The dispensary: a poem. In six canto's. The third edition corrected by the author.

London: printed and sold by John Nutt, 1699. 8vo, pp. [22], 90; contemporary full calf, unadorned spine; minor wear, some page edges worn; good and sound, or better. Garth (1661-1719) was both a physician and a poet, and a fellow of the College of Physicians. On the last page of the Harveian oration at the College of Physicians, Garth "alludes to a scheme, which had been discussed in the college from 1687, for establishing a dispensary where poor people could obtain advice and prescriptions from the best physicians. While a large majority of the fellows of the college supported this scheme, a minority allied themselves with the apothecaries of the city, who tried to defeat the plan, chiefly by charging exorbitant prices for the drugs prescribed. In 1699 Garth published ëThe Dispensary, a Poem,í which is a record of the first attempt to establish those out-patient rooms now universal in the large towns of England. ëThe Dispensaryí ridicules the apothecaries and their allies among the fellows. It was circulated in manuscript, and in a few weeks was printed and sold by John Nutt, near Stationers' Hall. A second and a third edition appeared in the same year, to which were added a dedication to Anthony Henley, an introduction explaining the controversy in the College of Physicians, and copies of commendatory verses. A fourth edition appeared in 1700, a sixth in 1706, a seventh in 1714, and a tenth in 1741. The poem continued to be generally read for fifty years, and some of its phrases are still quoted. It describes a mock Homeric battle between the physicians and the apothecaries, Harvey being finally summoned from the Elysian fields to prescribe a reform" (DNB). Wing G275. Item #23736

Price: $500.00

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