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medical adviser-a legal adviser-a chimney-sweeping adviser-Sir, I do not understand his lingo and his grammar. Sir, I thought the Times, the good Old Times, had more sense than to intercolumniate the Medical Adviser among its reminiscences of the past. But his fingers, sir, are black with his oil and his ink; he is so employed in picking his dirty types out of his under case, and his upper case, that he has not a claw left to pinch with ; there is not a spare claw, sir, among his whole army of devils. The noses of his pandæmonium, sir, are so full of blacking and train oil, that there is not an olfactory nerve left in the whole printing-house. A blind man, sir, shall better write Medical Advisers about colours, and extract polarized light out of glass chandeliers with the new philosophical society of haberdashers, that he may learn to suit the complexions of Miss Julia Carolina Sidebottom, and Miss Frederica Leopoldina Wilhelmina Snuggs.
Sir, I shall give up the Times, he has no nose, or else, sir, he should have smelt out this Medical Adviser and his medical advice. I tell you, sir, the man wants a bribe ; I smell him. But I desire the Times to repent with all becoming speed ; and, moved by compassion to this numerical deficiency in his seven senses, I shall now, sir, extend my humanity to him, willing to receive him again into favour, when he shall have duly meditated on his crimes. I shall pass to his friend; to this radical apothecary.
Listen to his comminatory denunciations, sir, and admire. Admire, sir, the energy, the force, the vigour, the definitiveness, the beauty, the rhetoric, the oratory, the figures, and tropes, and graces, and flowers of his peroration, his argumentation, his conclusion, sir; he is a Demosthenes, an (Eschines, an Isocrates, an Himerius, a Cicero, a Clodius, a Longinus, a Quintilian, an Antony, a Plato, an Alcibiades, a Pericles, a Wyndham, a Burke, a Henley, and a Charles Phillips. Cobbett is nothing to him, sir, no sir, nor even Jack Fuller himself.
Mark, sir,—“The practice of snuff-taking is perhaps the most baneful that popular custom and familiarity have sanctioned as innoxious and gratifying.” What an inception? How beautiful is that tender obscurity which reigns about it! And what do you think, sir? nay, think with all your vigour, and yet you shall never conceive in yourself, “ to what an extent of misapprehension and fallacy an anthorized and an unsuspected habit may lead.” Dreadful reflection! to take snuff without suspecting that we are taking it. Well, indeed, does it merit denouncement; but imagine, sir, for a moment, the subversion of the whole organization of society, which would follow, from performing actions and not suspecting it. To commit murder without suspecting it—rape, robbery ; and then, to lead “ to fallacy and misapprehension ;" it is absolutely horrific.
Perhaps, sir, you did not know that snuff « was the comminuted division of tobacco." “ The comminuted division”-yes, sir, and minced veal is the comminuted division of a calf. But, sir, “ it never entered into the imagination of the most adventurous," not even of the most adventurous, sir, “ to use the comminuted division of henbane, aconite, blue monkshood, or wolf's-bane, deadly nightshade, dog's-mercury, thorn-apple, common hemlock, bug-agaric, pepper-agaric, hemlock, The very
hemlock-dropwort, water-hemlock, laurel, &c. in the form and manner of snuff.” Not even in the form and manner, sir; not even the wolves, the dogs, nor the bugs, sir, ever comminute the division of their respective banes, mercuries, and agarics, into the form and manner of snuff, although, Sir, “ they fulfil curative indications of extraordinary difficulty."
You see now, sir, the vain boasts of weak human reason. wolves turn up their noses at their own banes; that unpleasant animal, sir, the bug, never thought of comminuting the division of an agaric in his life, much less of “ adverting to the route into which the noxious article is forced by the act of strong inhalation through the nostrils.” Sir, I have examined the nostrils of a bug with the most minute attention, and I can vouch for him. But the snuff-taker, sir, has less wit than a bug; for he does not know that the comminuted division of this deleterious narcotic, disastrous, pentandrian plant, designated by the name of Nicotiana Tabacum, tobacco, or tabac, first discovered by Monsieur Nicot, (a marrain with him!) “ is neither supposed nor intended to pass through the anterior cavities of the nose; instead of which it is carried through its posterior openings, commonly into the gullet; from thence it finds its way into the stomach, and occasionally a portion will be apt to escape under the epiglottis into the lungs; and in either case, immediate and distant mischief of a very afflicting nature is likely to ensue.”
Most afflicting consideration! Well may the snuff-taking gentlemen not advert to this route, as it is not laid down in the common map of the roads to the stomach; and as to the epiglottis, I never heard, for my part, that I had such a thing before; so that this must be one of the kind Adviser's “ unsuspected actions.” Only imagine, sir, under the epiglottis and into the lungs! No wonder, sir, that we die of consumption, when we comminute the division of tobacco, and then allow it to escape us in this manner; and under the epiglottis ! It is really dreadful to reflect on. And“ immediate and distant mischief," both; “how, indeed, should we be alive" that take it?—the present and the future, mischief here, mischief there, mischief every where ; in the anterior cavities, in the posterior openings," commonly" in the gullet, always in the stomach, under the epiglottis, into the lungs.
