LETTER Concerning the present State OF PHYSICK, And the REGULATION Of the Practice of it in this KINGDOM.

Written to a Doctor here in London.


Hipp. de dec. Hab.

LONDON, Printed for Jo. Martyn and Ja. Allestry, at the Bell in St. Paul's Church-Yard. 1665.


Joh. Hall, R. P. D. Episc. Lond. à Sac. Domest.

NOw I am safely arriv'd here, and re­tir'd from the noise and importunity of publick business, I have a little leasure to consider the Civilities I received from you at London, and thank you for them: But my Lady—is most particularly sensible of the favour you did her, in sending her that ex­cellent Syrup of your own preparation; and as well for the good effects she has found of it, as for your most exquisite manner of pre­paring it, she ceases not to commend it in­finitely to her nearest Relations, and other Persons of Quality, who will very shortly, I know, desire you to take the trouble of making some more of it for them. And as her Ladyship has been wont alwayes to con­demn the Syrups, Conserves, and other Me­dicines of the Apothecaries, as nauseous, ful­some, and unhealthy, compar'd with those which her self and other Ladies of the Coun­trey make, without regard of expence or charge, to have them perfectly good; so now [Page 4] she does it much more, in consideration of this which you have sent her.

These discourses of her Ladyship put me in minde of what past in that excellent com­pany of Virtuosi at Sir Thomas—House, where you and I had lately the honour to re­ceive a noble entertainment. And in truth all then present did very much resent the un­happy estate of the profession of Physick, as it now stands in this Kingdom, both in re­spect of the worthiness of the thing it self, and its mighty concernments in humane life, and the society of mankinde; as also, as it is an honourable way, wherein all the Gentle­men of England have been ever accustomed to breed and educate some of their Children. And in both these respects there is no Gentle­man in the Nation, but ought to take him­self concerned to secure it so far from the rude pretences of vain and bold men, that in the first place it may be really serviceable to those ends for which Heaven mercifully gave it, and also may be a decent and worthy means of subsistence, as it hath hitherto been, to persons of ingenuous Birth and liberal Education, who shall in pursuance of those noble ends address themselves to the Study of it.

[Page 5]Now because you know very well that my curiosity and inclination have ever led me to a more then ordinary consideration of that which you profess, you will the less wonder to finde me offering some propositions, which, in my poor opinion, will remedy the present defects both in the method and practice of it, restore it to its primitive and most excel­lent form, and effectually establish it in that degree of honour and estimation which all Ages have so justly had for it.

And whereas I have several times found both your self and some other Physicians of my acquaintance possest with apprehensions, because our House did not pass the Patent, by His Majesty lately granted to the Colledge: though I will not make my self guilty of so much rashness as to censure the advise by which that affair was governed; yet I verily perswade my self, if instead of that long Pa­tent De novo, you had followed the example of your Ancestors, who finding some de­fects in the first Act of their Incorporation, made in 14. H. 8. Chose rather to bring into the Parliament small Additional Bills, praying such new powers as might enable them to put in execution the true intents of the first Act, [Page 6] as that of 38. H. 8. In which they desire the priviledge of visiting the Wares of Apothe­caries: and afterward, Primo Mariae, another Bill requiring the Magistrates to be assisting to them in the execution of this Power, which was forgot before. And likewise an­other clause was desired, commanding Goal­ers to receive and keep in safe custody such Prisoners as should from time to time be com­mitted by the Authority granted to the Col­ledge, till they should by them be thereof discharged: I say, if some such course as this had been taken, I make no doubt but the zeal and care of this House is such for the ho­nour and advancement of all true Learning in the Nation, that it would have pass'd with­out much debate: But considering the length of the new Charter; the great numbers of men of several sorts that made opposition, and pretended high exceptions against it; the many weighty and important things at that time upon their hands, and so the little leasure they had then to examine a business of that nature, as they ought to do; It is to me no great wonder that it was for the present laid aside.

I have great hope, That whatever may be [Page 7] propos'd for the effectual advancement of this noble Art, that does not onely serve the necessities of humane Life, but also furnish Philosophy with so great a number of real and useful Experiments, will be sincerely re­garded and consider'd; from the particular genius and inclination of the Age wherein we live, which to me seems in a peculiar manner directed to the contemplation of Na­ture: And although many admirable Spirits flourish'd in the former Age, and labour'd in most kinde of humane knowledge; yet the honour of the true method of penetrating into the causes of natural things is due onely to ours: For, excepting the Divine Wit of Copernicus, none that I remember of that time did any thing of moment in natural Philosophy. And I look upon Galileo as the first that introduc'd any sound and real specu­lations in that way, by first discerning the ne­cessity and use of Geometrical Theories in the considerations of Nature. This fortunate beginning was well pursu'd by Kepler, and brought to a great degree of perfection by D. Cartes, whose incomparable Books have kindled in mens mindes such an ardour of searching into the causes of things, that the [Page 8] great Spirits of our time seem all in a flame; and not onely such persons as have been bred in Letters, and Study, but men of all Con­ditions and Businesses, even Princes themselves are toucht with this inclination, as the Prince Leopoldo in Italy, but especially His Most Ex­cellent Majesty, who has set on foot the great­est design for this end that ever any Nation saw, by Founding his Royal Society for the ad­vancement of Natural Philosophy by Expe­riments, which will certainly be as Immortal as his own Name and Fortunes.

If then we consider how much the busi­ness of Physick, well constituted and manag'd, will not only administer infinite occasions to the speculative men of this busie and enqui­ring Age; but likewise of how much greater importance all its Experiments are, both to the publick, and to every one in particular; we need not doubt but His Majesty will believe that His Colledge of Physicians is worthy of the same Royal Care, that other Princes, his Predecessors of Famous Memory, have had for it: And the Parliament afford that Countenance and Authority, which shall be requisite for it in Affairs of so great Conse­quence. And I easily perswade my self, That [Page 9] if that most Learned and Excellent Society of Men would take so much leasure from their Affairs as to consider the most effectual wayes of advancing all the Desiderata of their Profession, and supplying the present Defects of it; they would not only have the Coun­tenance of the Government, but also the Thanks of it, and of the whole World.

In the mean time give me the favour to deal frankly with you about this matter; as one also a little transported with the same passion­ate love of real and useful Philosophy which I have noted in others; and besides, have a par­ticular kindness for their most deserving Pro­fession.

The Imperfections then which I note in the present Method of exercising Physick in this Nations are these: It loses all the noble opportunities it might have for the Advance­ment of it self, and of the knowledge of Nature in General. It is more exposed to Errors and Mistakes, dangerous to the Life of Man; and lastly, it is too great a charge to the People when they stand in need of it. All which I conceive to happen by receding from the ancient Form and Method of Practice, which came early into the world with Physick [Page 10] it self, and is in all considerations most natu­ral to it, and was indeed the use of former times, till good Learning came to be over­thrown and laid wast by the furious irruption of the Goths. In those Ages, that which now stands divided between the Chirurgeon and Apothecary, was the care of the Physician himself, who did not think it too mean a work to dress Wounds, set Bones, travel in the in­quisition of Herbs, Stones, Mettals, com­pound Medicines, with his own hands; and do innumerable other things necessary for this Profession, which are now accounted the mi­nistry of inferiour Persons: And as the quit­ting of this noble way was the most fatal thing that ever fell upon this God-like Profes­sion; so doubtless the true means of restoring it to its first Beauty and Divine use, were to resume the course of wiser times, and settle it again in its ancient Constitution. But be­cause a long course of time has so confirm'd this unhappy evil, and that out of those Parts of Physick (for such they really are) which the Physician has despis'd, as below him, are risen two very worthy Societies of men as well in this as in other Nations, I look upon it for many respects as a thing extreamly [Page 11] unreasonable to undertake such an alterati­on as the restoring of that ancient way would necessarily introduce: yet I do not despair but that an expedient might be thought on, which although it do not arrive to the full perfection of that method, yet it approaches (I think) nearer to it then the present way, or any other I have yet heard of; and is likewise very facil, ready, and practicable, not over­turning the present state of things; so far from doing injury to the Chirurgeons or Apo­thecaries, as it serves rather to preserve for ever a true and right understanding between them and the Physician, and to defend them all a­gainst the assaults and pretensions of Mounte­banks and other indirect practisers of Physick, and yet comprehends a great deal of the true way of the Ancients above-mention'd, so as it maybe fairly hop'd that it will fully answer the greatest part of those ends we have already spoken of, and for which Physick has been so valu'd in the world; and all this without any great trouble, expence, or difficulty either to the ancient Practitioners of this City and Kingdom, or to such as now enter into this Profession.

