Richard Cobbold.

Geoffery Gambado : or, A simple remedy for hypochondriacism and melancholy splenetic humours online

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Online LibraryRichard CobboldGeoffery Gambado : or, A simple remedy for hypochondriacism and melancholy splenetic humours → online text (page 1 of 6)
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iGE, MASS. 02138



3 9090 013 413

Webster Family Library of Veterinary Medici

Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine a1

Tufts University

200 Westboro Road

North Grafton, MA 01 536 ^^


§tdUx^ (iamhh;







Iloni soit qui mal y pense.


/V 'V /V ti' /v 'V ♦

^ OME years ago, sixteen original sketches by Henry
^1 Bunbury, Esq. were given to the Author of this
Book. This celebrated sketcher and caricaturist
was a gentleman well known in the county of Suffolk for
his public and private virtues, as well as for his superior
talents. He was a lineal descendant of the Rev. Sir
William Bunbury, whose baronetcy was created in 1681.
Of a cheerful and lively temper, he sought to infuse
the same spirit through all ranks of society. If we
mistake not, his son became Sir Henry Bunbury, and
represented the county of Suffolk, as his uncle, Sir
Thomas Charles Bunbury, had done before him.

His descendants still occupy the mansion and estates in


Suffolk, where they have been, and are still, the great
benefactors to the poor, and the parish of Great Barton
near Bury St. Edmund's.

But we have to speak more particularly of Henry
Bunbury, Esq. and his talents. To this day, his accurate
delineations of the political and social customs of the age
he lived in, and of the characters w^ho came under his
observation, are remarkable for their truthful force. It is
very seldom that men of high life and good education,
possess the artistic pow^r of graphic delineation : at
least, w^e have but few amateur delineators who can
stand the test of the invidious sneers and jeers of those
empty possessors of wealth and station, w^ho consider
themselves degraded even by the acquaintance of an
artist, a poet, or a literary character. Now, if a man is
not a degraded man, but lives himself after the law^ of God,
he need never mind the scoffs or ridicule of any man;
but may say, as Henry Bunbury did to those who ridi-
culed him, — ''Evil be to him who evil thinks."

In the Sketches contained in this w^ork, the difficulty


was to make out what kind of story they told ; for though
some persons might see in them nothing more than
ridicule upon the Annals of Complete Horsemanship, yet
those who knew the man, and knew the disposition he
always entertained, namely, a desire to do evil to no man,
but o:ood to all, thou2:ht that his intention was to cure
some over-sensitive minds of morbid and melancholy
feelings, which ought not, unreasonably and unseason-
ably, to overwhelm them, and destroy their energies.

It was not that he ridiculed real affliction, or ever, in
any one of his drawings, sought to give a pang to the real
mourner ; but he really loved a cheerful disposition ; and
could not bear that man should be afflicting himself with
imaginary diseases, when a Uttle self-exertion, or diver-
sion, would restore his right tone of bodily health, and
be the means of doing him good.

We have adopted these views of our celebrated talented
Suffolk gentleman, and have endeavoured to turn his
pictures to this profitable account. They represent
horses, and costume of fashion or fiction, long since


exploded ; but they represented real persons, whom he
knew, and many were reckoned inimitable likenesses.
Caricature is itself a species of broad, or excessive
resemblance of fact ; let it be represented by Shakspeare's
FalstafF,— Hogarth's Marriage a la Mode, — Dickens' Pick-
wick Papers,— Macaulay's Stories of Historical Persons,
(introduced into his popular History of England), — or of
Punch, — or of that greatest of all powerful pencil de-
lineators of character, George Cruikshank. We leave
out the popular novelists, or poets, who have written
funny as well as serious things ; — all, more or less, have
taken advantage of caricature skill, to prove their ac-
quaintance with the ridiculous.

Cowper is generally looked upon as a serious poet, yet
he wrote " Johnny Gilpin." But we will make no more
excuses for our present work. We will only add that it
was originally conceived for a charitable purpose, and is
now made use of as such.

