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Our author then proceeds to the examination of several particular cases, wherein literary property has come under legal consideration ; in which he makes it appear very clearly that the arguments of the most eminent lawyers, and the fenfe even of the legislature itself, are all in favour of the author's exclusive right*. We should extend this article, however, to too great a length, should we enter upon these cases; we must, therefore, refer the curious reader to the pamphlet itelf; and proceed to the fourth article under confideration ; viz. how far the establishment of the right in question would be prejudicial to the advancement of letters, and of ill consequence to authors.
With regard to the latter, the author of the Enquiry in dulges himlelf in the following piece of declamation and raillery. “ If one was to take into consideration, fays he, all the inconveniencies resulting to authors themselves from the establishment of this property, they would be found very nu
The profesion of an author is of all others the least profitable f. By the study of antient poets and philofophers, they easily contract a contempt for riches. Hence enlue a neglect of domestic concerns, and distressed circumstances. If their works were to become a property, they might be taken in execution for debt. Creditors would ravith from dramatic writers their half-formed tragedies, from Clergymen their pious discourses, the spiritual food of their respective flocks. A moral effay might go in discharge of a debt contracted in a bagnio. Philofophy, poetry, metaphyfics, history and divinity, would be taken in fatisfaction for ftay-tape, buckram and canvas, or legs of mutton, calfs heads and other articles, which usually compose a taylor's and a butcher's bill." All this is doubtless very fpirited and pretty;
The arguments which the author of the Enquiry advances on this head are in general vague, declamatory and inconclufive. His proposal for erecting a literary court of judicature is evidently un. neceflary, and the practice of foreign nations in this respect little to the purpose.
+ How is this consistent with the writer's supposition that a rich irritated author, might be as profitable a client, as a rich litigious widow? However tenacious he might be of his literary credit, he would certainly care little about this kind of property unless he might be supposed to draw some part at least of his wealth from that fource. When the poverty of authors was a truer jest than at present, their property was not worth contending for. The present dispute is a proof that their profellion is growa more lucrative.
but surely the Enquirer forgot that he was here enumerating grievances. Is it then a grievance for a man to be enabled to pay his debts, with a thing of no value? If he has no property in his works, of what use can they be to him? He would make but a poor dinner, as Jeremy says in the play, on the maxims of Epictetus, or his own comments on them. If his taylor, his butcher, and his landlord, will take his writings for meat, cloths, and lodging, so far from thinking this an inconvenience, we believe there is many a well-meaning author will be glad to quit scores with them. The profession of an author might not also be so unprofitable as the Enquirer now supposes it. It is, however, a very drole manner of espousing the cause of poor authors, by endeavouring to prove they have no property in their own works, because if they had they might pay their debts with them. But, perhaps, this writer thinks it inconvenient for men of such a philosophical turn to be out of jail. Be this as it may, it is clear that this writer mistakes the case : he says, “ If an author had been willing to have taken the benefit of the infolvent act, he would have been guilty of perjury (on the supposition of his having an exclusive right to fell his own works) if he had not discovered his manuscripts. His creditors might insist on publishing his familiar letters : for that species of composition is as much a property as any other.” If Mr. Enquirer hath not missed the mark here, either an author, by publishing a book, gives up all the rights he before enjoyed in common with the rest of mankind, or else all mankind must be set down for authors. If the familiar letters of one man are literary con: positions, so are those of another ; and every man, as well as an author by profession, on becoming a bankrupt or taking the benefit of an insolvent act, may be said to be perjured in the same manner, for not giving up what sometimes might hang him if he did. But such kind of arguments are not indeed worth a serious refutation. With respect to the prejudice, which it is pretended the establishment of this conteited right would be of, to the cause of letters in general, nothing of any weight has been offered. On the contrary, however, what is advanced by the present writer in behalf of authors and bookfellers is well worthy confideration.
“ What a prejudice, says he, would the cause of Literature sustain, were Writers deprived of the exclusive right to their own productions, and of the privilege of transferring them? Should this determination ever take place, the public muft
fever more expect works of great length and difficulty, the execution of which demand the united contribution of, perhaps, more than twenty opulent Booksellers, who hazard a certain sum on the prospect of uncertain gain.
" If an Author cannot maintain an exclufive right to his copy, the powers of genius muft languish, and few will have an opportunity of producing thofe excellent talents with which Nature hath enriched them. Scarce any productions will issue from the press, but hasty fugitive pieces, calculated to serve the run of the day, and which will excite as little temptation, as they afford opportunity, for piracy.
“ It were to be wished, indeed, that Authors could receive the whole profits, or sustain the whole loss, arising from the publication of their works; and that Booksellers were, what the word importeth, mere venders of copies. But this, however natural and reasonable in speculation, cannot, for the reasons above assigned, be reduced to pra&ice. Few Authors can advance money for a work of any expence, and wait their reimbursement by now returns. Neither have they, as formerly, the means of procuring the patronage of the Great, but must approach them through the channel of the public. Therefore, if they have not an exclusive property in their works, and consequently a power of transferring such right, learning will soon be lost among us; the gloom of Gothic ignorance will soon darken the age, and extinguish every beam of science.”
