The Greatest Writer of the 19th Century » Brownson's Writings » A Salve for the Bite of the Black Viper I

A Salve for the Bite of the Black Viper I

Brownson's Quarterly Review, April, 1845

Art. II.--Onguent contre la Morsure de la Vipere Noire, compose par le Dr. Evariste Gypendole, Ancien Chirurgien Major de la Vieille Garde, Medecin Consultant du Roi de Lahore, Grande-Croix de la Legion d'Honneur, &c., &c.  Paris.  1843. 16mo. pp.218

The great necessity of some specific for the bite of the Black Serpent has long been felt by all who regard their own lot as bound up with that of their race, and hold that the most effectual atonement they can make for their own sins is to lighten the afflictions of their brethren. The black serpent is the most venomous of all the serpent brood, and the most deadly enemy of the human race ; and all the more dangerous, as he gives us no warning of his approach, and bites us without our perceiving it. We see nothing, feel nothing, suspect nothing, till the virus has entered the system, and penetrated to the seat of life.

What is peculiarly distressing is, that the animal, in modern times, seems to have received an almost supernatural power of reproduction. It has become prolific beyond all former precedent. The whole land becomes infested. Black serpents swarm everywhere. They are found in the palace and the hovel, the court and the camp, in the halls of justice, and even in the temples consecrated to religion. No place is impervious to their approach. They spare neither age, sex, nor condition. In some countries, the whole population seems to have been bitten, and exhibit all the madness and rage which never fail to follow the venomous bite. Naturalists do not agree as to the cause of this increased fecundity of this venomous reptile in modern times, or of the greater virulence of its poison ; but all admit the fact, which is otherwise incontrovertibly established. Some think it belongs to the nature of the animal itself; others think the cause is to be found in human nature. These last say, the animal lives on the human race, and obtains from the bite the means of its subsistence. Human nature, they continue, is subjected to certain periodical developments, and in some of these developments it furnishes the appropriate food for the black serpent, and in others it does not. We chance to live in one of those epochs in the development of humanity peculiarly favorable to the family of black serpents. How this may be we know not ; but this we do know, that no small part of Europe and America swarms with the hateful brood, and is wasted by its ravages.

This greater fecundity of the species was first noted, in modern times, in Germany and some of the Swiss cantons, about three hundred years ago. Black serpents at that epoch were found to have become incredibly numerous. They soon infested several of the provinces of France, took entire possession of the Dutch Netherlands, and crossed the North Sea over into Great Britain, where they appeared to find themselves, as the Germans say, at home (zu Heim). The consternation they produced can hardly be described. For a time, it was feared none would escape the fatal bite. But Providence interposed. They found their limits in Germany, beyond which they could not extend ; the French attacked them with their accustomed vivacity and courage, and sensibly diminished their numbers ; Italy, Spain, and some other countries, went far towards expelling them altogether from their dominions.    There was a short breathing-spell in the seventeenth century, and men began to hope that the race would be wholly exterminated.  Vain hope ' The race had found a home in England, where it grew and multiplied at an incredible rate.    Having become completely Anglicized, and having in consequence changed, in some measure, its appearance and habits, so as not to be immediately recognized, it recrossed the North Sea, reappeared in Germany, and especially in France, in greater numbers and more venomous than ever.   Not contented with the Old World, it found its vyay to the New World, where it finds itself hardly less at home than in England herself.

From the latest accounts received, it would appear, that though numerous in Germany, the increase of black serpents is there arrested ; in France, which for seventy years seemed given up entirely to their ravages, the bites are much less frequent than they were.    It is even rumored that there is some hope for England herself.    Nice observers think they perceive a change in the English climate, producing  a corresponding change in the temperament of the English people, unfavorable to this peculiar species of reptiles.    Some have whispered, that the English, becoming at length aware of the utter impossibility of living with these reptiles, which, from some strange tancy, they had for a long time cherished, and carried in their bospms, have even thought of resorting to certain prescriptions against their bite, said to have been left by one St. Patrick and carefully preserved by some of the old women in a neighbouring island.    But this wants confirmation.  Nevertheless  it is quite certain that the English are consulting on the ways and means, either of deriving more advantage from the race than they have heretofore done, or of driving it from their dominions. We m this country, however, do not seem to be particularly alarmed at the incredible numbers of black serpents we are sustaining, nor do we seem to apprehend that any injury can come from  their bite.    Yet they are exceedingly destructive, and their bite with us in almost all cases proves fatal.  Very few of us escape.    We can scarcely rear up a clever boy to the age of twelve years, without his being bitten in the heel, the breast, and the head.    The great mass of the young men and maidens in our cities, if not in the country, show unequivocal signs of having been bitten.    The virus has been received, and is working in the system. They themselves now and then suspect all is not quite right with them ; they are ill-at-ease, are troubled with insomnies, cannot remain long in one place, have great aversion to whatever demands serious thought, firm will, and persevering action. They resort to all manner of quacks and nostrums, but obtain no relief, and no clue to the nature of their ailments or the means of cure.                                                              

But, happily, the means are at length discovered, if not of exterminating the whole race, yet of radically, effectually, curing those who may be bitten, and of rendering all henceforth invulnerable to the attacks of the black serpent. Dr. Gypendole, author of the book before us, a celebrated physician, as is evinced by his titles, having given up his entire life to the investigation of the subject, has discovered and compounded a salve^ which will in all cases, if applied, prove effectual, and not only in cases of recent date, but in those of long standing. He has not only discovered and compounded the salve, "the precious ointment," but, with a praiseworthy disinterestedness, has disclosed the secret of its composition, and the method of its application, to the world; proving thereby, that, if, to suit the manners of the age, he assumes the style and address of a mountebank, he is no quack. He asks no premium for the discovery, no reward for the disclosure. Enough for him the consciousness of contributing something to lighten the afflictions of suf-ering humanity, and the blessings which must for ever attend his memory.

We assure our readers that Dr. Gypendole's salve is no quack medicine, and that the good Doctor, as extravagant as he may appear to be in its praise, does not by any means exaggerate its virtues. We speak from experience. We ourselves had the misfortune to be bitten by the black serpent more than once, and .badly bitten, too; but the application of this salve, according to the Doctor's prescription, has wrought a total and radical cure, to which fact we are ready to make affidavit before any justice of the peace, and at any moment, if any one chooses to doubt our simple word. But we must let the Doctor speak for himself. Our readers must, then, figure to themselves a venerable old man, well dressed, but not in a lashion too modem, with a high and expanded forehead, a larce, well-formed head, slightly bald, locks white as the driven snow lace somewhat wrinkled, but wearing a calm, placid, benevolent smile, winning the heart of every child that sees him, driving up in a public square, descending from his carriage, and ascending a platform raised a few feet from the ground, and opening his mouth to address the crowd which instantly collects to see and hear him.

" I.   Properties of the Salve.

"Gentlemen and Ladies,  You are going to see what you are going to see,  a wonderful thing which you have never yet seen. And yet, as to beasts, men, inventions, remedies, what have you not seen? You have seen learned dogs playing at chess, as the late Mr. Talleyrand at protocols; military fleas going through all points of their exercise, fit to form the first battery of the mounted artillery of the brave National Guard of Paris, in whose ranks we are all subject to march ; you have seen artists in verse, in prose, in legislation, in philosophy, who, though their eyes are armed with double glasses, cannot distinguish clearly the end of their own noses, and who yet flatter themselves that they can see quite well in the clouds; you have seen white calves with two heads, and tricolored knights with four, eight, ten, thirteen consciences; the fourteen thousand truths of the Constitutional Charter; the ashes of the great Napoleon; bitumen of every sort and color, granitic bitumen, vitrifiable bitumen, bituminous bitumen ; bear's grease from Siberia, taken from the living animal, to promote the growth of the hair, the eyebrows, and the beard; cabbage-seed from Iceland, producing a vegetable tall as a drum-major. All these you have seen, and yet, Gentlemen and Ladies, I have the honor to tell you again that you are going to see  what you are going to see,  a wonderful thing surpassing all you have yet seen. I myself, who have visited all the capitals of Europe,  Paris, London, Petersburg, Madrid, Lisbon on the Tagus, Rome, Naples, Berlin, Vienna on the Danube;-all parts of the world, Europe, Asia, Africa, America
Oceanea,  I myself have nowhere seen what you are going to see.

