Page images

Still if the youthful patient will but trust
In one so kind, so pitiful, and just ;
If he will take the tonic all the time,
And hold but moderate intercourse with crime;

sage will gravely give his honest word,
That strength and spirits shall be both restored ;
In plainer English—if you mean to sin,
Fly to the drops, and instantly begin.

Who would not lend a sympathizing sigh,
To hear yon infant's pity-moving cry?
That feeble sob, unlike the new-born note,
Which came with vigour from the op’ning throat;
When air and light first rush'd on lungs and eyes,
And there was life and spirit in the cries ;
Now an abortive, faint attempt to weep,
Is all we hear; sensation is asleep:
The boy was healthy, and at first express'd
His feelings loudly, when he fail'd to rest;
When cramm’d with food, and tighten'd every limb,
To cry aloud, was what pertain’d to him ;
Then the good nurse, (who, had she borne a brain,
Had sought the cause that made her babe complain,)
Has all her efforts, loving soul! applied,
To set the cry, and not the cause, aside ;
She gave her powerful sweet without remorse,
The sleeping cordial—she had tried its force,

Repeating oft: the infant freed from pain, Rejected food, but took the dose again, Sinking to sleep; while she her joy expressid, That her dear charge could sweetly take his rest: Soon may she spare

her cordial; not a doubt Remains, but quickly he will rest without.

This moves our grief and pity, and we sigh To think what numbers from these causes die; But what contempt and anger should we show, Did we the lives of these impostors know !

Ere for the world's I left the cares of school, One I remember who assumed the fool: A part well suited—when the idler boys Would shout around him, and he loved the noise ; They call’d him Neddy ;-Neddy had the art To play with skill his ignominious part; When he his trifles would for sale display, And act the mimic for a schoolboy's pay. For many years he plied his humble trade, And used his tricks and talents to persuade; The fellow barely read, but chanced to look Among the fragments of a tatter'd book ; Where after many efforts made to spell One puzzling word, he found it oxymel ; A potent thing, 'twas said, to cure the ills Of ailing lungs—the oxymel of squills :

Squills he procured, but found the bitter strong,
And most unpleasant; none would take it long;
But the pure acid and the sweet would make
A med’cine numbers would for pleasure take.

There was a fellow near, an artful knave,
Who knew the plan, and much assistance gave;
He wrote the puffs, and every talent plied
To make it sell : it sold, and then he died.

Now all the profit fell to Ned's control,
And Pride and Avarice quarrelld for his soul ;
When mighty profits by the trash were made,
Pride built a palace, Avariçe groan'd and paid;
Pride placed the signs of grandeur all about,
And Avarice barr'd his friends and children out.

Now see him doctor! yes, the idle fool,
The butt, the robber of the lads at school;
Who then knew nothing, nothing since acquired,
Became a doctor, honour'd and admired;
His dress, his frown, his dignity were such,
Some who had known him thought his knowledge much;
Nay, men of skill, of apprehension quick,
Spite of their knowledge, trusted him when sick:
Though he could neither reason, write, nor spell,
They yet had hope his trash would make them well;
And while they scorn'd his parts, they took his oxymel.

Oh! when his nerves had once received a shock,
Sir Isaac Newton might have gone to Rock :*
Hence impositions of the grossest kind,
Hence thought is feeble, understanding blind;
Hence sums enormous by those cheats are made,
And deaths unnumber'd by their dreadful trade.

Alas ! in vain is my contempt express’d,
To stronger passions are their words address’d;
To pain, to fear, to terror their appeal,
To those who, weakly reasoning, strongly feel.

What then our hopes ?-perhaps there may by law
Be method found, these pests to curb and awe;
Yet in this land of freedom, law is slack
With any being to commence attack;
Then let us trust to science—there are those
Who can their falsehoods and their frauds disclose,
All their vile trash detect, and their low tricks expose:
Perhaps their numbers may in time confound
Their arts—as scorpions give themselves the wound:
For when these curers dwell in every place,
While of the cured we not a man can trace,
Strong truth may then the public mind persuade,
And spoil the fruits of this nefarious trade.

* An empiric who flourished at the same time with this great man,




Non possidentem multa vocaveris
Recte beatum : rectius occupat
Nomen Beati, qui Deorum
Muneribus sapienter uti,
Duramque callet pauperiem pati.

Hor. lib. iv. od. 9.

Non uxor salvum te vult, non filius: omnes
Vicini oderunt; noti, pueri atque puellæ.
Miraris, cum tu argento post omnia ponas,
Si nemo præstet, quem non merearis, amorem ?

Hor. Sat. lib. I.

Non propter vitam faciunt patrimonia quidam,
Sed vitio cæci propter patrimonia vivunt.

Juvenal. Sat. 12.

« PreviousContinue »