Now the Idea I would represent, does par­ticularly [Page 12] regard these three things: First, to render Physick of greater service and use towards the advancement of Natural Philoso­phy, which is so universally the design of the present Age. Secondly, To make it more effectual for the great ends of preserving life, and the restoring of health. Lastly, That these ends may be obtain'd with less charge and hazard to the people then heretofore.

And for what concerns the Philosophical consideration of Physick, I must beg the par­don of such as you call Rational Physicians, if I so far dissent from them, as to believe Physick (such as it is at present) rather to be a mass of noble Experiments, in which Phi­losophy might finde excellent matter to write upon, than a Science perfectly form'd and establish'd upon sound and unquestionable verities. For, If we contemplate the common principles explicated in the Physiological part of it, we shall finde them very barren and unfruitful of such Notions as are pre­sum'd to come from them: and very far from opening a prospect into those most intricate and numberless Phaenomena which happen in the Body of man, and instead of that good which might well be expected from principles [Page 13] of true and demonstrated Reason, by which you might have been directed to such a Me­thodus medendi as should grow out of the true knowledge of the causes of things. These principles have produc'd two great evils. 1. Instead of the true way of the Ancients, of educating Youth in exercises of Anatomy, visiting the Sick with their Masters, examin­ing the nature of Simples in Fields and Gar­dens, practising to compound Medicines with their own hands; they are bred onely to Disputation and the fond Controversies of Books. And 2dly, They have caused the cares of Anatomy, inspection of Vegetables, Minerals, &c. (although from these arise the greatest part of those Experiments which are to be the foundation of a Medical Philosophy) to lie unobserv'd and neglected in such hands as are no way capable to make a true use of them. Therefore for the effective application of the principles of a better Philosophy to the noble Experiments of Physick, in which vast design Des Cartes hath resolv'd to spend the whole remainder of his life; it will be necessary to bring again those Experiments into the hands of such persons who know how to manage and employ them for the [Page 14] service both of Philosophy and Physick.

I look upon your learned Colledge of Phy­sicians as the onely company of men in this Kingdom, who are in a just capacity of ad­vancing this good design; being such men, as (without the vanity of over-admiring our selvs) may truly be said to have advanc'd Phy­sick more these last forty years, then any one Society of Physicians in Europe: Especially, since I hear they have made so great an acces­sion of worthy and ingenious persons to their number, and that not onely of such as are resi­ding in London, but also in all other parts of the Kingdom; by which means, a noble corres­pondence may be established, concerning the Diseases incident to several parts, as Where they take their rise, and what their motion and progress is, as was of late years obser­vable in the Rickets, &c. The nature of the respective Soils, as to Vegetables, Earths, Mi­nerals, Metals, &c. Alterations of Weather and Seasons, and many other things relating to the Business of Physick. Also by this en­crease of their number, you have the assi­stance of so many worthy persons for the carrying on of this excellent design.

I should think it therefore advisable in the [Page 15] first place, that your Learned Society would divide all their affairs (after the example of the most Honourable Assembly of the Nati­on) among several Committees to be assign'd for that purpose. And although the Physio­logical part, which takes upon it self to expli­cate the causes of all that follows after, be I confess in order of Nature the first, yet will it be found the last in order of Time: as be­ing indeed the result, product, or issue of many laborious and careful Experiments, which are first to be made in the other parts of this Noble Art, before a Medical Physiolo­gy can be well and firmly constituted.

Therefore your first care will be (in my opinion) to appoint the Committee for Anato­my's, which should consist of such a suffici­ent number of men, as that the whole busi­ness of Anatomy might be distributed in easie proportions amongst them all. As for in­stance, to some the consideration of the Brain should be assign'd, to others of the Heart, to others the Juyces of the Body, to others the Bones, and the like, which you know bet­ter how to digest then I: And these to be consider'd as well in all other Animals, as in the body of Man, that so by comparing one [Page 16] with another, we may come to investigate their true and genuine uses: Inspection also to be made into all morbid Bodies that can be procur'd (for which reason all or any Mem­ber of this Committee to have free access to the several Hospitals) to finde out the Anoma­ly's which Diseases introduce: Likewise these considerations should be in part Geome­trical, noting the just figure, weight, and pro­portion (as near as can be) of every thing, and that not only of its whole bulk or mani­fest cavities, but by the advantage of the Microscope, as far as may be discerned, of its more minute parts, their frame, and texture. Partly also Physical, according to all their sensible qualities, partly Chymical, by the A­nalysis of the fire, or any convenient Men­struum. Nor would this create much trou­ble to any man, being divided into so many hands; and yet the general design would ad­vance more in a few years this way, then it could by the single industry of particular men in a whole age. For neither this nor the other Committees should be requir'd to bring in an account of their proceedings above once in a year, nor to meet together above once a moneth, unless they or any number of [Page 17] them should be willing to meet oftner to discourse of their affairs, and suggest Expe­riments to one another.

After this manner, another Committee should be instituted for the History of Diseases. (For what I design to propose concerns onely matter of Fact, and the true stating of Ex­periments in order to the building a Philoso­phy upon them.) By the History of Diseases I mean a perfect and exact Narrative of those Signes which you call Diagnostick and Prog­nostick, together with the experienced method of Curation: And I think a work of this nature well perform'd would be one of the most useful things to a Physician in the whole world; and I note it as one of the great De­siderata in this Art: all which should be done as well out of all the best Authors, as from their own Practice and Observation. For as to Medicaments, by which the effect is done, that which ought to be esteemed matter of Fact is so obscure, and the Experiment so un­certain, that unless they can meet with some effectual operations of Simples (which will require both good Learning and Judgement to observewell) as yet this part will afford lit­tle matter for the consideration of a judicious man.