"Look here, Gentlemen  and  Ladies;  in this little box which I hold between my thumb and forefinger is a wonderful thino-, which our contemporaries of all countries, not excepting even the illustrious Laplanders and the scientific Mantchouck Tartars, as well as our ancestors of all times,jaw-bones, fossil, antediluvians, preadamites, have never suspected. It is so, Gentlemen and Ladies. This box contains wonderful pills, the discovery of which I owe to the immense progress which has been made in chemical science, combined with long years of labor during ten hours a day, not even excepting Sundays. I will not, indeed, say, as say some persons who advertise certain specifics endowed with the marvellous property of curing all diseases, past, present, future, old and new, that my salve is a universal panacea. No, I am notand you need not that I say it  no, I am not a quack. At my age, one s fortune is made, or left to shift for itself.    The sole desire of curing one of the innumerable maladies which afflict poor humanity has made me for these ten years travel through town and country, in  Europe and America, and procures me the inestimable advantage of appearing this day before this amiable assembly     No, I will not say to you that my salve is a universal specific ; for it is the first duty of a man of honor to tell the truth and, moreover, as says Confucius, true merit is modest.   I repeat' then, that my salve cures neither the whooping-cough  nor the gout, neither   the  gastro-enteritis,   nor   diseases  of the tongue nor even diseases of the skin.    But  it does more ;   it cures the almost universally fatal bite of the black serpent, the most dangerous of all known reptiles,  and cures a new bite, an old bite  a bite in the heart, or a bite in the head, and instantaneously, radically, and without pain.    And what is better yet, a thousand times better, it renders those who are so happy as to possess it invulnerable to the attacks of this fearful  reptile.    Simply take a box of my salve merely inhale its perfume, and you may travel in all places infested by the  black  serpent, visit night and day the miserable victims of its contagious bites, with as much assurance as the doctor who visits the pest-house with a cruise of the vinaisre of the four ministers I beg pardon of the four thieves, under his nose.

"But in order the better to appreciate the great value of my specific, this amiable society doubtless demands some detailed account of the black serpent, to the cure of whose bite I have consecrated my life.    I hasten to satisfy its very reasonable demand.

II. Idea of the Black Serpent its Habits.
"In the outset, Gentlemen and Ladies, I warn this amiable society not to expect from me a direct definition of the black serpent. I leave the rage for definitions to the Chinese philosophers  for, according to the beautiful maxim of the great Parapharagus' first dragoman to his Highness Abduhl-Medjid, definitions usually satisfy only those who make them. However, I will make this dangerous reptile known to you, but less by telling you what it is than by telling you what it is not. You must know, then, Gentlemen and Ladies, that the black serpent does not belong to the picturesque race of lynxes, although these have many varieties, especially in Central Lurope; nor to the very delicate class of black or white bears notwithstanding these are vastly more numerous than naturalists imagine; nor to the family of apes, in which the wonderful progress of science has succeeded in detecting one hundred four score and nineteen thousand varieties; nor to the race of fowls, whose species are as numerous as the leaves of the forest, such as cock-turkeys of all sizes and colors, red parrots, green parrots, blue parrots, lead, copper, silver, and gold-colored parrots; one-eyed magpies, thievish magpies, lying magpies, speckled magpies with a crest, speckled magpies with spurs, speckled magpies with a tail. But I perceive, that, in order to define the black serpent by explaining its relations and differences with all the creatures of the three kingdoms, animal, vegetable, and mineral, I must display a knowledge of natural history which may not be quite familiar to every member of this amiable assembly, and the celebrated Doctor Nigh-pho-tse, the patriarch of Chinese literature, says, with profound wisdom and truth, that every man, not a fool or a knave, should speak so as to be understood. I suffer, he elsewhere says, only learned Europeans to speak Greek in English. You will bear in mind, then, Gentlemen and Ladies, that the black serpent is not a lion, an eagle, a dog, a cat, or a tape-worm, although it has a certain resemblance to this last. In what category, then, shall it be placed?"pp. 1-11.

The Doctor proceeds, and finally asserts that the black serpent is an amphibious animal. Having observed for a long time its habits in Germany, England, France, North and South America, he is convinced that its usual resort is the marshes, and, although sometimes seen unrolling its hideous folds on dry land, it for the most part burrows in the mud. It feeds mainly on little dry and grayish leaves of stunted shrubs, known in science under the names of the Presse (hupas fatidum), the Debats (hupas judaicum), the Siecle (hupas putrido-acetosum), the Constitutionnel (hupas antiquatum), names which, with a singular coincidence, seem to have been adopted by the leading Parisian journals. Its food, however, varies according to its age. Young;, it prefers Beranger, Pigault-Lebrun, Parny; older, it selects Universitarians, Brous-sais, Soulie, Balzac, Janin, Hugo, Sue, Kock, George Sand, and other spongy productions, designated by the generic name of pantheisto-immorali-opacum. On rare occasions, it nibbles Voltaire, Rousseau, Strauss, Volney, and Holbach,  azotic plants of the class fossil sleep, bearing thistles (azotico-fossili-somniferum). Dr. Gypendole is unquestionably in the main correct in his account of the habits of this pernicious reptile, and yet we think he-has described them more especially as he has observed them in the French metropolis. Its food and even its repairs undergo some change in passing from one age or one country to another, although in general pretty much the same in all times and places, in the garden where it coiled on the Tree of Knowledge, and our good city of Boston, where it has just found a place for hatching its brood in the Melodeon. But we proceed to let the learned and scientific Doctor describe, in his own inimitable manner, the effects of the bite of the black serpent,  or rather, its diagnostics.

"III.    Bite of the Black Serpent  its Repairs.

" The Creator, Gentlemen and Ladies, as it was learnedly observed four thousand years ago by Nangazaki, the great philosopher of Japan,  the Creator has placed in this world a wonderful variety of beasts. Amongst them all,  if we except certain bipeds having neither tails nor feathers, according to the definition, so profoundly true, of the illustrious Diogenes,  there is not one so hideous, and at the same time so dangerous, not one that inspires the human heart with so much dread, repugnance, and horror, as those of the reptile kind. Now I assert, and with deep conviction, too, that the black serpent is of all reptiles the most dangerous, the most foul, the most repulsive. Does my amiable audience require proof of what I advance ? Let them listen to what I have to say concerning the nature of its venom.

" You imagine, perhaps, Gentlemen and Ladies, that it infects the blood. Not at all; you 're wrong. That it vitiates the animal spirits. Wrong again. It does worse ; it does a thousand times worse ; it infects the heart and vitiates the brain. It makes a man mad; and so mad that you may order forthwith a strait jacket; wicked, so wicked that he's fit only for the halter. I can hardly describe its lamentable effects better than by laying before this honorable society an imperfect sketch of the sad spectacle which I myself witnessed a few months ago.

" In the course of my long peregrinations over the old and new continents, I chanced to arrive in a vast kingdom, situated about fifteen hundred leagues from the territory of the Iroquois. The black serpent is there in swarms, and I saw numberless poor wretches infected by its venom. The first that came under my observation had been bitten in the head. You have heard the false and discordant sounds which a violin gives when its cords are unstrung. All that is nothing compared to the extravagant ideas that issued from their diseased brains. They imagined that they had becomewhat do you think, Ladies and Gentlemen? princes? O, no! Kings ? Not that either. Emperors ? You 're out again. Trifles like these are the fancies of our common fools, such as one sees at Charenton, Bicetre, and like places. But mine belonged to a higher class, and were not so.easily satisfied. They believed themselves  come, guess once more! Do you give it up ? In their great modesty, they believed themselves to be  gods! nothing more nor less !

" There they were, rubbing their hands with delight, and shouting out, to the tune of the Carmagnole, "Go ahead ! go ahead ! God is done for,  Christianity is gone, dead and buried. Bravo ! now we 'II put the world to rights ! ' Then, with a degree of grave solemnity the most laughable that can be imagined, had not their madness concerned a matter so important, they set to work to prop up their infant godship, by endeavouring to prove that the God whom we adore had come to naught.

