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Tom Belfry was the nujsance of society : he applied to me when he was far gone indeed ; he had been black-balled by half the clubs in town, and sent to Coventry by the other half. I examined his case, and found it under the following class—Vux stentoria, sempiterna, cum cerebello vacuo, necnon auribus obtusis admodum acinertibus. As his organs of speech seemed in want of immediate modulation, I tried the pitch pipe upon him repeatedly, but the vehe. mence of his complaint baffled all my efforts ; I could never bring him down within a full octave of sound health. I was unwilling to proceed to extremities, till I had done all that my more regular practice could suggest for his relief; but when I found nove but desperate remedies could save him, I caused a vein to be opened in his right arm, and drew out fourteen ounces of blood: this was in the month of March last, and the wind was then in the cast with sleet and rain : I immediately ordered the patient to take boat at Black-friars, and be rowed to Chelsea-reach and back again in an open wherry : the expected consequence ensued; a total depriva. tion of voice took place, and Mr. Belfry, being no longer able to articulate, is become a very companionable man, and is now in as much request with his club, as heretofore he was in disgrace with it.
Counsellor Clack is a young man of quick parts, ready wit, and strong imagination, but sorely troubled with the disease called Lingua rolubilis cum sui ipsius amore nimio ct prægravante.-This patient was radically cured by a strong dose of his own praises, which I took from his mouth, and made him swal. low grain for grain as he had uttered them : the nau. sea, occasioned by this dose, operated so strongly on his constitution, as totally to eradicate all seeds of self-consequence, and the counsellor is become one of the modestest men, and best hearers in his profession.
Captain Swagger was continually talking of bat. tles, and sieges, and campaigns, though he had never seen either: hearraigned the conduct of every enterprize; and proved to demonstration, by the force of oaths, how much better it would have been managed, had he been the commander: the symptoms were too apparent to be mistakenOs grandiloquum, rotundum, cum dextrâ bello frigidâ — In this state of his disorder he was recommended to iny care by the officers of his mess. I found the tume. faction so vehement, that I prescribed an opening by incision. The captain was accordingly sent out by his commanding officer upon a scouting-party, and suffered a surprise, which effectually repelled the tumefaction: Mr. Swagger threw up his com, mission, and has been a very silent meniber of the civil community ever since.
I have sent you these cases out of many, as being peculiar; in common cases, the general method take to bring any gentleman to a patient hearing, is to entertain him with his own commendations : if this simple medicine will not serve, I am forced to dash it with a few drops of slander, which is the best appeaser I know; for many of my patients will listen to that, when nothing else can silence them. This recipe however is not palatable, nor ought it to be used but with caution and discre. tion; I keep it therefore in reserve like laudanum for special occasions. When a patient is far ad. vanced towards his cure, I take him with me to the gallery of the House of Commons, when certain orators, whom I have in my eye, are upon their legs to harangue; and I have always found if a convalescent can hear that, he can licar any thing. I am, Sir, your's to command,
JEDEDJAK FISHI. I am not so partial to my correspondent, as to defend him in all his proceedings, and I suspect, that, whilst he is labouring to restore his patients to their ears, he may chance to take away their lives. Men, who act upon system, are apt to strain it too far ; and as prevention is always to be preferred to remedy, I could wish that parents would take early care to instrugt their children in the art of hearing, if it were only to guard them against falling into Mr. Fish's hands, when the malady may become stubborn.
I shall suggest one hint in the way of advice to fathers and mothers, which if they are pleased to attend to it, may perhaps save some future trouble and vexation.
I would wish all parents to believe, that the hu. man character begins to fix itself much earlier in life, than they are generally aware of. There is something very captivating in the dawning ideas of our children; we are apt to fatter and caress them for their early vivacity; we tell their smart sayings and repartees with a kind of triumph even in their presence, and the company we tell them to are al. ways polite enough to applaud and admire thein. By these means we instil our own vanity into their infant minds, and push their genius into prematurity. The forwardness, which this practice of our's is sure to create, passes off agreeably for a time; but, when infancy ceases, it begins to annoy us, and Miss or Master appear insupportably pert. The parent then finds himself obliged to turn the other side of his countenance upon the witticisms of his child ; this is not only a painful task, but probably a fruitless one; for the child by this time has made its party, and can find its admirers elsewhere : every obliging visitor makes interest with the clever little creature; the nursery, the kitchen, the stables echo with applause ; it can chatter, or mimic, or act its tricks before the servants, and be sure of an audi. ence: the mischief is done, and the parent may snub to no purpose.
Let parents therefore first correct themselves, before they undertake that office for their children: education is incompatible with self-indulgence, and the impulse of vanity is too often mistaken for the impulse of nature: when Miss is a wit, I am apt to suspect that her mother is not over-wise.
Primum Graius homo mortales tollere contra
CREECH. There are so many young men of fortune and spirit in this kingdom, who, without the trouble of resorting to the founder of their philosophy, or giving themselves any concern about the Graius homo in my motto, have nevertheless fallen upon a practice so consentaneous to the doctrines, which he laid down by system, that I much question if any of his profest scholars ever did him greater credit, since the time he first struck out the popular project of driving all religion out of the world, and introducing pleasure and voluptuousness in its stead.
Quare religio pedibus subjecta vicissim
So far from meaning to oppose myself to such a host of gay and happy mortals, I wish to gain a merit with them by adding to their stock of pleaśures, and suggesting some hints of enjoyments, which may be new to them ; a discovery which they well know was considered by the kings of Persia, (who practised their philosophy in very ancient times) as a service of such importance to all the sect, (who had even then worn out most of their old pleasures that a very considerable reward was of. fered to the inventor of any new one. How the stock at present stands with our modern voluptuaries I cannot pretend to say, but I suspect from certain symptoms, which have fallen under my observation, that it is nearly run out with some amongst them; to such in particular I flatter myself my discoveries will prove of value, and I have for their use com. posed the following meditation, which I have prit together in the form of a soliloquy, solving it step by step as regularly as any proposition in Euclid, and I will boldly vouch it to be as mathematically true. If there is any one postulatum in the whole, which the truest voluptuary will not admit to be orthodox Epicurism, I will consent to give up my system for nonsense and myself for an impostor; I condition only with the pupil of pleasure, that whilst he reads he will reflect, that he will deal candidly with the truth, and that he will once in his life permit a cer. tain faculty called reason, which I hope he is possessed of, to come into use upon this occasion; a faculty, which though he may not hitherto have employed, is yet capable of supplying him with more true and lasting pleasures, than any his philo. sophy can furnish.
I now recommend him to the following meditadation, which I have entitled