[Page 18]Then the whole Materia Medica, both sim­ple and compound, should be referr'd to the examination of another Committee; every member whereof should have one, two, or more Simples or Compounds (either Mineral, Animal, or Vegetable) the nature and vertues of which they should labour by all means possible to finde out, as by colour, taste, scent, infusion, decoction, destillation before and af­ter Fermentation, and all other possible wayes, &c. Endeavouring in this manner to finde out what things are most operative with or without any exquisite and elaborate prepa­ration, by which Chymists do often rather destroy then heighten the vertues of the Sim­ple: Also for compounds to enquire the true method of mixing things together, that some may not annihilate the force of others, and so altogether become ineffectual, which will produce an incredible alteration in most of the Pharmacopaea's now in use, bring in the true and ancient way of medication by Sim­ples, and so furnish us with real Experiments both of use to humane life, and also to the advancement of Philosophy, being without doubt the most easie and effectual way (by dividing a work so vast amongst so many) to [Page 19] form and build up such a natural History both of Galenical and Chymical Medicines as has been long desired, but never yet seen in the world. And this were a more likely and hopeful way, then to put the business of Chy­mistry (which as I hear some do so importu­nately labour for) into the hands of a few men (for the most part) unlearned, and un­provided of such principles and helps as should make them able to reason and con­clude intelligibly from that brave stock of Ex­periments which this Art affords: And for this cause onely it has been (until of late) so unserviceable to Philosophy, and produc'd nothing but idle and extravagant Theories, such as those of Paracelsus and Helmont; who, if they had been as good Philosophers as they were Operators, would have done a great deal more service to mankinde.

Lastly for Medicaments themselves, and the application of them to the cure of Diseases, which is the principal thing the generality of mankinde expects from Physick; I take that not to be the business of any one or more Committees, but of their whole number uni­ted in one common consent; and I am per­swaded it were no difficult thing to take such [Page 20] a course here, as might secure your Practice entirely to your selves, and hinder others, who now are suspected (how justly I do not say) to go about to usurp it; take away the excessive charge of Physick, which renders it very burdensome to the people, and less pro­fitable to your selves; and lastly, make it be­come more effectual and powerful for the curing of Diseases, and preserving the health and life of Man.

And all this seems to me to consist in the execution of one facil and easie thing, That is to say, That the Colledge of Physicians would please to enact, under a severe Penalty, That from henceforth none of their Members should make use of the common and more modern way of sending Bills to Apothecaries Shops; but instead of that, To buy their Physick of the said Apothecaries more or less, as their practice shall requi [...]e. Together with express order, That no Physick should be given to any Patient without setting it first down in such manner and form as was accustomed before in the Bills sent to A­pothecaries, with the Patients name, Year of our Lord, and day of the Moneth; and every such Bill to be fil'd up and kept by the Physician. And the Physick so bought to be dispensed at [Page 21] home to the Patient by the Physician himself, or his Servant, (or some young Student, educated under him for that and all other things apper­taining to his Art) at reasonable rates: The Physician not to demand or expect any other pay­ment but for his Physick only, unless he be sent for out of his own House, and then to be paid his accustomed Fee, according to the Ability of the Patient. Yet this not to prejudice any other Phy­sician of the Colledge, who would take on him the Trouble and Charge of preparing all his Physick himself, which was the use of the An­cients.

The reasons of this Proposition, and the advantages it brings are very many, and of great consideration. 1. It appoaches as near to the genuine and true Method of Hippocra­tes, Galen, and other great Masters of Phy­sick, as the present constitution of things will admit. And though your Self very well know what they did this way, yet give me leave to put you in minde of some passages of Hippocrates and Galen to this effect; for which I was lately beholding to Dr.—our worthy friend; He first acquainted me with the Letter of Hippocrates to an Herbarist his acquaintance, to provide him things for the [Page 22] Cure of Democritus, where he demands only Simples, as Juyces and Tears of Plants, which he orders to be sent in Glass Vessels, and Leavs, Roots, and Flowers, which he bids him put up in earthen Pots well clos'd; he directs him to the time of gathering them, and the place, which was not difficult for him to do who was so well knowing of their Natures, since he tells us how often he visited his Gar­dens, and contemplated with wonder that Mysterious place the Earth, which brings forth [...] Animals, Plants, Food, Medicine, and Riches. And these Simples so bought and received were by himself to be prepared and com­pounded, as occasion should require. I need not describe to you the Physicians Shop out of the same Author, who has a whole Trea­tise of it; I shall content my self with a passage out of his Book, [...]. The con­versation and manners of a Physician, which evidently shows, how that Physicians of that time, did not onely dispense their own Medicines themselves, but make them too in Shops of their own, by Hippocrates called [...]. His words are these, A Phycsiian, sayes he, ought to have his Shop or [...] provided with plenty of all necessary things, as Lint, [Page 23] Rowlers, Splints; all sorts of Chirurgical In­struments; also of Medicines, as for Wounds, for the Eyes, &c. alwayes ready prepar'd. Let there be likewise (sayes he) in readiness at all times another small Cabinet (as it were) of such things, as may serve for occasions of going far from home; have also ready all sorts of Plai­sters, Potions, purging Medicines, so contriv'd that they may keep some considerable time; and likewise such as may be had and used while they are fresh. The advantage of this will be very great; for when you come to a Patient you will be more ready and certain what to do, having all things prepar'd by you for your occasions. Which is indeed a most excellent reason to perswade this course, and much better then the hasty and praecipitate way of writing Bills.

And for Galen, the same worthy Person has inform'd me, There are so many things in him to this effect, that it would be too great a vanity for me to tell you how he travell'd to Cyprus to enquire the nature of Mettals, see Pompholyx, Cadmia, Diphryges, Vitriol; and brought home such quantity with him as might serve him all his life; how he visited Palestine for its rich Balsom, and the Bitumen [Page] found there; or how curious he was at Lemnos, to see the Terra Lemnia there: he went like­wise to Crete, Alexandria, and several other places for the same end, and most earnestly conjures all who design'd themselves to this Study to do as he did, and provide against the frauds and abuses of Impostors; not­withstanding the great expence necessary for such an undertaking. And a little after com­plains of a sort of men, who contented themselves to know Simples out of Books, Because (sayes he) the knowledge of sensi­ble things can never be acquir'd but by fre­quent inspection, and often repeated views. I need not adde that he had a Repository, which he call'd his [...] (from whence the name of Apothecary came) where he tells us his Medicines were alwayes under his Eye, or in his hand. To acquaint you that he made the Emperours Treacle with his own hands, or dress'd the wounded Gladiators himself; nor ever gave any Medicine of which he had not first tasted and smelt, nay, made experiment of it (he sayes) upon his own person, and how he was hated by the Roman Physicians for using Simples and plain Medicines; would from me to you be extreamly impertinent, who know [Page] all this so much better then I. I shall content my self for the present to rectifie a mistake of some who think that there was a trade of men in Galens time, such as our Apothecaries now are: but this proceeds from want of understanding the ancient sense of the word Pharmacopola, which in those times signifi'd not an Apothecary, but such a person as we now call a Mountebank; one who sold Phy­sick in Markets, Fairs, and other places of publick Concourse: And these were ever re­puted at Rome among the basest and meanest men of the Town, and were obnoxious to the common Laws made against Rogues and Vagabonds, as Pliny has noted; And if there were nothing else we might take their Chara­cter from Horace.

Ambubaiarum Collegia, Pharmacopolae,
Mendici, Mimi, Balatrones, hoc genus omne
Moestum ac sollicitum est Cantoris morte Tigelli.

And out of Max. Tyrius, We shall find (sayes he) that there is no kinde of good thing but some evil will endeavour to counterfeit it; so a Sycophant will imitate an Orator, a Sophi­ster a Philosopher, [...] And a [Page 26] Quack will pretend himself a Physician. And for the Word Apothecary in Scripture, 'tis so well known, that word means only sellers of rich Oyntments, Perfumes, Balsoms, [...] and such other Cosmeticks as were in use in those Countreys (which sort of men were after by the Greeks call'd [...] and [...] and among the Romans from the place they inhabited Seplasiarii, & Ʋnguentarii:) that I shall not give you any further trouble about it.