" One young man, of low stature, who possessed the singular advantage  although not singular in that country  of having but one eye and that purblind, whose brow was furrowed with premature wrinkles, and whom, with a broad-skirted green coat, a hat somewhat a la militaire, and very large spectacles, I seem to see before me now, capered about, shouting incessantly, 'What a smash! I can count seventy-two solecisms in the moon. God was nothing but a booby, when he undertook to create the world. lie 's used up now ; it's all over.'

" Another,  a tall, spare man, with pallid countenance, and voice harsh and tremulous, not unlike the cry of a goat, an antediluvian pedagogue, the true Napoleon of all absurdities,  repeated unceasingly, with the solemn monotony of a pendulum, ' Silence ! silence, stupid human race! thou hast mistaken for God a man who knew not a word of rhetoric. I can prove to you, book in hand, that Jesus Christ never read two pages of my Treatise, on the Art of Oratory, Amsterdam, princeps edition, 1838. Who'll answer that?'
" Another, dressed in a blue cloak, with a great number of ribbons and gewgaws paraded about his neck and breast, cried out, with a stentorian voice, * To the vote, Gentlemen! to the vote ! the Gospel is inadmissible, except with an amendment. To the vote! to the vote!' Immediately there was a shout from all sides, ' Adopted. God is completely upset! adopted,  and we only are Gods!   Adopted.   Hats off, mortals, and down upon your knees!'
" At these words, a cry of ' Order, order ! ' was heard from another group close by. In the centre appeared a middle-aged man, a head taller than the rest. His costume was Scottish, crossed all over with silvery-looking palms and forms of trans-rhenish syllogisms. He was praying devoutly, with his eyes fixed upon himself; the others were all agog, listening to him. 1 was exceedingly curious to find out his name, when some one whispered in my ear, * That's the Grand Lama of the me and the not-me.' * O God!' spoke out then the pontiff to himself, as it were, ' hear them not, for they are fools: thy being" has naught that is exclusive; thou art not, as they, me and not-me: thou art the universal me: yea, thou art thyself, objecting thyself infinitely to thyself: and man and nature are thyself, objecting thee finitely to thyself: thou art we, and we are thou: eternity is thyself, time thyself, space thyself, number thyself, totality thyself: all is but thee : for in thee all is me and naught not-me.'

"This devout and most lucid prayer drew down thunders of applause. For my own part, all that 1 could understand from it was, that I had met with a class of madmen who had less egotism than the preceding. They thought themselves gods, to be sure ; but at least they were willing to share their godship with other beings."pp. 17-23.

The author then exposes, in his own peculiar manner, the system of Pantheism, which doles out the Divinity by the yard, as it were, assigning its due portion to every sort of being. The manner in which he describes the perfect anarchy of opinions brought about by atheistic philosophy is inimitable.

" A little farther on, I fell in with a large crowd, and, entering into the midst of them, said, in the politest tone possible, ' Gentlemen, may I be permitted to ask to what family you belong?' A dozen tongues broke loose at once : 'To the family of machines, booby,  brothers to windmills, and cousins to patent turnspits.' ' That's not true,' said a dozen others; * we belong to the branch of elastic and digesting tubes, open at both ends.' ' False, false!' cried out others; 'we are all of the finny tribe ; fishes from father to son ; carps arrived at the full development of perfectibility, consisting in the original phis the hair, minus the tail.'

" All maintained their ambitious pretensions with great vehemence of speech and gesture. Such confusion, such noise and racket, was enough to set all the dogs in the country barking. From words they came to thumps. Insults from one side were answered by blows from the other; which amounts to what the great Aristotle calls the ultima ratio regum; an expression that may be translated, for your especial benefit, Ladies, the first principle of morality amongst wolves.

" Very soon the fight became general. The gods ran up, espousing some one side, some another. What a mournful scene did I behold! The wretched victims of the viperian poison, in paroxysms of rage, shouted, pounded, rolled their eyes in frenzy, ran their tongues out, argued by kicks and cuffs, howled, barked,' caterwauled, bellowed, till at length they were covered with wounds, blood, and dirt, and the field became a second Waterloo. I was told that such scenes as I have just described occur frequently every week. You may call it, Ladies and Gentlemen, a drama, melodrama, tragedy, or comedy, as you please; but it is what I call a lesson of philosophy. Much affected by this sight, I left these, and moved on to the quarters of the modest. They are so called because they acknowledge that they are not quite gods. Here an old man, with powdered wig, broad ruffles on his bosom and wrists, and large shoe-buckles, accosted me. * We 're aware of it,' said he ; «the Supreme Being does exist; but he is a gentleman who sleeps all night, and dozes all day in an arm-chair.    The   act  of creation exhausted all his strength. He cast this world into the immensity of space, like a balloon in the air, or a ship without helmsman on the ocean. There, go ahead, on your own hook, as well as you can,' said he; and, returning to his apartment, he gave the key a double turn, and locked the door."  pp. 25-28.

In the following paragraph the good Doctor portrays with much wit and truth the moral corruption which is the necessary consequence of a belief in Deism, and the frivolity of those occupations and aims which are all that is left to man, when he has no God whom he is bound to serve, and no future destiny to strive for.    He then passes to the second class of victims.

" The second category of patients that I found in the same kingdom, fifteen hundred leagues from the country of the Iroquois, comprises those who had been bitten in the region of the heart. But before 1 proceed, my love for suffering humanity will not allow me, Gentlemen and Ladies, to withhold from you one observation which is essential. I have verified it nine thousand eight hundred and fifty-nine times, in the course of my long medical career. Whereas the cobva-capclo aims at a man's nose, and the rattlesnake at his calf, if he has any, the black serpent attacks invariably and exclusively the head and the heart. Moreover, I have always found, of a hundred patients, that ninety-nine and a half were first wounded in the heart, and that, as a general rule, the brain suffers only from sympathy.

" This being premised, Gentlemen and Ladies, I proceed. By the bite of the black serpent, the heart is decomposed, and its very nature changed; all its movements are henceforth downwards, instead of upwards. What was before sweet as honey to the patient's palate is now bitter as wormwood; the food of common people is disgusting, and he flies from it with as much horror as a mad dog from a bucket of cold water. Only mention to him the name of sweetmeats, pastries, and all those nice tit-bits that make the mouth of any civilized man water, and you make him retch with nausea,  you are sure of giving him cramp in the stomach, or convulsions. Give him meats fit for kings or for the gods themselves, let them be served on a table covered with cloths white as the snow of Caucasus; he dives under the table, devours the most disgusting garbage, gnaws bones like a dog, and, instead of quaffing nectar from golden goblets, he prefers to lie down flat by the roadside, and guzzle muddy water from the gutter."  pp. 30-32.

These various speeches which the Doctor Evariste de Gy-pendole places in the mouths of his mad patients, and which fit there so well, our readers may suspect are in reality the substance of different systems of infidel philosophy which have all had their day, and many of which are still greatly in vogue. Granting the suspicions of our readers to be well founded, we must say, the Doctor does them no injustice ; and the arguments by which they would subvert Christian faith, the only sure basis of true philosophy, when stripped of the brilliancy and ornaments of style by which their authors have embellished them, when analyzed and reduced to a bare, simple proposition, after all, mean precisely what was uttered by the victims of the black serpent, and nothing more. Some of them, in fact, are taken almost textually from the writings of these authors.

In the following chapter, the learned, scientific, and humane Doctor proceeds to narrate his labors and trials in pursuit of a remedy for the bite of the black serpent, and the rare providence by which he hit upon the principle which led to the discovery and composition of his incomparable salve. It is full of interest, wit, humor, and hits at all manner of quacks and quack nostrums, moral, philosophical, social, political; all of which our readers may well believe are home-thrusts  at somebody. They know already enough of our Doctor to believe that Doctor Evariste de Gypendole is, in very deed, as he says, no quack, although ignorant of none of the various species of quackery in vogue or out of vogue. The search was long and painful, and the laborious Doctor seems at times to have almost despaired of success ; but at length, through the blessing of a good Providence, success crowned his labors,  the incomparable salve was discovered, and the black serpent henceforth rendered harmless as a dove. We should be glad to follow the Doctor in this search,  a more notable one than the search after the philosopher's stone,  but we hasten to the composition of the salve itself.