The Author of the Illustrations has long since departed
this mortal life ; and the Author of the Narrative, not


seeking the reputation of his own name, does not give it
to the world; but, apologizing for his interpretation of
the sketches, desires only to do good. If any should be
entertained, and will kindly send any mark of their
favour to the Publisher, for the Author, the word of a
Gentleman is given, that, whatever it may be, it shall
be strictly devoted to public good.


E ADER ! did you ever see an angel on horseback ?'
\ " No !" No more did I, that I know of! We read
of one in (11. Maccabeus, c. 3^ ; but then he was clad in
armour of gold, and rode a most powerful animal, who
smote with his forelegs the avaricious Heliodorus. But
here we see a very different representation, both as to
horse and rider, and engaged in trumpeting forth the
praises of the celebrated

Doctor Gambado.
" Gambado ! Sempre viva ! Encora ! Ericora !" In fact, it
is termed "The Apotheosis of Geoffery Gambado, Esq.
M.D. F.R.S.'^

Now this angel might be a daughter of Doctor Gam-
bado's, or she might be his scullery-maid. She is repre-
sented on a horse, which, instead of being a winged
Pegasus, stands well upon his pegs, and seems to have


lent his wings to the damsel herself, to bear both himself
and her ''in nubibus." She holds a medallion of the
Doctor, a striking portrait, in her right hand ; and in her
left, the celebrated brazen trumpet of Fame ; and, no
doubt, whether his angelic daughter or his faithful do-
mestic, she was one who knew so well the admirable
worth of the good physician, that she simply means to
say, — " May the cheerful spirit of such good men as
Doctor Gambado live for ever, and drive out of all
splenetic patients, the tormenting stings of the Blue

If he can do this, his canonization will indeed be
immortal, though it be trumpeted forth by so humble an
instrument as the angel we here see represented on a
wooden horse.

Reader, the humblest instrument in the world may, in
the hand of wisdom, be used as an angel for your own
good. The poor fellow who lifts you up from the ground,
should you happen to fall, may be the helping hand pro-
vided you. The messenger who finds you in sufi^ering,
and sends the doctor to your relief, may be the unknown
angel for your deliverance.

A poor boy, or a poor girl, who snatches you, in your
infant days, from the peril of a pond, may be used as
an angel for your w^elfare.


Do not always expect to see angels in golden armour
for your deliverance; though the generous and charit-
ably-good Samaritan, the friend in need, may be the
friend indeed at the hour you most require him,— only
be humble, only be thankful, and even this poor picture
may be a message of comfort to your spirit ; for

" Reproof is better than a great man's gold ;
And he is good who loves a thing well told :
Then ^ evil be to him who thinks the same/
And would destroy Gambado's honest fame/'

1 ^ ^.

/gu^^rvA^^ ^/' /-^^_j:


Gambado himself seeing the world in a six miles'' tour.

T is time we should speak something of this celebrated
(^ person, and account for his present position and
appearance. He is very unlike any modern physician.
A hundred years ago, however, we have no doubt that
such was a fac-simile of this noble specimen of an
equestrian medical proficient. It is a hundred years ago
since the original sketch of him was made, which we
have endeavoured to copy. We have to account for find-
ing him in such a position. First, Who was he ? What
was he .^ Where did he live ? What did he do } And
how came he into notice at all ?

Most men are born somewhere ! and except they
become noted for something they have done, it is very
seldom that any inquiry is made about them at all.
Neither the place of their birth, nor the locale of their


fame, or name, or habitation, of their death, or marriage,
is made of any moment whatsoever.

Alas ! those who are most ambitious of fame, seldom
get it whilst they live ; and very few, ever, as literary
men, are exalted to a title, like Lord Macaulay ; whilst
those often feel they are praised for what they own they
do not deserve, are more humbled by their reputation,
than they are exalted.