2. The second reason for this Method is this: The Physician is hereby oblig'd to make himself throughly acquainted with the Nature, Goodness, and exact Preparations of Medicines now sold by the Apothecary, whe­ther Simple or Compound. Otherwise he will not know how to lay out his money, and may easily be impos'd upon by the dishonesty of another, to the ruine of his Patient, of his Reputation, and consequently of his Livelihood and Subsistence. For what e­ver accident may happen from the ill prepa­ration of the Physick, it will now become the fault of the Physician, whose ignorance, or neglect it was, that he did not provide what was good for his occasion.

3. For the reason before alledg'd, The Physician will be also engag'd to frequent visits of the Apothecaries Shop, to view his Simples, and consider his manner of prepa­ration; from which he will likewise gain many opportunities of Improving Medicines already in use, both as to their Essicacy and Operation, and also as to their Taste and Scent, which ought to be one great part of a Physi­cians care, and is now too much neglected; although nothing can be more his interest then this. He will be also more able to in­vent new Medicines, and bring in the use of Simples yet undiscover'd: Lastly he will have frequent occasions of observing many excellent Phaenomena, which now pass unre­garded through the hands of Apothecaries and their Servants, for the use and service of Philosophy.

4. This renders the Physician much more acceptable to every Patient, and affords him many real opportunities of gaining his hear­ty kindeness and affection, which others now enjoy: and also takes away the Scandal and Reflexion which is cast upon the Physician by some Apothecaries, and upon both the Physician and Apothecary by Mountebanks, [Page 28] and those that call themselves Chymists. For the first, Although the writing of a Bill and directing proper Remedies for every Distem­per be the result of the pains, and careful Study of many Years, and the Physician that prescribes well may justly be said (under God Almighty) to be principal in the cure of the Disease; yet an ordinary Patient is not sensi­ble of this, but thinks it very hard to part with ten shillings for a few words in Paper; especially when he must go from thence to the Apothecary, and there be at another ex­traordinary charge for what was prescribed, and also use some means beside, to oblige the Apothecary to prepare it well: Whereas if the same Physician should, instead of that, give the Physick it self that is to be taken, at a reasonable and moderate price, assuring the Patient of his care to prepare it as it ought to be, and also his counsel and advice for no­thing (unless sent for out of his own house) he must needs infinitely gain the heart and good will of every man. Besides many oc­casions would be offer'd of giving to the Poor for nothing, which is Christian Charity; and sometimes also to the Rich themselves, of which a wise man will know how to make [Page 29] an honourable and discreet advantage, and put frequent obligations upon them. For the second, I remember well the Apotheca­ries counsel laid a great and unhandsome scandal upon all your Colledge, and that in publick, before a Committee of our House, affirming you incompetent to visit their Shops, or to make a judgement of their Me­dicines; and though it was then said with much rashness and passion (there being so great a number of your Learned Members excellently knowing this way) yet I wish there had been no cause to think it in some part true. But this will for ever prevent all ca­lumny of that nature; for now you will un­derstand them better then the Apothecaries themselves. On the other side, the Mounte­banks, Chymists, &c. have nothing to boast of so much, as the making their own Physick, recommending their great industry and care to finde out and prepare exactly the best of Medicines: and accusing the Shops of dull, enactive, and slight preparations, and your selves of too much delicacy, pride, sloth, and ignorance, for not providing better, and ta­king pains (as they pretend to do) in search­ing into the Rich and large Stock of Reme­dies, [Page 30] which the wisdom and bounty of Na­ture has created in so great plenty for the be­nefit of men.

5. This will restore the ancient, true, and only fit way of breeding up young Students in this Faculty: That is to say, in exercises of Anatomy, knowledge of Herbs, mixing and compounding Medicines, visiting the Sick un­der the direction of a grave Physician; not as they are now for the most part, in specula­tive discourses only, and reading of Books. Thus was the late famous Dr. Wright the younger educated under Dr. Fox, and was the first Physician that dissected at the Col­ledge, which till his time had ever made use of Chirurgeons in their publick Theatre. And while the young Physician employes his in­dustry in such services as these for the elder, he gains, (besides what is learn't from Books and Authors) the long experience of the other, sees his Patients, hears him discourse of their several cases, considers the Medicines pro­vided for them, and observes their several ef­fects: All which advantages you now in vain give away to Apothecaries, to whom the Pra­ctice of Physick does not belong. And if this has been the course that all mankinde has [Page 31] ever taken to raise and propagate Practical Arts and Trades of daily use in humane life, why should it not be us'd in Physick, which is a Practical Art of so much greater conse­quence? especially if we consider how dan­gerous the errors of this Profession are, and how necessary a Practical Education is for any man that intends the exercise of it, as Galen, and more particularly Hippocrates, often inculcates, and the nature of the thing makes it evident. I need not tell you how it was confin'd till the time of Hippocrates to one single Family, under a curse not to communi­cate it to any other, nor reckon up the many famous men who were Galen's Masters, from whom he learn't this Art, and whom he men­tions with so much honour. Yet give me the favour to recall an excellent Passage of Hip­pocrates to this effect. He advises a Physici­an when he carries his Disciples with him to [...]. a Patient, to appoint in his absence such a one of them to observe the Patient as is well advanc'd and studied in this Art, and knows what is fit to be done, and how to give him an account of the case, that so he may be ignorant of nothing that is material, though he could not be there himself. These things consider'd, if a per­son [Page 32] of three or four years standing in either of our Ʋniversities (for none else should be entertained by any) should agree with a Phy­sician for a reasonable consideration and acknowledgement to be made (which was held very honourable in Hippocrates age, as appears in his Oath, and was the practice at that time) to live with him till he be Doctor in that Faculty (being oblig'd to take his Degrees in due time with performance of all the accustomed Exercises: nor to be admitted to them without the Certificate of the said Physician, both concerning his Time and good Deportment.) Or if a person already Batchelor in Physick should contract to stay till he become Doctor, taking his Degrees, as was before exprest: and these two absolutely prohibited Practice till they have taken the degree of Doctor: Or if any already Doctor should contract for as long a time as he and an elder Physician can agree (not to Practise during his continuance with him, without his knowledge and consent) I should think for the reasons alledg'd, it were the best and most desireable way to institute men for that Profession, and might with great faci­lity be brought into practice, and is at this [Page 33] time the use of many parts of Italy. Nor does a Physician run half the fortune of other men who breed up Youth to their Trades, since the old Physician will ever be held by the world for the more able man. Nor let any man think to disgrace this Method as Mecha­nical, by the imputation of taking Apprenti­ces; since the word Apprentice is entertain­ed by the honourable Profession of the Law, whose younger Students have been call'd Apprentices to the Law; but however this be, it were very fond for so poor an occasion, to neglect a thing that is founded upon the evidence of true reason it self. Nor indeed should they be received in the capacity of Ser­vants, or under that name, but rather of young Students, Friends, or vertuous Compa­nions to be instructed in this worthy Profes­sion; the drudgery of all things resting whol­ly upon some ordinary Servant kept by eve­ry one for the uses of his Family: and I make no doubt but there are very many inge­nious young men in England, who would be very glad, and take it for a great honour, to be thus received by some of the Grandees, and great Practitioners; and their Friends believe whatever is bestowed on them in this [Page 34] way very well and honourably employed.

