12. Godfrey
Hampshire Gazette, 19 September 1787

To the Gentlemen of the POLITICAL FACULTY in this Commonwealth.

The times are hard, money is scarce, and the Commonwealth seems to be perplexed and embarrassed, is the general cry at this day.—If this is in fact the case, it is the duty of every skillful citizens of the community, carefully to enquire into the cause of this calamity: and prescribe some method for a remedy.—That this political body is distempered is sure: but what part is most infected is difficult to determine; as our political physician as are various in their opinions, scarce two of them perfectly agree in any one point: yet nearly all allow there is great obstructions in divers parts of the body; which is allowed generally [proc?]eed from a previous relaxation. And from whence proceeds this relaxation? It is for want of sufficient exercise? or is it occasioned by great discharges of the effluviums?—or by disordered imagination? or by too deliberate a habit? or by a destructive regimen. Sure there must be some natural cause; and I could wish our able phisicians would carefully and speedily enquire into the rise and nature of this troublesome disease and prescribe some method that shall be for the health of our political fabric. The constitution of the patient, in my opinion, is not so impaired as to be desperate; yet it requires some speedy help, which if I may be allowed to judge, may better be effected by a proper and well regulated regimen, than by the use of medicine, as the state of the body is in a most critical situation by complicated disorders—For should laxatives be applied it may throw it into a consumption.—And should astringents be used, there is danger of convulsions: either of which will most certainly terminate in the utter ruin of our democratical fabric. The unequal vibration of the pulse betoken a fever tending to a delirium: and should this be the case we have great reason to dread the consequence: for, should a settled fever seize this weak relaxed fabric, we have little reason to hope for a favourable crisis. However as long as there is life there is hope; and there is life and we may reasonably hope there is yet strength of nature sufficient to throw off the disorder, if she be properly, and timely assisted. Were the nature of the disease perfectly known, the cure might doubtless be effected: but so long as the physicians are so various in their opinions, we have little reason to look for a perfect cure. If the disorder be constitutional it must be difficult to effect a remedy: but if it is occasioned by too delicate a habit, and improper regimen, I think it might with little difficulty be eradicated. I am most of opinion the latter is the main difficulty; for by what I can gather from the symptoms and the progress of the disorder, it first proceeded from obstructions of the fluids, occasioned by too delicate a habit, whereby one part of the body was disordered by a surplusage of juices, while the other suffered for want of a sufficiency, by which means the equilibrium was destroyed, and the whole body thrown into convulsions: in this case it might be necessary to apply a little drastics: but as there is no appearance of convulsions at present, I could recommend gentle emoluments and a different regimen. Let the patient take nothing that tends greatly to relax or astringe: but let the food be solid, wholesome and used with temperance; let the exercise be frequent but not too hard; and in a special manner, let all the faculties of the body bare their equal proportion. Were these directions strictly attended to, I am much of opinion it would in a great measure restore the health of our languishing democracy: but so long as one part of the body is relaxed, the other astringed, one part performs an office that naturally belongs to another, the whole fabrick must certainly mourn: and nothing can effect a cure of this malady, but a free and uninterrupted circulation through the whole mass, by this means the parts assist, strengthen and invigorate each other, and thereby render the body capable of discharging those corrosive humours, that destract the democratical machine. But as I am not a professor of political physic, I would not wish to be thought to dictate, and ask pardon for detaining you with my imperfect opinion: yet I could wish to impress it upon the minds of the gentlemen of the political faculty, seriously to enquire into the nature of this dangerous malady and put forth your most potent exertions to restore the health of our democratical constitution. Use such means as ye think will be efficacious, and for the general benefit, however painful it may be to some capital members of the body. And now gentlemen for mercy sake, and for the sake of every member of this body think, and think seriously upon the matter; let not sinister and selfish motives warp you, from your honest judgment; and I make no doubt there is skill sufficient in your medicinal society, to give strength and vigour to those now withering limbs; to inspire the head and warm the heart; to set to rights those dislocated joints which were misplaced by the convulsions: and finally to diffuse universal health and vigour through the whole democratical machine.