It was said to Gambado, in the day of his greatest
reputation, '' We will certainly have you in Westminster

'' Thank you, my dear fellow," was his reply; " I would
rather eat a mutton chop with you at the Mermaid
Tavern, in the street I was born in, than lie along with
John Milton, Twho was born in the next street to mine),
or with any of those worthies, Shakspeare, Raleigh, or
Ben Jonson ; who can no longer eat a mutton chop with
us at their old Tavern :

"'I seek no fame, T want no name,
My bread in Bread-street is :
Gambado has sufficient fame ;
This is sufficient bliss '/ "

He was born in Bread-street, in Cheapside : and in the
first year of the reign of George the Third, a.d. 1760,
he was in full practice and celebrity, and could not be


less than forty years of age. As to whom he married,
and what became of his wife and one lovely daughter, we
know not. They appear conspicuously only in the last
pages of this narrative, and were evidently in the en-
joyment of all their great master s reputation, as well
as in the keeping up with him in partaking of his own
favourite panacea for all complaints, viz. — the riding on

But how came he to take up this exercise ? to stick to
it.^ and to recommend it as he did upon every occasion?
Simply, as he told every one, because he found in it a sure
and certain remedy for that dreadful nervous disease,
commonly known by the name of the " Blue Devils."

Few things gave greater offence in that day to the
Facultv, than Dr. Gambado's system of practice. He
prescribed very little, if any, medicine : he certainly gave
none to those whom he considered did not require it.
He knew the power of a strong mind over a weak body,
and what too great fatigue of either would produce. He
knew well, moreover, the danger of entertaining too much
imagination upon any complaint. He was acknowledged
by all to be well versed in the physical construction of
the human frame ; and especially of that most compli-
cated portion, the nervous system, to which he had
paid such scientific attention that his Vocahulary of Nervous


Constitutions was his great work, that won for him much
scientific fame^ and got him the honour of being elected
F. R. S. before he attained such practical success as made
his fortune. He did make a great fortutie ; and he was
honest enough to confess that he owed the enjoyment of
it, if not the possession of it, entirely to a Horse-dealer.

He was, himself, at one period of his life, so completely
prostrated in his own nervous system, that, from the crown
of his head to the sole of his feet, he was completely
unstrung. He was constantly in the habit of going to
church with his wife and daughter, at St. Stephen's,
Walbrook, one of Sir Christopher Wren's most beautiful
specimens of architecture ; but in his depression he
shunned the company of those he loved best on earth, and
almost forsook his God and his duty, imagining himself
totally forsaken of Him and every friend. He had no
pleasure in any thing. His very profession was a burthen
to him, and night and day he did nothing but mope.
What would have become of him, his wife and daughter,
his practice, his home, and his society, had he not, as he
used to say, met with an angel, in the shape of a horse-
dealer ?

He was strolling, one evening, in a very melancholy
mood, down Friday-street, not far from his own home, as
he passed by the livery stables of John Tattsalh as the


name was then spelt John knew the doctor, and capped
him with "A beautiful evening, sir."

The Doctor stopped, and looking very woefully in his
face, said, "Yes, John, very beautiful to those w^ho are

" Yes sir, and to those w^ho are sick, too ; and I wish
they could enjoy it/'

" John, I am very ill myself, and have been so for some
time. I shall not write many more prescriptions !"

'• I hope you won't, sir ; I hope you won't."

" Why so, John ? why so ?"

'' Because you gentlemen prescribe so much advice,
and so seldom follow any good advice yourselves, that you
are sure to die sooner than any other men. You all know
too much about other people, and very little about

" You are a blunt fellow, John ; but I do not like you
the less for that. You once consulted me, did you not.?"

''Yes, sir, and you told me the truth ; and I liked you
all the better for it. You told me plainly there was
nothing the matter wdth me. ' Go home,' you said, * drink
a glass of cold water just before you get into bed ; and if
that do not do you more good than any medicine 1 can
give you, then come to me again, bring me another
guinea, and I will give you the same advice.' I did as


you advised, and it was the best cold water cure that ever
was effected : I have never been ill since. But, Doctor,
I have heard that you are out of sorts. One good turn
deserves another, and if you will follow my advice, only
for one week, you shall be a different man to what you
now are. You shall soon earn your hundreds ; and only
give me one guinea in the hundred, and you will make my
fortune and your own too."