6. This will bring all sorts of men both rich and poor to apply themselves immediate­ly to the Physician, and so in a short time quite overthrow the practice of Mountebanks, and other Persons ignorant of the Art of Phy­sick, who now take upon them to administer it, contrary to the Laws of the Nation, and to the great prejudice and damage of the peo­ple: For it is not to be thought, but all men who have occasion to use Physick would much more willingly address themselves to a sober and intelligent Physician, then to this sort of men: But first, the charge of ad­vice is great, and then as great the charge of Physick, at the Apothecaries; which things so affright the ordinary sort of people, that they very unwillingly come to a Physician, and many perish for want of due help. And I am perswaded if there were no other reason then this, every Physician who is touch'd with Conscience, Honour, or Philosophy, will be very glad to entertain some expedient, that may remove the scandalous Reluctancy that most people have of using this Profession.

7. This will render the practice of Phy­sick more successful, plentiful, and of no less [Page 35] advantage then before: As for the success; besides that the Physician may justly have a greater confidence in his Physick, now he takes care himself to have nothing but what is good, than he could before when it was made up out of his sight; he has also the opportunity of seeing every Disease in its first rise, and beginning, which gives him a mighty advantage for the true understanding and cure of it. And for the encrease of his Practice the bringing so many people of all sorts to him for advice, who before durst not come, will much enlarge his Business and Experience, and not make his Profit less: for though he gain nothing more, by the Physick he gives, than what will barely recompence the trouble of himself and his Minister for dispensing it; yet he will not lose, since in all acute cases, and such as hinder the Patients attendance in person, (and he is seldom sent for in any other) he must necessarily be brought home, as he now is to all people of condition.

8. The trouble of undertaking is but lit­tle, especially after the first entrance into it, and valu'd with the great good it will bring to so noble a Faculty; and the great case, [Page 36] profit, and advantage it affords to an Elder Physician, not unworthy of consideration. First the ancient Physician may employ the eye, hand, and youthful vigour of the younger to aslist the frailties of Age, and humanity. Al­so it will take off much of the labour of vi­sits in his own person, or when call'd up un­reasonably at Nights, or when he goes into the Countrey to other Patients, or to refresh himself a little from the toils of Business: For the people would finde greater satisfacti­on in the visits of another Physician bred un­der him they so much confide in, than when he is forc'd to send his Apothecary. On the other side the Physician himself would be much better satisfied in the report of his Pa­tients case, as Hippocrates has excellently noted.

9. In some respects, this way is much bet­ter then that used by the Ancients of making all their Physick at home. 1. It is less trou­blesome; publick Shops being now open, fur­nish'd with all sorts of Medicines commonly us'd, or where all such Physick may be sud­denly and dextrously prepar'd which any man shall in particular desire for his own occasi­on. 2. 'Tis less expensive, for now every [Page 37] man buyes only so much as he shall have use for, be it more or less; so that the charge of money thus laid out is exactly measur'd to the proportion of every ones practice: such as are but just entred into business, will accord­ingly expend but a small matter in Physick, and that too may easily be dispens'd by themselves, with the assistance of an ordinary domestick servant, remitting a great many things, as, common Clysters, &c. to the Pati­ents own making, giving him only the ingre­dients, as is now the use of the Physicians in Paris. 3. 'Tis more certain: for a man that provides his own Physick, and makes it him­self, will never know well how to estimate his quantities; he will have sometimes too much which turns to loss; or too little, and so want when he has occasion to make use of it; but now he buyes only what is necessary, and can never want, unless you suppose all the Shops in Town exhausted; for there will be nothing in common use, but one or other Shop will afford it: to which we may adde, that he has now his choice of what is both cheapest and best, whereas the negligence of a Servant might either make a thing ill, or in the making spoil it so, that he might begin a [Page 38] new, though present occasion may require it for use. 4. It will enlarge the materia Medi­ca, and make a greater variety of Practice, which must needs be of excellent concern­ment, unless we think (as some over-bold men have lately don) that nature has made so ample provisions in vain: but they who pro­vide at home, will be lead (to save expense as much as they can) to confine themselves to a very scanty and narrow method of Practice: as some foolish persons know no other Medi­caments but what are made from Mercury and Antimony, despising all the royal Appara­tus of Gods Creatures beside; though we cannot doubt but the vast alterations, and va­rious dispositions of Bodies, Climates, Disea­ses were particularly aim'd at by Nature in her so infinite and magnificent provisions of help. And though I do not deny that Me­dicaments, Antimonials, and Mercurials de­cently prepar'd are of wonderful efficacy; yet it is so well known they cannot perform half that is so idly promis'd by their admirers at all times, and in all bodies; and that a mean and ordinary decoction has in some cases effected what they could not do. 5. By preserving the publick sellers of Medicines [Page 39] or Pharmacopolae, you comply with the pre­sent State of things which cannot well admit any other change then what has been said.

10. And whereas many apprehensions, and suspicions have lately arisen between the Physician and Apothecary, as if the Apotheca­ry did invade the Physicians practice: This way will for ever most entirely and absolute­ly secure his Practice and Profession to him­self. For now the Apothecary will never see a Physicians Bill (from which they al­wayes take direction) nor the Patient himself, and so be utterly ignorant of that case for which the Physick is prepar'd and us'd; nor will he hear the Physician reason and dis­course of the due times and manner of ad­ministring it, or explain the nature and cause of the distemper, nor have occasions of of­ficious intervening between the Physician and Patient, nor dispense the Physick with praise of his own great pains and care in pre­paring it, as he was wont to do: so that he will quickly free himself of the imputation some now lay upon him, and be for ever un­able to do the Physician that injury which is now suppos'd to be done by some of them. All this the Physician obtains by only concealing [Page 40] his Bills (the writing of a Bill being, as I may say, the mystery of his Trade) in which therefore he does nothing but what is held most reasonable among all men.

11. This will likewise secure the Physician another way against the suppos'd usurpation of Apothecaries: for if any Apothecary shall take on him to practise Physick, upon notice giv'n to the Colledge, it may be enacted among your selves (without troubling the Parliament for new power, and without the envious way of sining and imprisonment) That no Physi­cian shall buy any Medicines of such Apothecary till the Colledge be fully satisfied that he is sen­sible of the injury done to them, and will cease to do the like for the Future.

12. It gives every Physician as many, or more opportunities of doing kindness to his particular friends that are Apothecaries: And that is, by being himself, and engaging as many Physicians as he has interest in, to be­come their customers.

13. As to matter of Consultation among Physicians, it is here sufficiently provided for by fileing up Bills of all the Physick they give; and therefore this is to be required of every man by the Colledge, under severe Penalties. [Page 41] And if any man have particular Medicines of his own which you call Nostra, the case is here the same as in the former way. For I am inform'd, every Physician is oblig'd to ac­quaint the Colledge with them if it be requir'd. Besides, this filing of Bills (or entring them into a Book) may have another excellent use: For doing it Alphabetically, a Physician may by some private note discern a great while af­ter, which of his Medicines had a good effect, and which had not, or fail'd, and in what Tempers of Body, and how to accommodate himself to the same persons at other times: and lastly, may from hence (if he pleases) produce great numbers of observations, which may well deserve the Publick, and be highly useful to Posterity. And it would be very much for the good of their Profession, If no Physician would for the future write any thing in the practice of Physick but what had been experimented by himself, and that all the practitioners of it would be more careful to set down such remarkable accidents that come un­der their observation.