“ The stomach can no more decompose powdered tobacco, so as to render it comparatively harmless"-comparatively harmless-“than it can deadly nightshade, hemlock, or any other vegetable poison." How shocking! and yet we remember a sailor who decomposed fourteen clasp knives, though they had not been treated by the method of comminuted division. Now, sir, besides, though I am not a medical adviser, but a mere snuff-taking gentleman, who amuse myself occasionally with performing the act of a strong inhalation of the atmospheric air into the anterior cavities of the nose, applying, between the end of my fore-finger or indicator digit, and my thumb, a specified number of the parts of the comminuted division of that deleterious plant called tobacco, and then suffering it to proceed into the posterior openings, and commonly into the gullet, and down into the stomach, and under the epiglottis into the lungs, I have read, sir, in Eton's Survey of the Turkish Empire, and in Mr. Dallaway, and in Dr. Clarke; and, sir, I have read my Cocker, can cast up the longest sum in addition, and say the multiplication table with any man.
And, as opium is a poison of the same deleterious, narcotic, and moischievous properties, as wolf's-bane, dog's-mercury, bug-agaric, waterhemlock, hemlock dropwort, and tobacco, and as it is not “ decomposed and rendered comparatively harmless," by and in the stomach, and as a Turk swallows a dram every day, it will follow, that, in 2 year, he will swallow three hundred and sixty-five drams, which, computed by the weights of the Medical Adviser, commonly called apothecaries' weight, produces just two pounds thirteen ounces five draws; and as a Turk will eat opium for twenty years, before his “ vital funetions have been" exterminated by such “ overwhelming affections of gastric excitability,” we shall suppose, in round numbers to save trouble, that he will have eaten in his lifetime, sixty pounds of opium, which, not having been decomposed and robbed of its deleterious qualities by the power of the stomach, it is plain that he was dead and buried somewhere about the end of April, in the first year of his life and consumption, supposing that he began to eat in January.
Sir, I should have been puzzled overmuch by the anatomical and physiological, and pharmaceutical, and chemical, and medical knowledge and advice of the Medical Adviser, if I had not read somewhat about these matters in the books which his fraternity send out into the world once a-week. And I have read there, sir, that these gentlemen are given to swallowing the poison of the plague and the small-pos, and all sorts of poisons; and that there was a famous Turk, Suliman, who swallowed an ounce of corrosive sublimate every day; and that the stomach will decompose and destroy, and render comparatively harmless, the very devil himself, if you could get him into the anterior openings, and down the posterior cavities, and along the gullet, and into the stomach. And besides, sir, does not every body kror that the elephant at Exeter 'Change will decompose trees in his stomach? and that an ostrich will digest a horse-shoe? I suspect that the Medical Adviser wants a little advice himself; and I advise my friend, The Times, not to trust him again, till he has taken counsel learned in these matters.
But listen, sir, and learn : horrify yourself, erect your locks like the fretful porcupine, tremble before the Medical Adviser, throw your comminuted division into the fire, melt your snuff-box into shillings, and buy his book.
I know that you take this comminuted division, Mr. Editor: I have seen you do it, I have seen you inhale the air with a strong inspiration into the anterior openings, and I have no doubt that there is comminuted tobacco under your epiglottis, for your face is pale, and your “ healthy functions are disordered ;” and you have “ dyspeptic ailment,” and morbid sensibility, and of course, an endless train of " distempered nervous feelings !!” Can you deny it? I defy you. And now, mark your end; see what you will come to. Why, the Times will be flourishing in amaranthine youth when you are dead and gone ; and what will become of your Magazine? I should like to know this, sir. The comminution of your tobacco will comminute your coat of your stomach and your villous covering, and your epigastric mucus, and your gastric juice, and your lungs will become incapable of making strong inhalations through the anterior orifices, and the hinge of your epiglottis will become stiff, sir, from the comminuted division of the powder which will be lodged in it, just, sir, as if there were a piece of comminuted dust in the balance of your watch, and you will stop, and your Magazine will stop, and you will be buried under a stone in the Strand, and the hackney coaches will drive over your carcase.
And will you go on inhaling with strong inhalations? when this pulverulent dust, comminuted and pulverized by means of division, actually comminuted and divided, sir, into particles, powder, dust, snuff, into snuff, sir, snuff of tobacco, of tobacco, sir, of that poisonous weed, that weed, sir, which resembles bug-agaric, pepper-agaric, dog'smercury, wolf's-bane, water-hemlock, common-hemlock, hemlock-dropwort, deadly nightshade, blue monkshood, aconite, henbane, thornapple, laurel, &c. is " in a high degree enervating," by which, sir, " that organ,” the stomach, sir, and the epiglottis, and the lungs, and the gullet, are “ incapacitated for a healthy exertion of the gastric fluid, and for the exerting the vital energy which is requisite for performing its digestive function." Do you know what a function is, Mr. Editor? it is a function; and you shall eat beef-stcaks, and they shall not be comminuted by division in the epigastric juice; and the calipash of your turtle-soup shall turn into horn, sir, into turtle-shell, and your claret will become small beer in your gullet, and your posterior orifice, and you cannot foresee or anticipate what will happen to your colon and your cæcum, and your epiglottis. Sir, I tremble to think of the consequences of your functions, and of your gastric juice.
