Black Dwarf,  1 (1817), 507–11.

New Mode of Adapting Mr Owen's Plan to the Exigencies of the Times

Amicus, Cheapside




Human Species, Feeling, Radicalism, Alchemy, Adulteration, Quackery, Vaccination, Temperance

    A response to the outline of Robert Owen's proposal for his 'Spencean Plan' which appeared in an earlier issue (BD1/1/30/1). Proposes that 'Every work written expressly to promote the happiness of the human race [...] should be received with gratitude, and treated in the most candid, if not gentle manner; because the writer, if wrong, only demonstrates, what is physically true, that the heart is inferior to the head and there are many sapient animals, which in the moral acceptation of the term, want the lower organ altogether, and feel consequently no more for their fellow-creatures than a stone' (507–08). States: 'Were the power of nations honestly concentrated in one or more focuses to augment its effects beneficially for the whole community; a spring and its streams would prove the most appropriate comparison; on the contents of which the Alchymist might exert his talents, without the smallest danger, whereas at present, to purify living waters, flowing from an impure outlet of filth and corruption is a hopeless, if not a most deletereous [sic] experiment. Precipitation, fermentation, filtration and other processes certainly can purify the element in question, but why so much toil and trouble, if every person could drink it at once unadulterated at the common well, and therefore be under no necessity of searching for a wholesome draft at some huge artificial reservoir' (510). Concludes by stating that 'Mr Owen's meetings conjured up various nostrums, and, among the rest, an ample supply from Dr. Walker's laboratory, who is one of the respectable sect, termed among themselves friends, but of the whole, I prefer the good doctor's admirable advice, viz. temperence in eating and drinking for every afflicted patient' (511). Provides a brief description of Walker's views on abstinence.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <> [accessed ]