Having thus endeavoured to give our Readers an impartial view of this interesting dispute; it may be gathered from the whole, that the exclusive right contended for, is clearly to be ascertained, has been recognized, and may be governed, by the known and established rules of law: that it will produce no inconvenience either with regard to the Author or the public; but that, on the contrary, to deprive Authors of this right, will be injurious both to the public and themselves, and in the end, destructive of literature. We have only to hope, therefore, with the present ingenious Writer, that this right may be judicially established, and preserved inviolable to latest posterity.
Conclusion of the Medical Observations and Inquiries. See out
laft, page 104.
HE twenty-first article, is a short account of a mortal
Fever at Senegal, from Mr. Vage, communicated by Dr. Brockleby. The principal observation is, the ill confequence of bleeding in it. One of two men, nearly of the fame habit, and sickening of it at the same time, loft fix ounces of blood; the other was not bled; in other respects they were treated exactly alike; yet the recovery of the first was protracted to double the term of the other. The experiment was repeated with the same event in two others. This fever seems to differ essentially from most of our stationary or even epidemic ones, in this island. All who were comatose, with a dry surface, died.
The twenty-second, gives the account and cure of a Fistula in each Testicle. The case is really curious; since after a fuppuration in both the contufed testicles, the feed ouzed from each; the patient, however, thinking himself cured at the end of six months, married; but found no spermatic emission thro' the ordinary passage in coition, though a great increase of the former discharge through the scrotum, and attended with pain. The Relator, Mr. Ingham, after the use of emollient cataplasms for three weeks, opened both firtulas, diffected off all the indurated parts; extirpated a large portion of the lower part of the Epididymis, and then heal-, ing the incisions, the natural functions of the teites were perfectly restored.
The twenty-third, sent by Mr. Kirkland, Surgeon at Anhby de la Zouch, to Dr. Hunter, contains a curious case, the success of which may serve to introduce an useful improvement in surgery, by the application of thin pieces of spunge after amputation. Both the cafe and the method are sensibly and properly exhibited; but as they employ above eight pages, we must refer our readers to the whole ; and fhall only observe, that thin slices of spunge were applied, as soon as digestion was compleat, over thin layers of dry lint immediately covering the wound: by which contrivance, the spunge imbibing the thinner part of the discharged humour, the remainder proved too thick to be absorbed into the blood, as usual; and consequently prevented the purulent, colliquative fevers, or profuse hæmorrhages, which fometimes succeed large amputations. In the present case, the manifestly puru
lent stools, and still more purulent urine, were entirely altered by this application; and all the other very unpromising fymptoms vanishing, the patient was cured.
The twenty-fourth, exhibits an inveterate dropsical cafe, communicated by Dr. Alexander Mackenzie. cured, after several ineffeétual medicines, and three tappings, chiefly by a spontaneous vomiting of above fifty pints of fetid dirty water, with extraordinary explosions of wind almost every minute, for twenty-four hours. The patient is affirmed to have recovered his health, and his natural plight entirely; and to have died fifteen months after of a frenzy, from a violent fit of paffion, and a small contufion of the head.
The twenty-fifth relates a most remarkable separation of a large part of the thigh-bone, which was sent to the Society, with the account, by Dr. Mackenzie. It was seven inches and a half in length, and separated solely by the oeconomy of Nature, in about three years after a blow received on the thigh ; Nature also substituting a callus so equivalent, that this thigh is as firm as the other, and the halt in the man's walking, fo little as to be scarcely perceptible. Dr. Mackenzie's reflection on the whole, including another, somewhat fimilar, cale, is so sensible, and so very humane, that we could not prevail on ourselves to omit it.
« On the whole, says he, it is obvious the cure was all the work of nature and iime; and may not it serve as a caution to Surgeons, not to be too precipitate in amputating limbs? I have myself, by bestowing time and care, saved many limbs that were condemned, particularly in the year 1740: I then living in Virginia, was called by Christopher Robinson, Esq; of Middlesex county, to amputate, or be present at the amputation of a leg above the knee, of a Negroe boy of twelve years old : upon dilating a small gleeting hole about three inches above the knee, on the outside of the thigh; and introducing a jointed or screw probe, I found the bone carious to such a height, and withai the patient so emaciated with the tedious discharge, and a hectic fever, that I diffuaded attempting the operation, but had the Negroe sent to Colonel Samuel Buckner's house in Gloucester county, where I lodged ; and by different methods of exfoliating; proper internal medicines, but, above all, by a nourishing good diet, and eighteen months assiduous care, I saved the Rev. Scp. 1762. N