" V.    Composition op the Salve.

" You are convinced, I trust, Gentlemen and Ladies, that I have no inclination to gull the public or take advantage of its simplicity. You might as well make a French peer of the respectable dean of the Royal Academy of Medicine at Paris, as to confound my precious salve with a host of quack nostrums, of which the wonderful virtue is proclaimed to the world every day by a venal press, with great flourishes of drums and trumpets. An enlightened public knows how to discern, cuique suum. We know how to detect all these Parisian catch-pennies, patented as they may be. Virtus post nununos, as that experienced man, the great poet of Tibur, has sung; that is to say, Ladies, * Truth, virtue, and honor, after dollars and cents.'    This is the motto adopted  by the authors of such fraudulent speculations.    But, you  know it well, Gentlemen and Ladies, such is not the motto of Doctor Evariste.    No, no, he's a different man; and, as a proof of his disinterested honesty, hear my declaration. This salve, so wonderful in its effects,  this salve, of which the discovery has cost me fifty years of labor and journeying, I now deliver up gratuitously and without charge to the public.    Judge for yourselves, before you use it; for, without any sort of mystery, I am going to make you acquainted with all the elements which compose it, and give you full directions for its use. " In the first place, A Jove principium, as Virgil says,  which may signify, Ladies, To cook a hare, first catch a hare,  I begin by hunting out, in  the stagnant pools where they hatch, black serpents of all sizes, old and young and middle-aged, and even not yet hatched.    When caught, I chop their heads off.    That is to say. Gentlemen and Ladies, in Catholic Apostolic Roman language, I dig out infidelity wherever it has nested itself: 1 cut off its head, by taking its own objections against Christianity, of whatever kind they may be, past, present, future, old, new, flat, or horned, to the right or to the left, up or down: I gather them from the mouth of the beardless youth or the whiskered man, from the parlour and the workshop, from the head and tail of the philosophical army ; objections in rhyme and prose, from every language and gibberish ; objections from big books and little books, from huge folios covered with dust, and from perfumed pamphlets: I place them all in a mortar hermetically sealed, so that no part can evaporate,  a necessary precaution.    The result produced by trituration is a greasy lump, which, being placed in the alembic, conveys into my receiver the quintessence of the whole, which I am going now to present you.
" In its dogma, Christianity is but a tissue of myths, of fables, of inconsistencies revolting to our reason. It teaches that Jesus Christ is God : absurd ! That he was born of a mother ever virgin : absurd ! That there is but one God, and in this one nature three distinct persons: absurd! That this God foresees all things, and whatever he foresees happens infallibly; and yet man is a free agent: absurd ' That this God is all, and yet man is something: absurd I That for a sin of a single moment, this God, whom Christianity still calls good, punishes a frail creature with an eternity of torments : absurd! That all men are born with the guilt of a sin committed by their first parent: absurd ! That the Son of God, coming into this world, was born in a stable; that he died upon a cross, between two thieves: absurd ! That he and his Apostles performed miracles: absurd, too! since the laws of nature are immutable, and the Apostles were only stupid fools, the first Christians idiots who believed whatever they were told, without examining, without reasoning,  carried away by a fanatic love of glory and of novelty. In fine, Christianity, viewed in its dogma, whether by parts or in a lump, is nothing but a long string of absurdities.

"You perceive, Gentlemen and Ladies, that my chemical operation has been quite successful; the ingredients have lost nothing of their strength; and all these black serpents' heads, or, theologically, all the objections of infidelity against the Christian dogma, when cut off, hacked, triturated, and distilled, furnish us with the quintessence of all the sophisms written, said, sung, or howled, from Celsus down to Voltaire and his latest posterity, born or to be'born. Having proceeded thus far, I inscribe: Dogma of Christianity, total Absurdity.    And there 's one point settled.
"Now for its morality. I hope to satisfy this amiable audience that my chemical process is equally perfect in this respect. It furnishes us with an elixir of the following nature.

"By its very first commandment, the moral code of Christianity obliges me to believe all the absurdities comprised in its dogma: impossible ! It obliges me to forgive my enemies, and love them as myself: impossible! It obliges me to sacrifice the dearest, the strongest inclinations of my nature: impossible! It obliges me to confess my sins, however shameful, however secret, to a man like myself: impossible! It obliges me to practise virtues which degrade a man ; humility, which makes him a poltroon ; detachment, which makes him a bad citizen; the flight of the world, which makes him a misanthrope; the constant fear of hell, which makes him an idiot: impossible ! To all this it adds a long list of practices, observances, privations, which bind a man hand and foot: impossible! In one word, the moral code of Christianity bears no proportion to human weakness; that it should have come from a God infinitely wise and good is impossible. It is therefore false and tyrannical,  absurd !

" What have you to say, Gentlemen Chemists of the Imperial and Royal Academies of Paris, London, Vienna, Petersburg, and Pekin? Can you hope to arrive at results more complete, when you try by analysis to discover the component elements of bodies'? You may hang yourself for spite, illustrious Orfila! never, even with Marsh's apparatus, will you be able to detect in a dead dog the arsenical parts half so completely as Doctor Evariste culls out, by his peculiar process, the last and most minute atom of the black serpent's venom. Deny it who can: I hold here in my receiver the whole essential acid of all the objections, past, present, or future, that can be made against the moral code of Christianity. I conclude, therefore: Morality op Christianity, total Impossibility.    And there's a second point settled.

" I terminate the whole process, Gentlemen and Ladies, by the objections against Catholic worship, and I obtain the salt which you are now going to see. The worship of Christianity is a heap of vain and ridiculous superstitions, fit only for old women and children at the most. Pour a few drops of water on the head of an infant, with certain words, and he is cleansed from sin,  made white as snow: superstition ! Rub his forehead with oil, and he becomes strong enough to vanquish the most formidable enemies: superstition ! He takes a piece of bread over which the priest has pronounced a few words, and it is no longer bread,  it is God in person : superstition! Is he sick ? Anoint the organs of his senses, and his sins are forgiven him: superstition ! And, then, all these genuflexions, these ceremonies which have neither rhyme nor reason,  a real puppet-show that sets a fool a staring, but excites pity in a sensible man,__
what is all this but superstition, eternal superstition ? And yet this is the whole form and substance of Catholic worship.

" I appeal to this honorable society, whether I have mitigated in any manner the venom of the black serpent, and whether, by my chemical operation, it has not even acquired a more intense degree of malignity. I say, therefore : Worship of Christianity, total Superstition.   And there's the third point settled.

" Gentlemen and Ladies, this is all; for Christianity is attackable only on these three points. Remember, now, what you have heard. All the objections which infidelity can possibly make, when ground up and distilled, give for result a composition fully expressed by these three terms, which have become technical: Absurdity, Impossibility, Superstition. Absurdity in the dogma; impossibility in the morality, superstition in the worship; here is the honorable label of Christianity.

" This is the compound of my admirable specific, which I divide into pills numbered 1, 2, 3, &c, as high as seven. The composition of this incomparable salve is therefore simple and easy, but at the same time in strict accordance with all chemical and pharmaceutic rules.

" VI. Application op the Salve to Encephalic Wounds

Preparative Measures.

"Gentlemen and Ladies, the father of the medical art, the great Hippocrates, in his Aphorisms, recommends to all Doctors to approach their patients as a candidate for election does the voters of his district: with head uncovered, brow serene, sweet and caressing forms of speech, and a smile on the lips, if possible. I do my best to follow this fundamental precept of the art. Do I meet with a victim of the black serpent? I manifest the greatest interest in him, and give signs of deep sympathy. I am perfectly accommodating, and suffer him. to spit out whatever he may have in his throat, or elsewhere.
"But I cannot better instruct you, Gentlemen and Ladies, in the true method of applying this precious salve, than by relating to < you exactly my own treatment of an illustrious patient, whose case is recent. For, as the Roman orator says, Fabricando Jitfaber; or, as the Mantuan swan has sung, Ab uno disce omnes; which implies, Ladies, If you can work one slipper, you can work a thousand.