Will you not reflect, sir, will you not pause in your rash and destructive career? Sir, if you are wise, if you have any sense of justice to yourself, of morals, of suicide, I call on you to pause, to suspend your strong inhalations, to stop up your anterior orifices without delay. The day is at hand, sir: “ loss of appetite, distressing sickness, gastric oppression, præcordial anxiety, acetous fermentation, flatulent distension and deadly languor;" these, sir,“ are among the direst effects of admitting snuff into the stomach." Adinit it not into the stomach, Mr. Editor; keep watch over the anterior orifices, place a guard upon the posterior orifices, let the comminuted division of tobacco not escape by the gullet, let it not lodge under the epiglottis.
Your“ disordered stomach will awaken various sympathetic disturbances throughout your whole system.” Your sympathies will be awakened, mark that: they will be in a state of disturbance; perpend it well.“ What vital function can preserve its healthy state amidst such overwhelming affections of gastric excitability ?"
While I write, while the words drop from my pen, my own gastric excitability is overwhelmed. And what, sir, will be your fate? You will lose your appetite; and adieu then all pride and circumstance of dinner; farewell, farewell, the big-plumed turkey, and the loud squeaking-pig, Kitchener's occupation's gone. You will undergo the acetous fermentation and become vinous; your Magazine, sir, will be unendurable and crabbed, you will explode in flatulent distension, a deadly languor will possess your pages, Mr. Colburn will triumph in the auxiety of your præcordia, and the devil himself will take possession of you and yours. Cast to the winds your comminuted division of dust, renounce Mrs. Hardham, and repent, repent, while you may.
My friendship for you, Mr. Editor, has hurried me into an apostrophe, which has been luckily checked by an atom of comminuted dust entangled under my epiglottis; for I see, by a slender retrospect, that it has transgressed the prudent bounds of rhetorical energy. But my præcordia were anxious for you, and must plead my pardon.
Sir, I take another pinch of snuff, and proceed.
Poor dear tobacco ! I love and I respect thee, and I could almost weep over this, ungracious usage of thy innocent green leaves, thy flowers of lovely pink, rivalling the bloom on the cheek of my mistress, the fragrance of thy odours, the grateful incense of thy sweetly curling and tender vapours. To be taxed, excised, transported; was it not enough? but thou must be comminuted into a minute division, attenuated and stimulated by rasps, graters, and millstones, and other attenuating and stimulating ingredients, tormented into the condition of pulverulence, crushed into very dust, from the dust of the earth created to be returned to the dust whence thou didst come; and as if the cup of thy bitterness was not yet full, thou must fall into the savage hands of a Medical Adviser, be resurrected from oblivion, and again impaled in the Times, and then, cruelly, falsely, accnsed of polypus, flatulence, acetification, languor, insidiousness, titillation, anxiety, prostration, cancer, threatening, agitation, sympathies, all, all, and crimes far more, far more terrible, all irrestrainable, morbific, irreparable, disorganizing, inextricable, and never to be released.
Still there was hope; hitherto the Medical Adviser shook his darts over us, but delayed to strike; now, of a sudden, he increases his terrors, his stature expands; he is magnified; dark as ten furies he stands, terrible as night ; he is multiplied; he acquires multitude; his functional integrity assumes plurality; sentence is passed, judgment is pronounced. Tremble ye who inhale the comminuted division through your anterior orifices, for your fate is sealed ; dusty death is at your heels; he is in your epiglottis already.
Many instances have fallen under our notice. and more occur to our reflection, of but little short of MORTAL INJURY having accrued from a profuse and an incautiously violent mode of forcing the spuff through the nostrils into the gullet and stomach.” Of man's disobedience and the cause which thus brought death into the gullet and stomach, thus does the Medical Adviser predicate. Mortal injury, comminuted division of pulverulence; poison for the King, poison for the Dauphin ; dust unto dust; death, undertaking, and burial. Incautiously violent indeed ; dangerous force! why, why, did nature make the posterior passage into the gullet and stomach?
Sir: Napoleon Bonaparte died of the comminuted division of that deleterious narcotic tobacco, Nicotiana Tabacum ; he snuffed out his life, sir, just as you snuff out a candle. No wonder, sir, that snuff is deleterious to life, when light and life are the same thing; when they were both brought to light at the same time, and when snuffing is deleterious to light. If it extinguishes light, sir, it must needs extinguish life. Life itself is a snuff, sir, the snuff of a candle. Does not Othello confirm it, sir ? does rot Shakspeare pronounce it, the great Shakspeare ? “ Snuff out the light, and then snuff out thy light." No wonder, sir, that a man snuffs out his light, and his life too, with the comminuted division. Snuff! snuff! the very idea is exterminative; it is a put-outing idea, an extinguishingness, a termination, an end, a tenebricafication of life. Snuff and die. Thus says philosophy ; thus says chemistry, analogy, logic; thus says the Medical Adviser.