14. This way by making the Physician a perfect Master of the Materia Medica, has these three great effects, besides what has [Page 42] been mention'd already. 1. It renders him more able to discover the use of Simples, when he has occasion to travel into Forreign Parts, so enlarging both Physick and Philo­sophy with new and useful discoveries. 2. He will be more fit to serve the Prince in His Navy or Army; where, if his stock of Me­dicines be all spent or corrupted, without this knowledge he is utterly uncapable of pro­viding himself a new, to his own dishonour, and prejudice of others. 3. By observing the several mutations that happen in the pre­parations of things as well Simple as Com­pound he will be assisted to consider what ef­fects like them may happen upon their mix­ture with the Blood, and other juyces of the Body, and to give a huge light to the rea­sons of the Phaenomena both in Health and Sickness. Of this that very worthy person Dr. Willis has already given the world an ex­cellent taste, and promis'd an entire Dis­course upon that subject, which would be of vast use, and in which he stands indebted to the publick.

15. It is a generous and worthy thing, that Physicians should be knowing in the ma­teria Medica, as was Hippocrates, Galen, and all [Page 43] the old Masters of this Science. It has been already said how great the endeavour of these brave men was, to acquire a perfect under­standing of all they made use of. And with­out doubt it is a thing most indecent and un­natural for a Physician to despise the knowledg of that by which all his great works are to be effected. In the old and heroical times of Phy­sick, Medicines were excellently call'd [...], The hands of the gods: And I think it is the highest sort of shame to see a Physician at a loss for Medicaments in the Coun­trey, where Nature, the bountiful provider of them has so rich and large a Shop open, be­cause he wants his Apothecary to write to, or the knowledge of the things themselves, or the way how to make use of them.

16. This way has in many great respects the advantage of the common course of wri­ting Bills to the Apothecaries. For in the first place, by seeing the very things they admi­nistred, by mixing, ordering, compounding them as they have occasion, by consideration of the tastes, scents, and colours of Medicines, and how variously all these are changed and altered by the mixture of several things to­gether, they will be much more able to pre­serve [Page 44] in memory what is proper and useful for every Distemper, then by reading their names in Books onely, and so direct better, and with greater ease, and certainty. Likewise by understanding the true wayes of mixture, and being acquainted with the tastes and scents of things, a great many errors will be avoided, and Physick be render'd much more pleasant and palateable: Finally, a great many excel­lent Experiments will be drawn from it, for the use of Philosophical speculations. Now in the present Method of your Bills, either the Physician depends wholly upon the memory of what he has read in Books (which Galen greatly condemns) and then we shall never hope to promote this Art beyond its present limits, although 'tis well known there are so great treasures of powerful and active Medi­cines yet undiscovered: Besides, if we do not exactly remember the very proportions and measures of every thing in every Medicine (which is impossible) we cannot reasonably hope well from it, because (as my Lord Ba­con observes) the Experiment was made in such quantities only, which when we alter, considering the nature of things à priori, are altogether unknown to us, we know not what [Page 45] we do. And though Physicians commonly endeavour to provide themselves rather of the general materia medica then of particular Receipts, yet if we duely weigh the strange alterations that happen upon the blending se­veral things together, and the unexpected results of quite different qualities, the un­pleasing scent and taste they acquire many times, especially if their proportions are not precisely just, we shall not think it strange, that so wise a man as that great Person was, blam'd this last and uncertain way. And as to the common proportions and quantities by which Physicians govern themselves in the usual forms of Medicines, they vary so much, according to the several natures of things, that whoever is not well acquainted with the things themselves shall never be able (as Ga­len notes) to direct as he ought to do. And none will doubt but any Physician could make a better Apozem, Potion, Julep, or the like, by measuring the Proportions of each ingredi­ent by his taste and scent, then by writing a Bill from the unexact proportions of Authors, especially if he be not very well acquainted with the things he prescribes. In a word, neither these proportions themselves, nor [Page 46] their Books had ever been at all, if Physicians had not in former times been knowing in all Simples, examined their vertues and tempers, enquir'd into their effects, and mixt them with their own hands.

17. Lastly, if any still think this way too troublesome, and are unwilling to excuse a little trouble for so many great convenien­ces both to themselves and their whole Pro­fession, there remains yet another expedient for them, which they may make use of, with­out doing prejudice to those, we are conten­ted to enter into the course already propos'd: They may (if they please) have an Apotheca­ry of their own, and send their Bills to be made up by him as now they are; provided only, 1. That the time and manner of using it be not set down; nor 2. The name of the Patient. 3. That it be not sent by the Pati­ent, but by their own Servants. 4. That it be returned to the Physicians again with the Phy­sick it self, to be fil'd up by them with the Pa­tients name added, or entred into a Book, as was said before; and the Physick so made and provided by the Physicians order, to be fetch'd at their own houses (as it is now at the Apothecaries Shops) or from thence sent [Page 47] home by their own Servants to the Patient.

Now if we consider how this way respects the Apothecaries, 'tis evidently a fair and mo­derate course between them and the Physici­ans, not taking away, nor lessening any of the priviledges and immunities granted to them by their Charter, or which they claim, and enjoy as Freemen of this City, or other Ci­ties and Corporations. For it hinders not their making and selling of Physick to any that please to buy of them, which thing only belongs to their Trade: To visit the Patient, feel his Pulse, consider his Ʋrine, discourse of the state of the Disease, and prescribe proper Remedies for it, is the business and care of the Physician. So that I dare presume no Apothecary who is con­tent to live on his own Trade without inva­ding the Profession of another (and I doubt not but the greatest number and ablest men among them are such) will think ill of it; but rather be pleased to see, that for the future all causes of jealousie and suspicion between Physicians and them, will for ever cease, the in­terests of both be preserv'd, and the practice of Mountebanks and Quacks brought to no­thing.

2. It will very much conduce to the profit [Page 48] and advantage of the Apothecary: For now the people finding encouragement to address themselves to the Physicians, who before to decline the charge and expence of a Doctors advice, went only to the Mountebank, who made and gave all his Physick himself; It must needs come to pass, that the Apotheca­ries must provide and vend much greater quantities then they could before; And thus all that which went away to Quacks and other ignorant pretenders be brought into the hands of the industrious and careful Apothecary.

3. It will insensibly lessen that exorbitant number of Apothecaries, which makes the Trade burdensome to it self, and scarce a competent subsistence for a man after he has spent a good sum of money, and seven years or more in an Apprenticeship to under­stand it. For as things are now, while the Masters or their Servants are employed by the Physician to visit his Patients, and carry Physick about, if an Apothecary have great business, he will be under a necessity of ta­king several Apprentices, else he cannot per­form such attendances abroad, and the business of the Shop too: And this has made so vast an encrease of the Trade within a few years, as [Page 49] has rendred it but a mean way of livelyhood to a great many, and very dangerous to the sick: Now as their number will by little and little grow less, so the Trade will become bet­ter, and they who are of it, both for skill and estate much more considerable.

