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the appointed law, that " the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon their children."
The annals of medicine concur, in fact, with every man's own observation, who happens to have thought upon the subject, in establishing the truth of this opinion,—and what a lesson does it inculcate! For, if the retrospect of a well-spent life be full of consolation, what an aggravation, on the other hand, must it not be, of the sorrows attendant upon broken health, for the mind of the sufferer to be haunted with the reflection that he may not only have brought sickness and pain, and the prospect of premature death, upon himself, but that he may have entailed upon his descendants a liability to the like afflictions!
Some of the strenuous advocates of the doctrine of hereditary gout, have gone so far as to maintain that those children only of the same family who happen to be born subsequently to their parents' first attack, are constitutionally predisposed to its visitations, thus conferring on primogeniture a privilege superior to the richest inheritance. But, as this is a point which there may be some difficulty in deciding, I would merely admit, that there may be truth enough in it to put the one party more on his guard; but certainly not enough to found, in favour of the other, any claim of exemption from the pains and penalties of a luxurious life.
The experienced and sagacious Cullen thought that "the gout may be entirely kept off by regular bodily exercise and a low diet, even in persons who have a hereditary disposition to the disease;" and I have long maintained that there was more practical wisdom to be derived from a single case recorded by Van Swieten, than from all the treatises on the gout, from his time to the present. The case to which I allude is that of a Spanish priest, who was in possession of a rich living, and, as one of the fruits thereof, had long been a severe sufferer from attacks of gout; but happening, by some misadventure, to be taken prisoner by Barbary pirates, he was detained in a state of slavery for the space of two years, and kept constantly at work in the galleys, with only a very spare diet. This regimen had the very best effect; for he was subsequently ransomed from his captivity; and having lost his corpulency, and been taught to correct the habits which had led to it, he never after had a fit of the gout, although he survived several years.
Who ever heard of a private soldier, or I might, perhaps, safely say, of any soldier below the rank of a quartermaster, who was subject to gout? It is a disease very seldom indeed met with in public hospitals. I remember, in my own experience, having heard but of one such, and that was a gentleman's butler, or some one who had been a gentleman's butler, who occasionally presented himself at Bartholomew's Hospital for admission, with the full consent of the students, who not often have the advantage of a clinical lecture on the gout, and usually enter upon the field of practice with nothing beyond theory to direct them. This was completely my own case; yet, singularly enough, several of my earliest patients were severe sufferers from the gout; and among them was a Jew, whose manner of life was such as still characterises the hard-faring and scattered descendants of the house of Israel. He had, it is true, a shop at Truro, but he was perpetually on the tramp; and it was not without surprise that I found a gouty patient where one was as little to be expected as in the ranks of an infantry regiment. The mystery, however, soon disappeared, on my learning that my patient was a favorite among the mine-agents and captains, who made him welcome at their well-spread boards, and gave him plenty of punch whenever he happened to drop in at the proper season, which he knew very well how to do. It may not be amiss here to mention, that, adjoining the countinghouses of Cornish mines of any consideration, there are usually culinary establishments, where, on certain fixed days, and on other occasions, when the agents and adventurers meet to transact business, excellent dinners are dressed; it being a maxim of Cornish miners, and not peculiar perhaps to them, that no business of importance can be satisfactorily done without a dinner. At the dinners in question, the luxuries of the season are occasionally met with; and it may be said of them, generally, that they are substantially good, and have such ample justice done them, that, in point of consumption of solid contents, they are probably unrivalled, as they likewise are in the pleasing feature of hospitality which has always characterised them. These, however, are scenes of which the gout is nothing loath to take advantage, and thereby finds its way to a class of subjects very different, in the laborious habits of their lives, from the ancient aldermanic body of the realm, and proportionably more difficult to bring into subjection. But, where the seeds are sown not unsparingly, some will take effect, and twinges be felt, particularly in the decline of life, with the origin of which hereditary predisposition can have had nothing to do. But it is time to bring my observations on the gout to a close. It is highly creditable to the sagacity of Dr. Heberden, that he ventured to anticipate that a specific for so inveterate a malady would, sooner or later, be discovered. Such a specific has been discovered in colchicum. Like specifics for other diseases, its efficacy may be baffled by injudicious exhibition, or by conflicting circumstances in any particular case; but that colchicum is as much entitled to the honour of being deemed a specific as any medicine in any disease whatever, appears undeniable. But let not the sufferer from gout presume too much on this important discovery. The gout is only one of the many evils to which luxurious living tends; and, moreover,is there no danger to he apprehended in cases of frequent recurrence from the specific itself? For much as colchicum is entitled to the gouty man's thanks, it is still a subtle poison, and requires to be dealt with cautiously. Above all, is there not great moral turpitude in the indulgence of habits, the necessary tendency of which is to engender disease, to impair our faculties, and to bring us nearer to the beasts that perish?
There is a good deal about Dr. Glynn in "Nichols's Anecdotes," where more than one allusion is to be found to the part he took in what was very properly denominated, the Rowleyan controversy; for such was Chatterton's ingenuity, that he had, at first, almost as many with him as against him; and, among the former, none was more strenuous than Dr. Glynn. He even paid a visit to Bristol for the sole purpose of having ocular demonstration of the true character of the original papers; and, so far were his eyes from correcting the errors of his judgment, that he returned to Cambridge more than ever convinced of Chatterton's not being an impostor. His own simplicity, charity, and honesty of heart and purpose, made him incapable of weighing the evidence impartially; and I very much doubt whether the history of the fraud, so clearly elucidated as it has since been by Mr. Cottle, who possessed a thorough knowledge of the facts and circumstances connected with it, would have led Dr. Glynn to alter his opinion. The innocency of the dove was not combined, in him, with the serpent's cunning.
I have been unable to ascertain whether, at any part of his life, he mixed much in general society. In the early part of it, the society into which he was thrown was differently constituted from what it is at the present day; and we find him, accordingly, receiving the first suggestion respecting the Seatonian prize poem, at a coffee-house,