" To proceed; on my return from my last voyage to Rio de la Plata, in South America, I landed at Bordeaux, on the Garonne ; travelling thence to Paris, I stopped at Tours, in Touraine. I put up at the house of a friend, who informed me, with great consternation, that the most celebrated lawyer of the place had been bitten in the head by the black serpent. ' He has since bitten several others/ said my friend; ' and these, others still; so that the vipe-rian contagion is likely to spread far and wide; and unless you come to our aid, Doctor, we are lost.'

" We are lost! What an impressive word, Gentlemen and Ladies, when spoken to the ear of a doctor ! It was hardly uttered when I was up and doing. In twenty-two minutes and four seconds, I had visited the mayor at his office, and had announced in every part of the town, that a public meeting would be held that very evening, with permission of the constituted authorities, at which I would cure gratuitously, Radically, instantaneously, and without pain, all encephalic wounds of the black serpent. The name of Doctor Evariste de Gypendole was soon in every mouth.

" When the assembly was convened, I drew near to my patient, who was seated in an arm-chair, taking care to follow exactly the rule of Hippocrates before quoted. At my approach, he manifested a slight convulsive motion, followed immediately by an inclination to expectorate. I encouraged him to it; and suddenly his lips flying open with the reverse of a steel-trap action, he flung this discharge full in my face : " Yes, Sir, the dogma of Christianity is absurdity, three fourths at least!'

" This eructation, near as I stood, did not, however, disturb me or make me shrink ;  I have undergone many of the kind. On the contrary, I stepped a little nearer, and, holding this small box under the patient's nose, I made him inhale the perfume of my pills, saying, at the same time, ' Most excellent Sir, yqiu are too moderate by far; say rather that the dogma of Christianity is a total absurdity, total as the eclipse of the moon on the 29th day of July, 1830. I grant you all.'    Thereupon I felt his pulse, with a smile.

" An inclination to expectorate was again manifested, and he threw at my feet a new discharge: 'Yes, Sir, the morality of Christianity is an impossibility, a system of tyranny in most points.'

" I presented again my fragrant box to the olfactory nerves of the patient, accompanying the application with these words, in a caressing tone : « Speak out freely; say it is such in every point; granted, granted.' I felt his pulse again; it was more regular; the muscles of his face relaxed, and he half opened his eyes to look at me. It is evident that he has confidence in his physician the man is saved. The cure is already commenced. A last expectoration, occasioned by the simple odor of my salve, brought forth another discharge: ' Yes, Sir, the worship of Christianity is full of superstitions, idle, degrading, and immoral.'

"For the third time, I made him inhale the perfume of my wonderful box : < Friend of my heart, speak out, speak out; don't say it s full, say it s superstition itself. Yes, from the Mass to the holy-water pot, all is superstition in Catholic worship, absolutely all  granted again; there 's no exception.'     
"This third concession, Gentlemen and Ladies, is an antispasmodic of the greatest efficacy. My patient rolled his eyes round twice; the students of the Chinese University could not have done it so well; he brought the muscles of the upper and lower lids to their full stretch, passed his hand over his forehead, and became gentle as a lamb, mild as might be a woman without a tongue. Fixing his eyes wide open upon me, the illustrious lawyer congratulated me on the progress of my reason; then, drawing off* his glove, which was of the color of fresh butter, and stretching forth his hand, < Take this, said he ; " Doctor, we are friends; you belong to us; I shall at once inscribe your name on the honorable catalogue of philosophy ' ' Wait a moment,' I replied, with much modesty ; " an honor so extraordinary should be purchased, methinks, at a higher price- I have one to offer ; please inform me if it be agreeable.'    
"Then, to the astonishment of the distinguished assembly, I applied to the very root of his nose my pill No. 1, in the following manner. 'I have already granted you three assertions; I must yet add a fourth concession. I will admit all the objections of all the philosophers heretics, miscreants, whether past, present, future, old or new; I pile them up, if you choose, one upon another; they form a mountain eighteen hundred times higher than the tops of Himalaya, or the peak of Chimbora^o ; or, in other words, Christianity, in its dogma, its morality, its worship, from head to foot and from beginning to end, is an absurdity eighteen hundred times bigger than the highest known mountains of the earth I can do no more; but is this enough ?'

"' Who could ask more of you, Doctor ? You outstrip our most illus nous ancestors, from Celsus and Porphyry, down to Voltaire and his brilliant progeny of Jansenists, Eclectics, Idealists, Materialists, Samt-Simonians, Fourierists, Universitarians, Pantheists, and Humanitarians. I hardly know one of those honorable and learned philosophers who has not recognized in Christianity at least some small fragment of truth and goodness; were it only the be-hef in hell to punish their gainsayers, or the obligation for others to respect their small but honestly acquired fortune. But you Doctor, bursting nobly the trammels of these still lurking prejudices, you recognize no more truth in its dogma than in the charter of Berard; no more virtue in its morality than pure copper in the coin of Monaco. Total absurdity,  this is your last conclusion ; you give over Christianity, bound hand and foot, to the power of Philosophy. Your generosity is unequalled ; decidedly, I must inscribe you at once.'

"' You are kind enough, then, Master, to give me the credit of having raised the objections against Christianity to their highest power V (I tell you again, it is impossible to do better.' ' I must confess, however,' said I, ' it would be an usurpation on my part to claim for myself the honor of the invention. You know that these objections, with all their strength, were raised against Christianity from the first day of her birth.' «I am aware of it: whoever has read the works of our first ancestors must know, that in the fourth century whatever could be said had been said already. Since then we have only warmed things over again. But the merit which I admire in you is, that you have reduced our whole doctrine to its most simple expression, and extracted its very quintessence. Come, come. Doctor, enough of your modesty; your names and titles, if you please.'   And he drew his pencil to enlist me.

" Seeing my illustrious patient so well prepared, I took delicately my pill No. 2, between my thumb and forefinger, with a tone of timidity and humble respect, < Master,' said I, «before I am invested with this immortal honor, I have one little difficulty to be removed, one small, trifling, little difficulty. 1 shall presume to ask you for the solution.    Here it is:    How do you explain the FAITH   OF   THE   UNIVERSE? '

" Hoc opus, hic labor, this was the asses' bridge, as Scarron translates. "I don't understand you exactly,' was his answer. ' I will repeat, then. Eighteen hundred years ago, the world was pagan ; to-day, it is Christian. How do you explain the faith of the universe? ' "Express your thoughts more clearly.' ' Most willingly,' I replied, and, taking my pill No. 3, I made him swallow in this manner.

"'We agree that Christianity is a mountain of absurdities, of impossibilities, and of superstitions. Yet it has been received and believed by the universe.

" 'It has been believed on the word of twelve fishermen, without science, without money, without influence.

" ' It has been believed in the age of Augustus, which was undeniably and eminently the age of philosophy and of light.

" ' It has been believed in spite of the hundred warning voices of our ancestors, who cried out incessantly, as we do now, that it was absurdity all over.

" 'It has been believed in spite of the mockery of comedians, who brought its mysteries upon the stage, and held them up to universal derision.

" It has been believed, which is still more astonishing, in spite of Nero, Domitian, Diocletian, and their fellows; and the manner in which they treated refractories, as you are aware, was by no means a joke.

'"It has been believed in spite of all the light of reason and all the repugnance of nature.

" ' And all this, Master, is but a trifle yet. There is something still more inexplicable; something that surpasses all the feats that I have ever witnessed at Nicolet's or Franconi's, Carter's or Van Amburg's. For the sake of believing an absurdity big as a mountain, for the sake of practising a morality which is impossible, for the sake of professing a worship which is ridiculous, the universe without flinching gave up its fortune to confiscation abandoned with joy its head to the fangs of lions and the claws of bears, its body to the chains of torturers, or to the fires that gleamed around the stake.

" ' And, moreover (I beseech you, Master, help me out of this difficulty, or I shall lose my footing), and, moreover, Christianity has efTected this at every point of the globe; at Jerusalem, at Athens, at Rome, as often as you could wish. It was not the common people alone ; it was consuls, and senators, and philosophers ; it was generals, and colonels, and veteran soldiers; it was noble dames, and rich gentlemen; it was men of all ages and all classes, from the highest to the lowest. I must confess, Master, I have never been able to explain to my perfect satisfaction so strange a delirium.    Can you do it for me ?'