"What is your advice.^ I will agree to the terms."

" Well, Doctor, let me tell you the truth. You have
done too much, — studied too much, - wrote too much, —
thought too much, — and have overdone everything, and
now find you can do nothing. You are fast sinking into
that lapsed condition in which you will soon become an
inmate of Bedlam, if you go on as you have done of late.
You grow enormously fat, and are getting like the pig in
my stye, and will soon be snoring, snoring, snoring, all
day long, a plague to yourself and every-one else. If you
do not follow my advice, you will be a dead man before
you ever eat another Christmas turkey."

*' What is it, John V

" Ride out six miles on horseback, every morning at six
o'clock, — and six miles back again, — and that for six days ;
and if, at the end of that time, your lethargic state is not
improved, then say, John Tattsall is a good-for-nothing
humbug, and deserves to be well horsewhipped."


"But, John, I never rode on horseback in my life:
never w^as in the habit of it. 1 do not think I ever could."

" Master, you must try, if you would not die.'^

Now^ the Doctor did not like the thought of dying,
though he had seen so much of it when it touched others.
A strange kind of nervous sensation ran through him, —
not through his veins, for he was one who wrote against
'' vasicular nerves," — but it ran through his system, as he
thought of John's words, " Master, you must try, if you would
not die.''

"Well John, — I will try, — but you must teach me!"
" Come, master, that's right ; nothing like trying to amend
our w^ays before its too late," as good Doctor Cassock
said. So a good beginning, well followed up, and, barring
accident, I see no reason. Doctor, why you should not
live for forty years longer. You know well, that a man
overworked, like any other animal, is soon worn out;
and a man who does no work, very soon dies. Just come
and look at a nice little Norway cob I have in my
stable ; quiet and gentle as a lamb. A very few turns
down my ride, will give you a seat in the saddle, and you
shall be again a happy man,"

The Doctor got into the saddle that very evening ; and
nobody saw him, but John ; and if the stable boys peeped
out and smiled, they got a little back-handed tip with


their master's whip, and were glad to hide their diminished
heads in the straw. He went home a Uttle more cheer-
ful ; played a game of backgammon w^ith his wife, and
kissed the cheek of his only child Kate, and seemed a
little better. To the surprise of his family, he ordered
hot water into his dressing-room, at half-past five in the
morning ; and, of course, it was thought he was going to
take a journey. He did so ; but when he went out, he
said, " I shall breakfast at half-past eight o'clock."

So the Doctor took a six miles' tour every morning, for
six days. He improved daily ; and though he rode very
awkwardly at first, holding on by the reins, and keeping
his brow bent and his eye intent upon the Norway Cob's
ears, his daily exercise did him a world of good ; and
before the week was out, he began to find himself a
different creature. At the end of the week, he gave John
Tattsall fifty guineas for the Cob ; and a friendship,
founded upon mutual accommodation, subsisted between
them, to the day of their deaths.

So was a horse-dealer made an angel or messenger of
health to the mournful spirit or unstrung nerves of
Doctor Geofl'ery Gambado. He had the honesty to own
it. The Doctor perfectly recovered his right mind and
bodily health ; and, like a wdse man, who well knows
that the same thing which does him good may do others


the same, he took more patients to John Tattsall's livery
stables than he ever sent to the sea side, to Madeira, to
Buxton, or to Margate, Ramsgate, or any other gate
whatsoever. John kept horses to suit all comers and all
customers, and found Doctor Gambado the most grateful
of all, because he always owned that, beneath a good
Providence, he did him great good.

The Doctor's fame rapidly increased with the increase
of his health. He soon became the very first Physician
in nervous complaints. He knew the cause of nervous
degeneracy, — no man better. He recommended Tattsall
to all such patients as he found likely to be benefitted by
him ;' and they were not a few. His letters, if they could
be collected, would be found as direct to the point as the
Wellington despatches.

" John, — I want just such a horse as cured me, to cure

an old fool like myself.

