Black Dwarf,  1 (1817), 488–93.




Letter, Satire


Medical Treatment, Medical Practioners Radicalism, Dissection, Botany, Population, Death

    Hopes that the zeal shown by the Royal Humane Society in restoring 'the suspended animation in some thousands of physical bodies' will 'yet be resuscitated among numerous corps of freemen, to restore the expiring moral soul of English liberty, by some operations, as simple but equally efficacious with those by which medical skill continues daily to raise the dead' (488). Observes of the recently established royalist society at Norwich, styled the 'Knights of Brunswick', that, had they been 'blessed with an Esculapius at their head, instead of a starving Apothecary with which that association was cursed at its birth, the staff of life would have been their emblem of returning health and renovation, without that venemous [sic] reptile, who prescribes poison under the gilded pill, in order to keep the prominent snake in the grass alive as long as possible' (488–89). Refers to the British constitution as 'Lazarus'—not dead, but sleeping. Observes: 'How long the body may yet continue in the tomb of such legal despotism, is a question which the resurrection men enlightened by the long habit of selling and buying condemned carcases [sic] are best qualified to answer, though, persons, who are not inspired prophets, predict its revival on the great day of national judgment [sic]' (489). Recommends its revival by petitioning. Should the 'boroughmongers' then choose, Sampson-like, 'to bury themselves and foes amidst the ruins of the polluted temples of liberty', the blood would not be on the hands of the petitioners, 'whose hearts could not imagine the preposterous plan of hanging a poor patient to save his life, or mend his broken constitution, as the sapient doctors of the Crown have lately done' (492–93). Notes that, despite the persecution of William Cobbett, 'his register from abroad, is still a horrible thorny opuntium and eye sore among the Court lillies, evergreens, and Cabinet roses [...]; whence the tribe of reformers will naturally encrease with a geometrical celerity, that population does not surpass in any part of the globe' (493). Footnotes give botanical descriptions of the opuntium (prickly pear), and the other plants.

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