Black Dwarf,  1 (1817), 438–41.

Letters of the Black Dwarf. From the Black Dwarf in London, to the Yellow Bonze, at Japan. Shocking Occurrence

The Black Dwarf, pseud.  [Thomas J Wooler] *


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Natural History, Politics, Ancient Authorities, Medical Practitioners, Medical Treatment, Pharmaceuticals

    Relates that Robert Stewart (Viscount Castlereagh) has been bitten by his dog, and considers it a form of canine revolt. Observes: 'Why it is the act of a cannibal! If they are not the very same species, yet the bare resemblance should sanctify the two races from such savage proceedings to each other. Some people indeed will have recourse to conjecture in all cases, and they say that the doctrine of Pythagoras must be true', and that the dog must be a reincarnated Irishman wreaking vengeance on Castlereagh (439). Ridicules the recommendation of the 'physician from town' that Castlereagh should go to bed because his finger was inflamed. Anyone might have prescribed this, although 'the ill-natured conspirator of a puppy might have snarled out, almost as wisely and intelligibly—"Go to the d—!"' (440). Suggests that the 'proper cataplasm' for the treatment of the bite 'ought to have been salt and gunpowder', an 'antidote to flesh wounds having been tried in Ireland with such astonishing effect, as to have rendered a reliance on its virtues perfectly safe' (440). Making lewd allusions to Castlereagh being 'put to bed', the writer fears that the 'unfortunate confinement of the noble lord' may result in the conception and delivery of new plans of administration involving further encroachments upon liberty. Considers the 'horrid thought' that the dog may have had hydrophobia: 'A dog that is mad must be hanged. A minister that is mad, must be—cured—if possible'. (441)

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