Edinburgh M.D.s by having Lord John Russell, and duly acknowledged by him, a place in they intend astoa swamp all unless or that next if deem them would he be a member of the
worthy, number, you they tend to stimulate my brethren to activity in so urgent a cause ? —Ibeg to subscribe myself, your obliged and constant reader, M.R.C.S.E. Northampton, March, 1848,
Castle of Indolence in Pall-mall, as Garth termed the similar establishment in Warwick-lane ?-See clause eleven. And again, do they think that the profession will quietly submit to class registration, the London College of Physicians being the head, and the general practitioners the tail, of their degrading list? I state at once, that, for my part, I would not submit to such an insolent system, but would rather take the chance of an honorarium than be put down, as is evidently intended, as an inferior animal, because, forsooth, it answered my purpose to practise as a surgeon-apothecary, (alias physician, to the middle classes,) and gain the confidence of my neighbourhood, instead of being a paltry puffing pure (excuse the alliteration) to some quackish dispensary, pushing myself into notice by returning thanks to my lords, ladies, and gents, in the front of the Tiates newspaper, as often as possible, to attract notoriety. Lastly, I beg to say, that if you do not your duty this session, and get the admirable Bill passed which you printed in THE LANCET of last year, (and which promised to register fairly and respectably all really qualified parties without loss of caste, and moreover provided for the proper and summary punishment of all quacks,) you will deserve, in spite of all your labours for the profession, to be tied fast to a stake in Smithfield, have the current week’s impression of THE LANCET well packed round you, being first duly tarred, and the president of the College of Physicians for your attendant chief Brahmin. I could not wish you a worse fate, for the materials forr cooking you would be more than amply sufficient, and yourr executioner would, you may be sure, be only too happy to) finish so troublesome a customer as you have been to corporate arrogance and exclusiveness; so pray persevere and pass the Bill, and oblige some thousands besides yours, M.D. & L.S.A. London, March, 1848. ’
Right Hon. Lord John Russell, M.P. MY LORD,—Oppressed as I have been for these last six years by the income-tax, I cannot refrain from imploring your lordship to consider the situation of thousands in this kingdom whose daily toil of body and mind barely procure for themselves and families the necessities requisite for keeping them in their proper standing in society, and yet have to pay out of their subsistence in the same ratio with the man who labours not, and who, whether he is sick or well, sleeps or wakes, is still surrounded by luxurious abundance. I trouble not your lordship with a detail of my own peculiar circumstances, but there are hundreds in my own (the medical) profession, who, like myself, labour and toil with very inadequate remuneration, in their appointments of poor-law medical officers, are obliged to find horsepower, drugs, &c. &c., and who, being refused deductions to the amount of these and other necessary expenses, are compelled to pay this tax to an extent most oppressive, and far beyond the actual profits of their very limited returns. My lord, you would gain to yourself the grateful benediction of thousands, by such a modification of this tax as to make an essential difference between the hard earnings of those upon whose health and capacity to labour the welfare of others depend, and the effortless ease of the rich. I am, my lord, your most obedient, humble servant, Feb. 25th, 1848..
BREECH PRESENTATIONS. To the Editor of THE LANCET.
SIR,—In your number for January 29 last, a correspondent, THE ODIOUS INCOME-TAX. in the Westminster Bridge-road, in terminating his deresiding To the Editor of THE LANCET. acription of a case, makes the following rather extraordinary SIR,—The warmest thanks of the general practitioners are statement:—" As a piece of wholesome advice to younger pracdue to you, for your unceasing advocacy, your able and cogent titioners, and as one which I myself have uniformly observed, I support, of the claims, of the disabilities, and of various other warn them, whenever they meet with a case of breech presentaills our community are labouring and toiling under, but more tion, or one likely to become so, invariably to acquaint the friends especially for your able exposure of the bearing upon us of and relatives of their patient of the nature of the case, and the that most odious of all hateful imposts," the income-tax." moral certainty of the death of the child. It prepares their minds Could Lord John Russell for one moment realize the great for the consequent disappointment, and confirms the confidence injustice and oppressiveness of this measure upon the general reposed in the practitioner himself."? Were this fact merely enunciated accidentally in the descrippractitioners, instead of proposing an increase, he would have brought forward a measure for its abandonment altogether, tion of the case, it would not be of so much importance, perhaps; and have placed the saddle on the right horse, where it might but when it is gravely offered as wholesome advice to junior pracand could be borne. titioners, it requires, at least, some attempt at correction. You have entered so fully, so ably, and so minutely, and yet Even as an obstetric axiom, it is a perfectly novel one to me, so truthfully into the matter, in your leading article of the 4th and experience certainly has not corroborated it. Two of my ultimo, in THE LANCET, that it would be a superfluous waste of own children have thus come safely into the world, and if your your time were I to enter farther into so wide a field. correspondent will make inquiries, I have no doubt that he will Let every general practitioner be alive to its claims, having meet with many hundreds of similar cases equally fortunate in for his motto,si sis, sit cito !" setting himself in array against their termination. so grievous and pitiful a taxation. With the exception of such presentation in "first labours," It is scarcely to be conceived how much the general there is no reason why, with proper management in the extracpractitioner is oppressed, injured, and borne down in various tion of the head, a living child should not be born, and it is the ways by taxation generally,-inadequate remuneration under want of practical experience on this point which sometimes leads the poor-law system; injury sustained by quackery in its to an opposite result. various forms; the system pursued by our M.D.s in our As my object is simply to neutralize what I consider an erro(especially,) so lowering. to the dignity of neous and unwholesome recommendation, I should feel loth to provincial , towns, the physicians, entering as they do into various branches be- make any remark which might hurt the feelings of a practitioner fitting only the general practitioner, and thus injuring him of twenty years’ standing. to a fearful extent; and next our family and prescribing andl AN OLD ACCOUCHEUR. visiting druggists, who are to be seen daily walking their rounds, and as thick in our towns as bees in a hive. DENTAL QUACKERY IN EDINBURGH. Vast numbers of my professional brethren would most To the Editor of THE LANCET. abandon an so avocation were it willingly ill-protected practicable. Let every one and all, I repeat, simultaneously coSIR,—The following is a copy of an advertisement which apin the North British Advertiser of the 29th ultimo:operate and petition, petition, petition against this monstrously peared unjust and oppressive tax. Let us hope that the time is " DENTIST PROFESSION.—PUPIL WANTED.—There is an opening not far distant when this tax may be abolished, the physician at present for a gentleman as pupil in the establishment of a know his own peculiar sphere, the druggist vend his drugs, and dentist of eminence and respectability. The business may be acquackery hide its hydra head in oblivious forgetfulness; and quired in six months by a person of mechanical taste, and situalet the industrious, the well educated, legal general practi- tions will be pointed out where £400 per annum, and upwards, tioner pursue his legitimate avocation, and I fearlessly assert may be made by the practice of it. Premium, JE50. Address, free, the public will be better and more successfully treated, and ’ Dentist,’ No. 131. N.B. Advertiser Office, Edinburgh." This " Dentist of eminence and respectability" acquaints the public that have no reason to complain. I feel assured, Mr. Editor, as the subject is of such vast his profession may be acquired in six months by a person of to have any instruction in importance, you will excuse so lengthened an address; and " mechanical taste." Is that person and pathology of the teeth ? or surgery, physiology, may I crave for this and for the following letter, put into my the anatomy, hands a few dayssince, on the same subject, addressed to does this " eminent" dentist regard these qualifications as being