To come now and consider how much more this way is for the common good and wel­fare of the people, and in general of all men. First, it mightily abates the charge and expence of Physick: and this is the only reason, why so many persons not of the poorer sort only, but even some others of a better condition, daily put themselves into the hands of Moun­tebanks and other ignorant persons, to the great prejudice of the lives and health of men. Also many Poor of this City and other places (to the high dishonour of Religion) perish for want of necessary help; whilst on the one hand they are terrified by the Physicians Fee, and on the other by the unconscionable and un­bounded prices of Apothecaries. A course therefore is taken here, that all sorts of people may apply themselves to the Physician both for advice and Physick too, at moderate and reasonable rates: Nor can it be thought the Physician will use a greater excess in the [Page 50] prices of his Physick than others have done, because he does not depend upon the gains of the Physick he sells to such as come home to him, but (as he did before) upon the Fees which he receives from persons of condition and ability, when he is sent for out of his own house: For the trouble of selling his own Physick to such as shall come to him, he takes upon him only to advance the pub­lick interest, satisfie himself more in his own Profession, serve Philosophy, minister to the necessities of the Poor, consult for the greater security of all, and to gratifie and oblige those Patients whose more ample condition of life makes them able to pay such Fees as have formerly been accustomed. But if any man should sell at as dear rates as others have before, yet is it to be consider'd, that then nothing is paid for advice, which till now was a great and particular charge of it self; and, beside, Physick cost as much as now 'tis sup­pos'd to do. So that according to this Me­thod, the charge of advice is wholly taken off to the great ease of the people, who will have at least both Advice and Physick too, for the same rate which they before paid for Physick alone. But I dare not allow a supposition so [Page 51] unreasonable, and so much not only against the honour, but also against the interest of every Physician: for admit he should make his Patients pay (as has been formerly done) for the formalities of a Bill, as for a Clyster, a Potion, or Julip, half a Crown or more, and not for the Ingredients, which (it may be) ne­ver cost six pence: I say, if any should take this course, it would quickly be his utter un­doing; nor would any Patient make use of him another time: but especially they would extreamly murmur to pay him those Fees which otherwise he might justly expect, and upon which it is his interest chiefly to de­pend, and not upon the inconsiderable gain of the Physick he sells, and chiefly when that slight gain shall make him so great a loser; whereas by neglecting so poor and mean a profit he may have so handsome and gener­ous occasions offer'd him of obliging his Pa­tients in such a manner, as to get much more then he could have done by his Physick. And if I may take a conjecture from your self, and some other Physicians my acquaintance, these of your Colledge are such as would scorn from Patients so civil as to pay the ordinary Fees duly, to take more for their Physick then [Page 52] what it barely cost; nay, often would give it for nothing. And yet if they should make some small advantage, it might be allowed them for the money they lay out, for the trou­ble of themselves and Servants to make up and dispense the Physick, and still it would cost the people much less then before. And that all persons would very frankly allow this, we have little reason to doubt, if we consi­der,

2. The many advantages all men receive this way in the more speedy, safe, and effe­ctual cure of Diseases, both in respect of the Physician, the Disease, and the Physick it self. 1. The Physician administring his Physick himself will be under a necessity of taking greater care to have all he uses very good, and most exactly prepared: for no man can now lay the fault upon the neglect or ignorance of an Apothecary. It rests altogether upon him­self, and he becomes responsible for it: also by this means secret mischief by poyson, or o­ther wayes is more easily prevented, when the publick knows where certainly to charge it then when it is diuided among several parties who transfer the fault from one to another. And since the Commonwealth must trust [Page 53] some body, they may as well trust the Phy­sician as the Apothecary: for though he write a Bill never so good and wholesome; yet if it be not made as is prescribed, any kinde of mischief may follow: And, as far as the Apothecary or his Servant is now believ'd for making Physick according to prescription, so far ought the Physician to be credited, for using only such Physick as appears by his Bill fil'd up or entred; and this is no more then what is now allow'd to every Mountebank and Chymist, and what all ancient times have securely put into the Physicians hand. 2. In respect of the Disease; it is now the general unhappiness both of Patient and Physici­an, that he is never almost sent for, till things are brought to extremity, and all opportuni­ties of curing near lost: where, if the Dis­ease had been encountred in the first rise of it with powerful and convenient Medicaments, the Patient had been again restor'd to Health, whose life it may be must now answer for the first omission. 3. In respect of the Physick it self; for the Disease thus met in the begin­ning is often carried off with a little matter, which neglected, requires a long and charge­able course. Again, the publick may be as­sur'd, [Page 54] That all Physick shall now be as good as the Apothecary can make it (else no Physician will buy it of him) or the Physician possibly contrive it, for his own honour and advantage. Thus in a short time will the Shops of Apothe­caries be rid of all that unwholesome trash, that too many now abound with; and the poorer sort of them who are forced to buy of others to set up as for the Countrey (which commonly is the refuse of their Shops) will, as they just­ly deserve, be quite discourag'd. For though such stuff might serve well enough to make up a Physicians Bill, who is not present to see what ingredients are used, yet they can never vend them to a Physician himself that comes to buy. Likewise the visitations of Apothecaries Shops will be more frequently, care­fully, and sufficiently manag'd. And lastly, Apothecaries will be more in their Shops, and not leave things to raw or negligent Servants as is too often done; for not being sent a­bout by Physicians to their Patients, or with Physick; nor engag'd in any quacking practice of their own, they will have more leisure and opportunity to attend making good Medi­cines, which is their proper business.

3. The charge of the people for Physick [Page 55] will be much lessen'd both as to the quantity and quality of it. For now many Physicians are forc'd to abandon my Lord Bacon's coun­sel, who advises by no means to recede rash­ly from any experimented Receipt or Form; because this would bring them into the con­tempt of Apochecaries, and also discover their practice so, as the Apothecary might use it to their prejudice, as some have done: Not to mention how many are oblig'd to write a great deal more then is necessary, putting in things of great price and little effect to serve dishonourable interests.

I have heard some worthy Members of your Colledge wish also that a new Pharma­copoea were agreed upon: But it was quite of another Nature from that now in use: For although this be better than any other extant. Yet I know they well understand, it has many things that need Reformation: but that is a business that requires mature consideration, and the present perplexity of affairs will not permit it; yet I think you are not unwilling the world should know, you can take notice where it is defective, as well or better than a­ny of those men, who would go about to disgrace it with vain and impertinent clamors [Page 56] taken out of Zwelfer and some other Wri­ters. It was wisht that the Shops instead of the Medicines now commonly made, were furnished with Simples only. Of which, such as are best and most effectually used with a little, or an easie preparation, as powdering, infusing, boiling, and the like, should be so kept as might longest preserve their vertue and operation: and such as are most opera­tive by a more curious way of preparing, as in Tinctures, Extracts, Essences, Elixirs, Spi­rits, Syrrups, Juyces, Robs, Conserves, &c. to be likewise in such manner prepar'd, as may retain their vertues most, and likewise render them most durable. By which means, al­though the present expence of making them be more, yet considering their long durati­on, it will in effect be less then it is in the present Method. The Physician that comes to buy will be able to make a better judgement of their goodness, and may use them either either simple (which was the way of ancient times) or compound them as he sees occasi­on, by which he will likewise come to ob­serve the many and great alterations that happen from mixtures of several things toge­ther; he will also be more able to make them [Page 57] gustful and palateable; thus preserving the Tone of the Stomach, which is so much de­stroyed by ordinary Physick, that in Chroni­cal Distempers it may be doubted whether it do not more hurt this way than it can do good another. Likewise in all compositions he will be sure to have the vertues of every ingredient, which will scarce be found in the compounds of the Shops, as has well been observed by Zwelfer: yet he himself is not without his faults in the same kinde too, as my little experiments have informed me: In a word, Simple Medicines thus prepared and kept, are not so subject to corrupt by the usual fermentations of mixt things, and so will be more effectual for the use of such Physicians or Chirurgeons as have occasion to carry them abroad with them (as Hippocrates has well noted;) or such as are employed in the Service of His Majesties Armies or Na­vies.

