Page images

triver ; as those more numerous copyings, which are found among the vessels of the same body, are evident demonstrations that they could not be the work of chance. This argument receives additional strength, if we apply it to every animal and insect within our knowledge, as well as to those numberless living creatures that are objects too minute for a human eye: and if we consider how the several species in the whole world of life resemble one another in very many particulars, so far as is convenient for their respective states of existence; it is much more probable that an hundred million of dice should be casually thrown a hundred million of times in the same number, than that the body of any single animal should be produced by the fortuitous concourse of matter. And that the like chance should arise in innumerable instances, requires a degree of credulity that is not under the direction of common sense. this consideration yet further, if we reflect on the two sexes in every living species, with their resemblances to each other, and those particular distinctions that were necessary for the keeping up of this great world of life.

There are many more demonstrations of a Supreme Being, and of his transcendent wisdom, power, and goodness, in the formation of the body of a living creature, for which I refer my reader to other writings, particularly to the sixth book of the poem, entitled Creation, where the anatomy of the human body is described with great perspicuity and elegance. I have been particular on the thought which runs through this Speculation, because I have not seen it enlarged upon by others. 0.

We may carry No. 547. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 27.

Si vulnus tibi monstratâ radice vel berba
Non fieret levius, fugeres radice vel herbà
Proficicnte nihil curarier

Hor. 2 Ep. ii. 149.
Suppose you had a wound, and one had show'd
An berb, which yon apply'd, but found no good;
Would you be fond of this, increase your pain,
And use tho fruitless remedy again?


It is very difficult to praise a man without putting him out of countenance. My following correspondent has found out this uncommon art, and, together with his friends, has celebrated some of my Speculations after such a concealed but diverting manner, that if any of my readers think I am to blame in publishing my own commendations, they will allow I should have deserred their censure as much, had I suppressed the humour in which they are conveyed to me.


“I am often in a private assembly of wits of both sexes, were we generally descant upon your speculations, or upon the subjects on which you have treated. We were last Tuesday talking of those two volumes which you have lately published. Some were commending one of your papers, and some another; and there was scarce a single person in the company that had not a favourite speculation. Upon this a man of wit and learning told us, he thought it would not be amiss if we paid the Spectator the same compliment that is often made in our public prints to Sir William Read, Dr. Grant, Mr. Moor, the apothecary, and other eminent physicians, where it is usual for the patients to

publish the cures which have been made upon them, and the several distempers under which they laboured. The proposal took,' and the lady where we visited having the two last volumes in large paper interleaved for her own private use, ordered them to be brought down, and laid in the window, whither every one in the company retired, and writ down a particular advertisement in the style and phrase of the like ingenious compositions which we frequently meet with at the end of our newspapers.

When we had finished our work, we read them with a great deal of mirth at the fire-side, and agreed, nemine contradicente, to get them transcribed, and sent to the Spectator. The gentleman who made the proposal entered the following advertisement before the title-page, after which the rest succeeded in order.

Remedium efficax et universum ; or, an effectual remedy adapted to all capacities; shewing how any person may cure him. self of ill-nature, pride, party.spleen, or any other distemper inci. dent to the human system, with an easy way to know when the infection is upon him. This panacea is as innocent as bread, agreeable to the taste, and requires no confinement. It has not its equal in the universe, as abundance of the nobility and gentry throughout the kingdom have experienced.

N. B. No family ought to be without it."

Over the two Spectators on Jealousy, being the two first in the

third volume.

“I William Crazy, aged threescore and seven, having been for several years afflicted with uneasy doubts, fears, and vapours, occasioned by the youth and beauty of Mary my wife, aged twenty-five, do hereby for tho benefit of the public give notice, that I have found great relief from the two following doses, baring taken them two mornings together with a dish of chocolate. Witness my hand," &c.

* See Tatler with notes, vol. vi., No. 224, p. 60 and note; p. 478, et passim, an account of Sir William Read: also Tatler, vol. ii., No. 55, note on Dr. Grant: and Gentleman's Magazine, March 1787, p. 195.-C.

For the benefit of the poor. “In charity to such as are troubled with the disease of loveehunting, and are forced to seek their bread every morning at the chamber-doors of great men, I, A. B. do testify, that for many years past I laboured under this fashionable distemper, but was cured of it by a remedy which I bought of Mrs. Baldwin, contained in a half-sheet of paper, marked No. 193, where any one may be provided with the same remedy at the price of a single penny.

“An infallible cure for hypochondriac melancholy. No. 173, 184, 191, 203, 209, 221, 233, 235, 239, 245, 247, 251.

"Probatum est. CHARLES Easy."

[ocr errors]

"I Christopher Query having been troubled with a certain distemper in my tongue, which shewed itself in impertinent and superfluous interrogatories, have not asked one unnecessary question since my perusal of the prescription marked No. 228.

“ The Britannic Beautifier,' being an Essay on Modesty, No. 231, which gives such a delightful blushing colour to the cheeks of those that are white or pale, that it is not to be distinguished from a natural fine complexion, nor perceived to be artificial by the nearest friend : is nothing of paint, or in the least hurtful. It renders the face delightfully handsome; is not subject to be


* Translated from the advertisement of the Red Bavarian Liquor, Spect, in fol. No. 545.-C.

rubbed off, and cannot be paralleled by either wash, powder, cosmetic, &c. It is certainly the best beautifier in the world.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

“I, Samuel Self, of the parish of St. James's, having a constitution which naturally abounds with acids, made use of a paper of directions, marked No. 177, recommending a healthful exercise called Good-nature, and have found it a most excellent sweetener of the blood."

"Whereas, I, Elizabeth Rainbow, was troubled with that distemper in my head, which about a year ago was pretty epi. demical among the ladies, and discovered itself in the colour of their hoods, having made use of the doctor's cephalic tincture, which he exbibited to the public in one of his last year's papers, I recovered in a very few days."

“I, George Gloom, have for a long time been troubled with the spleen, and being advised by my friends to put myself into a course of Steele," did for that end make use of Remedies conveyed to me several mornings in short letters, from the hands of the invisible doctor. They were marked at the bottom, Nathaniel Henroost, Alice Threadneedle, Rebecca Nettletop, Tom Loveless, Mary Meanwell, Thomas Smoaky, Anthony Freeman, Tom Meggot, Rustick Sprightly, &c., which have had so good an effect upon me, that I now find myself cheerful, lightsome, and easy; and therefore do recommend them to all such as labour under the same distemper."

Not having room to insert all the advertisements which were sent me, I have only picked out some few from the third volume, reserving the fourth for another opportunity.

0. A course of Steele. The joke lies in the ambiguity of the expressiona course of Steele : which may either menn a course of steel-medicines, which are thought good in hypochondriac cases, or a course of those speculations, which were, first, published by Sir Richard Stecle. This observation will have its use, if these papers should outlive (as they possibly may) the memory of the invisible doctor.-II.

« PreviousContinue »