" The silence with which he honored my discourse, the slight carmine tinge which began to light up his cheek, gave me the assurance that my pill was operating powerfully. The respectable audience meanwhile fulfilled to the letter the beautiful verse of Virgil,

1 Conticuere omnes intentique ora tenebant'; that is  to say,   Ladies, there locts  no  coughing,  spitting,  blowing of noses, chatting, or whispering; you might have heard a pin drop.    I took advantage of this profound silence to continue the administration of my remedy.

" ' Whilst you are thinking over the difficulty, Master, allow me to suggest a solution which has struck me as not void of probability. I am inclined to believe that the Apostles were British smugglers who contrived to set the whole world a chewing opium for three hundred and fifteen years. Stupefied by this practice, the poor tools must have said, done, and endured whatever was required of them I he solution appears probable to me for several reasons :  1. 1 he Apostles were Jews by origin. 2. The Jews have always shown a natural inclination for commercial pursuits. 3. The emperors of those days held the Apostles in pretty much the same light the present emperor of China does the English ; they called them, not unfrequently, poisoners and corrupters. This, Master, is the trifling difficulty that annoys me somewhat, and the explanation which I have hit upon with the little philosophical light I possess.'

" My illustrious patient turned his head aside, presenting to me in full profile his nose and jaw-bone ; then, raising his hand, began to scratch gently behind his right ear; a very simple movement, Gentlemen and Ladies, but picturesque, and strongly symptomatic. His answer was given with a serious catonicoplatonic air. ' I perceive that there is a little difficulty here; as for the solution you give, it's new. What a pity that I have not at my disposal the telescope of our venerable Dupuis, with which he was enabled to discover Jesus Christ and the twelve Apostles in the signs of the zodiac. Like as not, we should spy out in the moon the vast plains whence those smugglers of Galilee got the opium with which they bedevilled the human race for so many years. My particular friend, Herschell the younger, can no doubt furnish me with the means of verifying this solution ; till then, we must needs hunt up another.'

"' Master, if it be not too much presumption, allow me to submit another to your judgment. Right or wrong, I must be a philosopher. A philosopher! What a noble title! And to you, most excellent Sir, will belong the honor of having added the last gem to the crown of Doctor Evariste. I have, then, another solution to offer. I do it with great diffidence; for, between you and me, I first heard it from an old woman. However, a fool may sometimes give good advice.'

" Having thus excited a wholesome appetite in my patient, I extracted slyly from my box pill No. 4, and, rubbing him with it adroitly on the prominence of the os frontis, 1 went on :

" « Here is what I once heard from an old Catholic woman of the old Catholic stamp; I shall translate for you, as well as I am able, her patois of Provence. " The mysteries of Christianity are impenetrable to human reason: true. If you try to measure their depth, your head will soon whirl : true. The morality of the Christian religion is above the strength of human nature : true. Its worship, made up of forms, rites, ceremonies, is nothing but a muss : true, very true ; I see all that. We old women can understand that two and two make four, and that Christianity at the beginning must have caused a great hue and cry; that it must have passed amongst men for a folly, a scandal, an absurdity as total as the eclipse of last year. But, as I was saying the other day to my neighbour, Mrs. Jones, mankind, that is to say, fine ladies and gentlemen, learned and ignorant, old and young, rich and poor, have believed and do believe Christianity to be true as the Gospel. They saw in it nothing but a muss, a hodge-podge, sure enough. But, marry, the miracles of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Apostles forced them to believe in it. And, as our parish priest was saying the other day it is not easy to hold out against a discourse that begins and ends with a miracle. Men saw miracles, therefore, and thousands of them. And that is the reason why they have believed and still do believe."                                   

" After this ^eech the old woman dropped a courtesy, and was off.'...."Good riddance to her," said the lawyer, impatiently. " What nonsense ! Could n't the old fool see there were no more miracles in favor of Christianity than in favor of any thing else?  Are not the laws of nature immutable?"

With an agreeable smile and honeyed lips, I replied: 'Be calm Master,  be calm; I proposed the explanation with much diffidence, and only to satisfy you.'  Then, taking hold of his hand, feeling his pulse: "So, no miracles; you stick there, do you?' 'Are you a fool, Doctor?' said he, angrily; 'if you admit miracles in the establishment of Christianity, you must bid good bye to philosophy, and turn old woman or Roman Catholic outright.'

'Gentlemen and Ladies' said I, in a loud voice, to the assembly, 'the question is settled.   Mankind, upon the word of twelve idiots and wihout miracle, received and believed firmly a religion which is equally absurd, impossible, and ridiculous.'

" ' Well, that's a good one,' cried out a young proletary at the extremity of the hall; ' and I defy the most capacious known throat in the world, to wit, Mr. Frederic Budget's,to swallow it.    But the Doctor has left out the best of it.    Mankind, to accommodate this mountain of absurdities in its head, has consented to be whipped, racked, drawn and quartered, strangled, roasted, and ground into minced meat.  That is a good one!'
"The impertinent young man then burst into a fit of laughter which threatened to become contagious. I restored order and silence by informing the audience that the express object of my
journey to Paris was to ask of the Royal Academy of Medicine an explanation of the phenomenon. At the same time, I asked their permission to relate a marvellous instance of my last journey in Italy.

"VII.    Salve applied to Encephalic Wounds.  Progress
of the Operation.

" As the skilful dentist amuses his patient with a story, and in the midst suddenly jerks out the decayed tooth, so did I proceed with mine.  Edging up my seat close to his arm-chair, and applying one half of pill No. 5 to the vertex, just at the root of the forelock, I began:--
"Returning from Alexandria, I was travelling by Milan, Bologna, and Modena.  My routine lay through the rich fields of Lombardy and Parma, famous for the victories of the great Napoleon. My vehicle was a calash, English built, new, brilliant, and light as a feather. Four large Andalusian horses, swift as deer strong as lions, were at the pole ; I had two Norman postilions] hair-brained fellows as ever I saw, but real Phaetons. The weather was beautiful, the road smooth as a billiard-table or a polished Venetian mirror. I had neither trunk nor baggage of any kind ; my own individuality was the whole load. You may imagine, I did n't run, I flew along the road.  Natural enough, was it not, Master ?  Surely no equipage could be in better trim for rapid travelling.

" * But, alas ! as the poet sings, Sunt bona mixta malts; every rose has its thorns. Just as I was passing the edge of a wood, eighteen robbers sprung out upon us and began by breaking all the wheels of my carriage. Can you believe the fact, when I tell you, upon the faith of Doctor Evariste de Gypendole, I have seen it, yes, seen with my own eyes,  my carriage ran as fast as ever 1  "Oh ! Ah! " cried I, like the sworn appraiser of the Hotel Bouillon at Paris, " miracle one ! "

" 'They unhitched my horses and killed my postilions. The speed of my carriage was not diminished. » Oh ! Ah! miracle two !"

" ' The rascals had dug deep trenches across the road. No matter, on went the carriage, as fast as ever. ** Oh ! Ah ! miracle three !"

" ' They had blocked up the road with immense fragments of rock. On went the carriage, as fast as ever. " Oh ! Ah ! 't is like the circus feats, from wonderful to more wonderful.  Miracle four! "

"'They piled over me enormous bales, and my carriage, light as a tilbury before, was heavy as a Neapolitan wagon for fifteen horses. Still on it goes as fast as ever. " Incredible! impossible ! " said I. "God or the devil must be at work here! There 's nothing but miracles, that's certain."

'' What do you think, Master ? did I reason correctly 1' ' Very correctly, Doctor. The facts once established, I should say with you, God or the devil must have had a hand in it.' He accompanied this answer with a patronizing smile, such as the ministerial bureaucrats sometimes deign to bestow on the old nobility.

"I seized this happy moment to anoint his right temple with the remaining half of the emollient pill No. 5.

