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G ART H.
AMUEL GARTH was of a good face
mily in Yorkshire, and from some school in his own country became a student at Pe. ter-house in Cambridge, where he resided till he became doctor of physick on July the 7th, 1691. He was examined before the Col. lege at London on March the 12th, 1691-2, and admitted fellow June 26th, 1693. He was foon so much distinguished by his conversation and accomplishments, as to ob, tain very extensive practice; ană, if a pamphlet of those times may be credited, 'had the favour and confidence of one party, as Radcliffe had of the other,
He is always mentioned as a man of benevolence; and it is just to suppose that his desire of helping the helpless disposed him
to so much zeal for the Dispensary; an un, dertaking, of which some account, however short, is proper to be given,
Whether what Temple says be true, that physicians have had more learning than the other faculties, I will not stay to enquire ; but, I believe, every man has found in physicians great liberality and dignity of sentis ment, very prompt effusion of beneficence, and willingness to exert a lucrative art where there is no hope of lucre. Agreeably to this character, the College of Physicians, in July 1687, published an edict, requiring all the fellows, candidates, and licentiates, to give gratuitous advice to the neighbours ing.poor.
This edict was sent to the Court of Aldermen; and a question being made to whom the appellation of the poor should be extended, the College answered, that it should be sufficient to bring a testimonial from the clergyman officiating in the parish where the patient resided.
After a year's experience, the physicians found their charity frustrated by some maliga nant opposition, and made to a great degree vain by the high price of physick; liey therefore voted, in August 1688, that the laboratory of the College should be accom: inodated to the preparation of medicines, and another room prepared for their reception ; and that the contributors to the expence [hould manage the charity.
It was now expected that the apothecaries would have undertaken the care of providing medicines; but they took another course. Thinking the whole design pernicious to their interest, they endeavoured to raise a faction against it in the college, and found some physicians, mean enough to solicit their patronage, by betraying to them the counsels of the College. The greater part, however, enforced by a new edict, in 1694, the forịner order of 1687, and sent it to the mayor and aldermen, who appointed a committee to
treat with the College, and settle the mode s of administering the charity.hu 2 00:1deas
It was desired by the aldermen, that the teftimonials of churchwardens and overseers Khould be admitted; and that all hired ferpants, and all apprentices to handicraftsmen, Mould be considered as poor. This likewise was granted by the College.
It was then considered who shouid difirie bute the medicines, and who thould fetele their prices. The physicians procured fonie apothecaries to undertake the dispensation, and offered that the Warden and Company of the Apothecaries should adjust the price. This offer was rejected ; and the apothecaries who had engaged to affist the charity were considered as traytors to the company, threatened with the imposition of troublesome of-fices, and detered from the performance of their engagements. The apothecaries ven
tured upon public opposition, and presented ** kind of remonstrance against the design to
the committee of the city, which the physicians condescended to confute: and at least the traders seem to have prevailed among the sons of trade; for the proposal of the College having been considered, a paper of
T H. approbation was drawn up; but postponed and forgotten.
Ji The phụficians still perfifted; and in 1696 a subscription was raised by themselves, ale cording to an agreement prefixed to the Dil pensary. The poor were for a time supplied with medicines; for how long a time, "I know not. The medicinal charity, like others, began with ardour, but foon remitted, and at last died gradually away.
About the time of the subscription begins the action of the Dispensary. The Poem, as its subject was present and popular, cooperated with passions and prejudices then prevalent, and, with such auxiliaries to its intrinsick merit, was universally and liberally applauded. It was on the side of charity against the intrigues of interest, and of regular learning against licentious usurpation of medical authority, and was therefore natus rally favoured by those who read and can judge of poetry.
In 1697, Garth spoke that which is now called the Harveian Oration ; which the au.