.
We are now about to consider you as a body of men responsible to the legislature for any omission of your public duty; hence then has arisen the following question: Which is the most essential part of your duty, hunting down a graduate of a Scotch university, a man of practical science, a man whohas spent a great portion of his youth in the service of his Sovereign and his Country, in the capacity of Army Surgeon, or the visitation of your body, to the drug shops? which, we say, is the most essential part of your duty? which will render to society the greatest service? we well know you suspect the adulteration of drugs; a suspicion too well founded; for it is, (we speak it with regret) a notorious fact, the powder of articles may be obtained at half the price the substance can be purchased; and we are well convinced, that your
negligence in this department of your duty, has
extended quackery; for had you examined the shops of those venders, they dared not have practised, at least to the extent they now do, their specious arts on society. Which is the greatest evil? were any of your body dangerously ill, who would you send for? the self same practical doctor you will not permit to practise. Then we do maintain, that your only object in such prosecutions, is the total monopoly of the practice of the metropolis and its environs; and thus it is you take every means in your power to stop the lawful practice of physic: you have an uncontrolled power over the shops of the druggists, &c. &c. which power, because you have no competitors, you have no inclination to exercise.
You are afraid of these practical men; hence arises your tenacity: you are afraid of being placed On the superannuated list; a list many of you would handsomely decorate. You behold in perspective, these Scotch graduates sitting at the table you once sat at, enjoying the most exquisite dainties, as a reward of their practical knowledge, while the theoretic knowledge of an Oxford or Cambridge graduate, scarcely can procure a common subsistence; such is the terrific skeleton you behold amid the ruins of your trembling college; for time, and the improvement of the liberal sciences, has changed and enfeebled your claim to public confidence, while the unwise