"' Excellent Sir,' said I, in imitation of the Eastern sages, ' I have spoken in parables. In vulgar language, my superb carriage, new, light, and in perfect order, is Christianity itself, formed by the hand of God ; my fiery steeds are its miracles ; my postilions, its Apostles; my fine road is the happy disposition of hearts and minds humble and docile to the voice of God. The carriage advancing with such rapidity is Christianity, which, notwithstanding the incomprehensibility of its dogma, and the severity of its morality notwithstanding the objections of philosophers, and the scaffolds' the burning piles, the racks of persecution, notwithstanding the horrible repugnance of human nature, and every possible obstacle spread in a moment  from  east to  west.    And the human race cried out, with a voice like an eagle-scream, " Miracle ! miracle ! " For we are weak enough to believe, Master,  mankind and I,  that God was at work, and seriously, too, in this matter. Never, no never, could Peter, Paul, and company have converted, otherwise even one old woman.    And they did convert the world !    I can't endure myself for being subject to such a weakness; for it deprives me of the great honor of being counted amongst the philosophers, and stuffs me with Christian faith enough for two like  me.    To complete my misfortune, you have increased the evil instead of curing it.    It 's too bad of you ;  if you go on at this rate, you'll give me faith enough for four.....Yes, Master, to my sorrow I must say it, you are in a fair way of building up between philosophy and me a wall as high as the great wall of China.' 'You wrong me, Doctor; I have told you, and tell you again, in the establishment of Christianity there is no more miracle than  in  the
palm of my hand'   'That's just what drives  me  to  despair.' Why, if there's no miracle, who can force you to believe?' ' You
Master.'   "I ? '   ' Yes, you ; you pretend to deny all miracles, and
at the same time you multiply them beyond all bounds. Instead ot clearing up, charitably, my little difficulty, you have made it a thousand times more inexplicable, and the faith of the universe a thousand times more miraculous.'    " How so ? '

" ' You remember my adventure in Italy, my calash, horses, postilions, and the rest ?' " Certainly.'  By denying miracles, don't you see what you are doing?'     An act perfectly philosophical.'
Pardon me, not quite.' "Why not ? ' ' Will you allow me to tell you? « By all means, Doctor.' 'Well, then, it's painful for me to say so, but I must declare you are worse than Mrs. Jones, and all the old women of Christendom.' ' That's strange enough.' ' Alas ' but it is so;> your act is superlatively Catholic'  You're an odd man, Doctor. But you are more so, and cruel to boot. By denying miracles, you smash every wheel of the Christian chariot; yet it runs oyer the world, nobody knows the fact better than you, and runs with the rapidity of lightning. And I must cry out, even louder than in the plains of Lombardy and Parma, " Oh ! ah ! miracle ' miracle ! And you, .Master, are the very man who draws from me this anti-philosophic cry. It is you, who, by the creation of this un-neard-oi miracle, this chariot running without wheels, increase my admiration, and destroy in my heart the sprouting germ of dear infidelity, and make me a Christian strong as four put together. Is this what I am to expect from you, Master,-I who am so willing to become the candid and simple child of philosophy ?'

" The illustrious lawyer opened his eyes, ears, and mouth full stretch, and looked for all the world like a rascally debtor who pretends not to understand a man who duns him in plain terms, and holds up his note of hand to his very nose.

"I went on with my elegy: 'You have carried even further your perfidious stratagem. After the example of your predecessors, Celsus, Porphyry, Voltaire, Rousseau, and Volney, you have changed the Apostles into myths, allegories, imaginary beings, signs of the zodiac; or, at the most, they were, according to you, but beggars, barefooted vagrants, fanatics, and jugglers, detestable in the sight of Heaven, that curses imposture, and of earth, that holds it in abhorrence. What have you done ? You have unhitched the horses, you have killed the postilions ; you have created a wonder tall as the pyramids of Egypt, - a chariot that runs not only without wheels, but without horse or postilion. I am forced to cry out, louder and louder, " Oh 1 ah ! miracle ! miracle ! " My astonishment swells more and more, and you give me Christian faith for ten. Thus, after having extended to my very lips the delicious cup of infidelity, suddenly you draw it back again, and leave me to suffer the torments of Tantalus.'

" At this stage of the exhibition, a feeling of surprise began to spread through the audience, and 1 heard a low whispering circulate amongst them. My illustrious patient enjoyed the privilege of the prisoner at the bar in a court of justice,  that of being the object of universal curiosity, and the centre of attraction for all eyes.

" I went on in a plaintive tone: 'As if the sore blows you have dealt already were not enough to crush within me the precious germ of impiety, you still pound at it with a fury that the Grand Inquisitor Torquemada might take for a model. In the dogma of Christianity I perceived only mysteries that humbled reason, and you have pointed out to me absurdities that annihilate it. Already I was at a loss to account, without some miracle, for the faith of the universe in mysteries so incomprehensible: how much more necessary will that miracle be to explain its faith in perfect absurdities! If a man of sense, to believe common mysteries, so as to let his throat be cut in their defence, must have, say, one hundred miracles of twenty carats each, we may calculate, that, to believe palpable absurdities, to have them stuck fast, nailed and clinched, in his head and heart, he must have at least one million of miracles thirty carats each; and I doubt whether that would be enough, if the man happens to be the whole human race. Now the dogma of Christianity, you say, is a total absurdity,  absurdity first quality, fast colors, the tomahawk of genius, and extinguisher of the light of reason.' * I say so still/ muttered the lawyer. "Pon honor, this is too bad ; you '11 not stop as long as a single stone of my philosophical edifice is left standing. You have already broken the wheels of the chariot,
unhitched the horses, killed the postilions, and now you begin to
dig trenches in the road, and yet on goes the chariot faster than ever. I must cry, I must shout, louder than in Italy, "Oh ! Ah ! miracle! miracle!' And it is you, Master, who fill my throat with this cry, the death-knell of my youthful incredulity; you who invent the incomparable miracle of a chariot that runs, that flies, without wheels, horses, or driver, over a road cut up by pits and ditches. In spite of myself, my faith grows to the strength of a giant, my admiration overflows, and you make me as Catholic as the Pope of Rome himself. Fuquoque, Brute! cried Caesar, when he saw Brutus amongst his assassins. And you too, Master, you side with the apologists of Christianity ! fiercer than all the rest, you pierce to the tort your wretched disciple !     Tu quoque, Brute''

"These last words I pronounced with so much emotion, and in a manner so perfectly dramatic, that the Professor of Geometry of the Royal College was moved to tears.

" Seeing my patient more calm, I continued in the same sad and reproachful tone : ' Yes, Master, with a  vigor of logic that would do honor to a better cause, you drive my poor philosophy to its last intrenchment; and I see  clearly, you will grant neither truce nor quarter, until you exterminate it in my heart.    The moral code of Christianity, to believe you, is tyranny, is an iron yoke, an impossibility, and its worship a bundle of superstitions.    Nothing more was wanting to constitute the most astonishing of miracles     You have broken the wheels of the chariot, untackled the horses', killed the drivers, and cut up the roads; but this was not enough  you now pile up mountains of rock in the way, and heap on the vehicle enormous loads,- enough to make it eighteen hundred times heavier than the   constitutional car of state.     And   in   spite  of a 1 these obstacles, in spite of all these reasons for not aoing the chariot goes still, and runs, and flies.    And I am left to roar till  I'm hoarse, ten thousand times louder than in Italy, "Oh!  ah! miracle without measure! miracle! miracle without end! I no longer believe; I see "   And instead of making a philosopher of me, you make me a Christian ready to have my throat cut for it.    Is it thus that you instruct youth ? Is it thus that you repay my confidence, and clear up my little difficulty ?  Sorrowful, disheartened, pushed back for ever from the smiling regions of blessed philosophy, what other honest way have I now left to explain the faith of the universe which you have made a thousand times more inexplicable, and a thousand times more miraculous, than all Catholicity put together could have done ? What means have I left but to say : « It is prodigiously incredible; therfore  either prodigiously diabolical or prodigiously divine!

Alas, vain hope! Were I to say, for the sake of dodging the obligation of becoming, body and soul, Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman, that the devil worked prodigiously to establish Christianity, men would laugh in my face. For none but a fool would cut a stick for his own back, or buy a halter to stretch his own neck. Now we must give the devil his due : he may have a cloven foot and horns like a he-goat; but he is no fool. Nolens, volcns, I must conclude, the establishment of Christianity is a fact prodigiously incredible, prodigiously impossible. Hence it is clear as two and two make four, that God had prodigiously to do with it; therefore the faith of the universe is prodigiously divine. Incredibile, ergo divinum. Incredibilissimum, ergo divinissimum.