But, not to give you too much trouble with my long Letter, if we please to consi­der the strange and intricate variations of Dis­eases, brought in partly by new Dyet, disco­veries of new places, the nature of particu­lar Soils, and how these are mixt, combin'd, [Page 58] and complicated both with the old, and with one another; it will be the rather necessary to put something of this nature in execution. I have often heard your self, and several others of your ingenious Collegues dis­course well and substantially on this Argu­ment, which makes me the more wonder at the late Writer of Medela Medicinae, who would, contrary to his own reason and conscience, endeavour to perswade the world, that this was a thing altogether unthought of, not on­ly by your Colledg of Physicians, but all those who are commonly call'd Galenists: and yet he himself hath said no one thing in that whole discourse, concerning this matter, that can be pretended new, for which he has not cited the very Books, and words of some Galenist, or Methodist, as he calls them: And to me it seems the greatest Argument in the world on your behalf, why his Majesty and the Parliament should shew you all manner of kindeness, that such various and irregular changes daily appear in the Distempers of hu­mane Body: For if we allow Physick to be altogether Empirical (as he pretends) it must needs follow, that in such things he ought to be esteem'd most able and sufficient, who is [Page 59] furnish'd with most and best Experiments, either from his own observation, and these are properly his; or by reading of Books, which afford him the experiments of all the rest of the world, and can best conclude and argue from the Analogy, Correspondence, and Harmony, they have to one another; so that a study'd Physician must in all considera­tion of reason have far the advantage of any other. But 'tis alledg'd, You are too rigo­roufly confin'd to the rules and methods of the Ancients, who had few or no experiments of this kinde; and likewise neglect that high and more potent way of Medicine, which the Chymists only know how to make use of. But 'tis evident, this is a very unkinde and unjust imputation; for though in the former age, when Chymistry first began to show it self in Europe, It was condemned for its novelty and dreaded as full of dangers; yet for any to affirm in these more illuminated times that Physicians so oblige themselves to ancient Methods, as to despise or not consider the differences and alterations of several times, Re­gions, Dyets, Tempers, changes of Diseases caus'd by these; The new and more exquisite wayes of preparing Medicines: If he be a [Page 60] man of learning and understanding, he must needs be thought to abuse his own reason for some particular interest; since he brings so great a scandal not onely upon many worthy private persons, but upon the freedom and inge­nuity of the whole age; whose happiness and honour it is to be unconfin'd, and disdains the Pedantry of being enslav'd to any name or sect whatsoever: and when an Inquisition of truth comes before them, can as little regard the names of Hippocrates and Galen, as of Paracelsus or Helmont: and as freely make use of any thing it findes good in these, as reject what is untrue or mistaken in the other. And to measure the temper of the present time by that of the past, is so great an inju­stice, that I will desire no other instance to shew it, then out of that Book. For those very men who were (as he sayes) at first con­demned by publick censure of the Colledge of Paris, Sir Theod. Mayern, and Quercetan, came by his own confession, in after times to be held and reputed among the greatest Physici­ans of their Age: nay further, to see how lit­tle you despise Rational Chymistry; One of these very same men Sir Theod. Mayern, a great Chymist, and an excellent Physician, was one of [Page 61] the chief men of your Colledge in his time, and had a great share in making the Pharma­copoea.

Since then your selves look upon Rational Chymistry, as an excellent way of enquiry in­to the natures of things, and manag'd with sound Reason and Philosophy, an excellent way also of preparing Medicines; since you are as much conversant in Chymical Authors as any others, and have as many and more assi­stances, of learning and experience to judge of them (by which I am sure you discern every day, as many vain and absurd things in the best of them as any pretended Chymist can finde in the Pharmacopoea) since you con­demn no sober person that loves this noble Art, but such idle and vain men only, or, to say most softly of them, such melancholy Ope­rators, who being wholly destitute of those principles that should make them able to judg with reason of their own experiments, and transported with the novelty and strangeness of things they do not understand, boldly ad­venture through the lives and blood of men, to make tryal of such preparations, of which they (lighting on them by accident onely) neither understand the reason, nor the use; [Page 62] since I say these things are so, you ought not to believe the wise men who govern the Af­fairs of the Kingdom will ever consent to take away so important a part of Physick out of the hands of so many ingenuous, learned, and inquisitive men as your Colledge now consists of, or so much discountenance an honour­able Profession, and way of educating Youth in the Nation, and give it to such as these; especially since the very Philosophical free­dom you own and profess, has rais'd you so far above the poor and empty name of any Sect or party. If therefore your Committee for the materia medica be settled, as before was said, it will more improve Rational Chymistry in all its parts, then any design these men can pretend to; Particularly in the Analysis of Ve­getables, hitherto almost wholly untouch'd, which will I doubt not afford more noble as well as more amicable Medicins then Minerals. And in pursuit of that, if you would address your selves to his Majesty and His Honorable Council, and assure them you are ready to erect a publick Laboratory, for the use of his Majesties Subjects, where all Chymical Medicines fit to be us'd shall be well and faithfully made up­on the Faith and Authority of the Colledge, and [Page 63] expresly appoint, that all Apothecaries whose Physick you shall think fit to buy, shall pro­vide all their Chymical things from thence; unless any Physician be satisfied to let him prepare them with his own hand, nor to per­mit the use of any other Chymical Preparati­ons to any of your own number, except he himself make and prepare them You have no reason to doubt but all wise men will think you are as able to perform, as those, who if they could do but one hundreth part of what they so impudently promise, would be equal in fortune and estate to the greatest Princes of the Nation. And if to all these real perfor­mances you please to adde a little of outward shew and appearance, and assume at conve­nient times, and on publick occasions, the de­cent use of those Ornaments of Habit, and other Insignia, which the wisdom of our An­cestors has thought fit, upon grave and deli­berate advice of Princes and Ʋniversities, to bestow upon your Profession; you will finde it was not done in vain, and that they well consider'd, with these things the wise in all Ages have been wont to govern the frail and weak understanding of the vulgar. And that among those who are no good Judges of [Page 64] real worth, it is the only way to secure it, both from being affronted and contemned.

I hope you will excuse the much freedom I have us'd with you, the truth is, I have so great a zeal to see something of this nature effected for publick good, that if your own particular interest joyn'd with it, will not prevail, I could desire it may be thought ad­viseable to provide for it by publick Authority: that so the burdensome charge of Physick might be remov'd, and that noble Art rendred of more ample consequence to the world, the professors of it be so encouraged, as Gentle­men may think it a worthy course of breed­ing for their Children, that Philosophy may receive the benefit of its many excellent ex­periments, that a right understanding may be ever preserv'd between Physicians and Apo­thecaries, that every man in particular may finde greater comfort in the use of those nu­merous Remedies, that Almighty God has pro­vided to succour us in our afflictions: and last of all, that as our Nation has had the ho­nour of one of the best things that ever was discover'd in the Theory of Physick, The Bloods Circulation; so it may give an example to all [Page 65] the world of the best, and soundest, and most rational way of Practice. With her Ladiships Service presented to you, I remain,

Your assured Friend and Servant. T. M.


Page 13. line 23. read had, p. 20. l. 20. r. require. p. 21. l. ult. r. Friend. p. 22. l. 18. insert Of. l. 20. dele that. p. 24. l. 2. dele there. p. 29. l. 23. r. unactive. p. 34. l. 25. r. his. p. 36. l. 2. r. worthy l. 8. r. unseasonably. p. 37. l. ult. r. must p. 38. l. 32. del. so. l. 23 r. what. p. 42. l. 23. r. for. p. 45. l. 12. r. lax. p. 60. in mar. l. [...]

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