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March 13. fauces, which is, I observe, a constant symptom of the bite of the cobra de capello; and indeed I have had many persons brought to me who had been dead sometime; but never knew an instance of the volatile caustic alkali failing in its effect, where the patient has been able to swallow it."

In the course of this difsertation he takes occasion to observe, that in one case, oil had been swallowed by the patient before his arrival; but that on administering the alkali, the patient vomited up the oil; which he considered as a fortunate circumstance; as he thinks oil tends to weaken the power of the alkali, which he believes acts entirely as a stimulant. Eau de luce, he says, may be successfully employed where the pure alkali cannot be had; but it is lefs efficacious. Fortunately for this country we have no dangers of this kind to guard against.



To the Editor of the Bee. Eigr

you think as well as dp the following extract of a letter I lately received from a gentleman of eminence in the country, you will not hesitate to give it a place in your useful Miscellany; by doing which I imagine you will oblige many of your readers, and give pleasure to



I AM duly favoured with yours of the first instant. The plan of the Committee for difseminating useful

political knowledge among our lower classes of people, is most highly useful, and has my best wishes for its succefs. I like it because it is an institution quite the reverse of the Inquisition; and at least as well calculated for the support of a free government as the Inquisition is of a despotic one.

I wish some of your able pens would write a Political Bible, divided into short chapters, and adapted to our own constitution. It might begin by some preliminary observations on government in general, distinguifhing the circumstances that constitute the efsence of freedom and despotism; then give instructions to kings, princes, ministers, nobility, and gentry; and proceed to judges, and tax gatherers, not forgetting the clergy; and then, descending to the lower classes, a few well stated facts might be thrown in, to persuade them, though the lower, they are not therefore the less happy orders of the state. They be gin already round me to feel they are the most useful. When a poor man told a rich one that he was very hungry, the rich man exclaimed, How happy you are! have not had the pleasure of being hungry these twenty years." Did they but reflect how invariably our Maker has attached bodily health, and peace of mind, to industrious occupations, they would view us idlers with lefs envy. Then show them how our excellent constitution secures to them these happy fruits of their own labour; and that the general protection of good laws, extended to us landed proprietors, extends their means of being employed, that is of being happy. I fhould expect to see the people attached warmly to our constituVOL. XIV.


March 13. tion in proportion to their poverty, and not, as is now the case, in proportion to their wealth. For I am convinced the discontent and uneasinefs, which, I am sorry to say, I find pretty prevalent among the lower clafses, all proceed from ignorance, worked upon by misrepresentation.

Our Political Bible, like our Sacred Bible, might consist partly of precepts, and partly of history. A fhort historical account of the progrefs of liberty, and of the successive improvements on our constitution, would have a great effcet. Its present state, I would boldly afsert, to be so near to perfection, that it ought only to be touched in future by the most fkilful hand, and very gently. A contrast of the condition of the labourer in Spain, Italy, Turkey, and of the tradesman there, might be introduced. At present, the people round me are all getting rich; getting better houses, clothes, and food, by means of rights which they do not know they enjoy. This want of instruction your Commitee is meant to supply. Judge then of the beneficial effects it may produce. I am particularly anxious to see William Playfair's book on the consequences of a parliamentary reform; because that is the most popular, and yet the most dangerous crotchet the people have got in their heads. What they aim at for the boroughs, would only extend drunkenness, idleness, and corruption. Our boroughs would be better if deacons of crafts were chosen for life, like the aldermen in London. The public accounts indeed fhould be very open to inspection, and subject to easy controul. But to return from this digrefsion. As a slight fketch, to

convey something like an idea of what I mean, take the following as an example.


Book first, Chapter first.

I. A king not controuled by his nobles and people, is a despot; as witnefs Morocco.

2. Nobles not controuled by a king and people, are despots; as witness Venice.


A people not controuled by nobles and a king, are despots; as witness France.

4. A state in which king, nobles, and people, have each a share in the government, is free; as witness Great Britain and Ireland.

5. The different ranks of life, like the different seasons of the year, have each their use. made them both.


6. The hottest season is not always the healthiest; no more is the richest man always the happiest.

7. The winter prepares the ground for ploughing in the spring; the spring prepares it for bearing corn in summer; the summer ripens the corn for reaping in autumn.

8. The rich man gives his money to reward the industrious poor man; the poor man gives his industry to minister to the wants of the rich. Could they do without the afsistance of each other? God made them both.

9. Despotic governments are worse for the poor man than for the rich one; as the poor man is sooner ruined than a rich one.

And so on to the end of the chapter.

If you can find a man of abilities who is above the influence of party, and free from prejudice, it might be made a valuable treatise indeed. Should that be once done, and were it revised by men of cool heads and sound judgement, so as to receive their approbation, I would, in that case, give the king's printer a little allowance to add one of them to every copy of the Bible, New Testament, and Prayer Book, under the title of the Political Bible of a free born Briton. The children fhould learn the use of king, lords, and commons, by heart; then a chapter of the king's duty; the duty of the noblility; the duty of the people; then of law, how it preserves life, character, property, and so on. But I have said enough to give you an idea of what I mean, and that is all I intend at present*.


THE Editor would not présume to disfigure the above performance by any additions or interpolations of his own; but he could not resist the temptation of subjoining a few thoughts that the perusal of the above suggested to his mind;-not as a continuation of the chapter, though the verses are so numbered; but as an amplification of it in some degree, which he hopes will not be deemed misplaced at the present time; but which, being

*No person can be so well qualified to execute this task as the ingenious proposer himself; and if he will go on to complete it on the model here so happily begun, he will confer an important service on the commuhity; and if he will favour the Editor with a chapter from time to time, as Mahomet did of the Koran, it fhall be regularly inserted in the Bee, till the whole be completed; after which it might be transplanted into the place allotted for it by him, if judged expedient. Edit.

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