" ' Nor, unfortunately, is this all; you force me to drink the cup to the very dregs. For I am obliged, whether or no, under pain ot a mortal sin,  a sin of which Doctor Evariste will never be capable nor guilty, the sin of folly, bad logic, I am obliged to swallow every drop, and to confess that the doctrines of Catholicity, in dogma, in morality, and in worship, are nothing but pure truth; that the whole concern done up in the envelope of this great miracle must pass through without further question, like a letter through the mail.    God can never perform miracles to accredit error.

"' Good heavens, what a blunder ! Instead of turning out philosopher like yourself, I am driven to be as Catholic as the Pope! What a sad plight you've brought me to, Master 1 For you have yourself put into my mouth this terrible, this fatal Incredi-bilissimum, ergo divinissimum; prodigiously incredible, therefore prodigiously divine. This is the last groan of my expiring infidelity ; and, I must say it, you have drawn it forth from my despairing heart.'                                                                                   

" Having pronounced these words, Gentlemen and Ladies, I sunk back in my chair. The laborious administration of my pill No. 5 was at an end. We were all watching the effect in silence. It was feared by some, hoped for by others, guessed at by all; and soon it began to be visible.

" Powerfully worked upon by this mighty antidote, and exhausted by his efforts to expectorate the viperian phlegm, the patient sunk back in his chair, rolled his eyes three times, and began to doze, much like the readers of the young historian of the French Revolution, or the admirers of Lord Guizot.

" This symptom, Gentlemen and Ladies, is very encouraging; it announces the neutralization of the venom, and the commencement of the cure. To hasten this happy effect,  for, I repeat it, my precious salve claims the honor of healing instantaneously, radically, and without pain, all bites whatsoever of the black serpent,  I profited by this lucky nap to apply simultaneously to the occiput and left temple of the illustrious patient my two remaining pills, Nos. 6 and 7. Immediately I drew them forth from this very identical box which you see. But how do you think I did it ? Lengthwise or broadwise ? Not at all. With a rough and ruthless hand, as the tax-gatherer snatches the last shilling from the purse of the free citizen ? By no means. Such imprudence might have awaked the patient; and it is an axiom of the Roman Hippocrates, the judicious Galen that Qui bene dormit nonpeccat; or, Cat that naps doesn't scratch. But, with all the delicacy that is hereditary in an old duchess of Quality Row, when she extracts a pinch of Maccoboy from her gold snuff-box, I drew forth my two pills, and, warming them in the hollow of my hand, applied them with this medico-cabalistic formula: : By the virtue of my salve, may the encephalic bite ot the black serpent make thee the brother of Balaam; for curses mayest thou give blessings, and instead of destroying, mayest thou build!"

"Scarcely was the operation over, when the patient awoke sneezed twice, rubbed both eyes, and stammered out: 'I believe I see;  no,  yes, ah ! I understand. Doctor, Doctor, now I see it,' said he to me, smiling pleasantly; 'you have been carrying on Indian warfare; your devilish salve is a real trap. I was fully confident, that, with my objections, I could envelope you in the meshes of incredulity, or, at least, that I could amuse the public by giving you and all believers a regular dressing. And I must confess I felt no little pride in performing for the Catholics the honorable functions of a Russian corporal who administers the knout to refractory soldiers.' Then, burying his face in his hands, he was silent a moment; then broke out again like a stock-jobber who has burnt his fingers in a speculation : ' Where the devil were my wits ' Why couldn't I see what is now plain as day, that I was cutting a stick for my own back, and for the whole tribe of philosopher's? Why, the thing is evident; the more striking the objections aaainst Christianity are made, the more inexplicable the faith of the universe will appear; the more clearly we demonstrate that it is a superhuman task to plant it in the human heart and mind the more solidly we establish the necessity, splendor, power, and number of those miracles which have produced such convictions.'

" The patient scratched behind his ear again, just what I expected, Gentlemen and Ladies, and, with a tone somewhere between the serious and comic, continued: ' The most singular of the whole affair, Doctor, is, that, in reasoning as I have done, I find myself as every other philosopher must in the end, stuck fast between the two sharp horns of this dilemma; you wish to explain the faith of the universe ; do you admit a miracle or not ? Choose whichever side you please. If I say, " Miracle," I 'm gone; for, unless I am prepared to commit the ugliest of all mortal sins, the sin which Hippocrates has so sagaciously named the aneurism of fools and the dropsy of poltroons, I must come out, whether or no, as Catholic as the Pope. If I say, " No miracle," I 'm gone again worse than ever; ior straight the stubborn miracles rise up in myriads tall as giants; they beset my passage, throttle me, and either strangle reason, or make me cry out twenty times louder than all Christendom together, " Miracle ! miracle ! "

" ' Yes, Doctor, your salve is a lure, a real trap. Any old woman that has it in her possession can face fearlessly an army of infidels, and is an apologist as formidable as Tertullian himself. She has only to stick to her spinning-wheel and say amen to all their objections; and in a short time she will see the beasts tearing their sides and gnawing their own tails off. Every new objection°raises still higher the pedestal of her faith.

" ' Doctor, you 've played me a pretty trick. By Jove, if ever again,  but no matter; 1 can forgive you, and 1 know how to look for revenge.'

" Then, pressing my hand affectionately, he whispered in my ear, ' To-morrow I '11 set the same snare at the door of my office, and the philosophical badgers of the neighbourhood had better look out. The bitten ones that I know of shall get their foot in it. This evening I had to pay the scot; to-morrow will be their turn.

" Doctor," he continued, raising his voice to the pitch of a militia officer, ' one hundred boxes of pills, and your bill.'

" ' My bill?' said I, ' my bill, Gentlemen and Ladies, only look at the children of the nineteenth century ! They imagine that all the devotedness of the age is reducible to bank-notes. It is a libel upon our times. I appeal to the spotless incorruptibility of our office-holders, public and private; to the sterling good faith of our merchants, high and low; to the proverbial charity of our manufacturers armed with patents and premium medals; to the conscientious modesty of our authors; to the records of our courts ;  it is a libel on our times. Restat adhuc mortalibus usquam intcmerata fides. And were this appeal, by an impossibility, as false as it is true, still my whole life demands an honorable exception in my favor: Etiam si omnes, ego non. 1 have had already the honor of telling you Gentlemen and Ladies, and I now prove it to you: the Doctor Ev-ariste de Gypendole labors gratuitously for the relief of suffering humanity. ' There is no bill from me," Sir: my reward, as the poet says, is in my own heart: manet alta mente repostum.'

" I delivered immediately one hundred boxes of my salve to the illustrious lawyer. And for how much do you think, Gentlemen and Ladies? Learn to admire my disinterestedness! For how much 1 For two cents a box! Yes, Gentlemen and Ladies, two cents a box ! The exact price of the Badajos powders ; one half the price of the Venetian theriac; and the precise value, plus seven mills, of all the homoeopathico-allopathico-eclectico-humanitico-pro-tocolic dregs of all the Esculapiuses that are driving so furiously at the moral cure of the human race."

In the following chapter, the excellent Doctor Evariste proceeds to describe the treatment and cure of a patient who had been bitten in the heart. We should be glad to follow him, but our limits do not permit us ; and besides, the chapter, to a very considerable extent, is absolutely untranslatable. What we have given will enable our readers to form a tolerable notion
of the wit, humor, and withal, sound logic of the book. We defy all the infidels past, present, and to come, of all trades, shades, and sizes, by whatever name called, or in whatever appearing, to reply to the argument the Doctor urges with such incomparable wit and humor. It is conclusive, and Mrs. Jones gossip has nothing to do, but stick to her distaff, and say amen to all the objections to her Catholic faith all the infidels in the world can bring. The more objectionable you make Christianity, the more repugnant you make it to human nature, the more inexplicable becomes the fact that for eighteen hundred years the most enlightened portion of the world have believed it, and continue to believe it. Here is the fact, which must be explained some way, and which can in no way be explained without a miracle.                                           

We commend the extracts we have made to the serious attention of our transcendentalists, who appear to be bitten both in heart and head.  We beg them to apply faithfully the salve, according to Dr. Evariste's directions;  and if so, our word for it, they will be cured, radically, and without pain.