Yours, &c. — Gambado."

John, like a well-tutored chemist, understood the
peculiar character of the Doctor's prescriptions, which,
unlike a quack's, were generally written in a plain, legible
hand, without any ad co/ptandam humbug. John had
horses from twenty-five to five-hundred guineas each.

But as the Doctor's fame increased, so, it might be truly


said, the follies of " tiypochondriacism" began to be
exposed. People, and especially those of the Great Faculty,
were jealous of the Doctor's reputation. It is always
a sign of a little mind to be envious, or jealous of another
man's celebrity. Take it for granted, when you hear a
man speak slightingly of another, set that man down, who-
ever he is, for a conceited ass himself, or an ambitious, if
not an envious and wretched man. Better speak nothing,
than speak evil of another ; better correct an evil thought,
than have to repent of an evil act. Some called the
Doctor a mere visionary practitioner, or a mere veterinary
surgeon, or a quack, or anything else. But he kept on
his course. We have selected a few of the strange cases
that came before him a hundred years ago.

What changes in a hundred years \

What fashions, and what dress !
What troubles, woes, and bloody tears,

The world must now confess !

Avoid them all, — seek peace and love,—

Be humble and be wise ;
May this poor book some comfort prove

To friends, and enemies.


A Brother Patient, — How to make the least use of a Horse,

fT was not long before the Doctor received a visit from
an old friend ; one, who had, in younger days, been
a student in the same school, and entered into practice
about the same time. The servant introduced Doctor
Bull, — yes, Doctor John Bull, or, more properly styled,
John Bull, Esq. M.D.— but not F.R.S. No, Doctor Bull
had been more ambitious of practising, than of obtaining
an empty name. He w^as a steady, well-to-do little man,
and never lost a patient from any want of good manners
or attention. He had certainly given much thought to
the subject of HydrophoUa, and was considered no mean
authority in the treatment of cases pronounced very
malignant ; but he by no means confined his abilities to
that one branch of human misfortune.

He advised well with the Surgeons, and, generally,
approved their treatment ; but suggested frequently that


judicious change which the nature of the case required.
This he did in so gentlemanly and considerate a manner,
that he was sure to be consulted by the very next patient
of the same Surgeon.

In this way, he made many friends, lost very few, and
found himself in the most affluent circumstances from
very extensive practice. But, somehow, he overworked
himself, and got into a very irritable, and at the same
time desponding, tone. Prosperity^ tries men very often
more severely than adversity.

The Doctor, as long as he had his way to make in
the world, was more attentive to others, and thought less
about his own ails than he did about others. Now that
he had accumulated money, he began to think of in-
vestments, and how he should place to the best account his

He also thought a little more of style, equipage, choice
society, and innumerable things, to which his life had
been hitherto a stranger. He began to think and to care
more about himself, than he did about any body else.
He became of some consequence in his neighbourhood,
and expected every one to bow to him, and to treat him
as a monied man. In short, from a pure philanthropist, he
became almost a misanthrope.

He began to torment himself about every thing and


every bodj^ Nothing pleased him, — his wife and children
disturbed him, — he was downright cross to them. And
the same man, who once never came into his house with-
out a cheerful smile for every one in it, now took no
notice of anyone, except it were to find fault, and to let
out words which in his sober senses he w^ould be
shocked to hear any other person make use of.

" My dear, I am sure you are not well," said Mrs. Bull,
to him one day, " I am sure you are not well."

'' I could have told you that," was the reply.

" Do take a little change."

"Pish! change! what change.^ I am changing, and
shall soon make some great change, if things go on as
they do in this house .^

^' Is anything wrong, my dear } "

"Yes, everything is wrong, — nothing is right, — all
things are out of order, — and everything wants a change."

" Well, my dear, I think, if we took a house for three
months at Brighton, it would do us all good.''

"What good, madam .^ And who is to pay for it.^
What will become of my patients? and how am I to
support my family .^ Brighton indeed ! No, no ! If I
cannot be better without going to Brighton, I had better
decline at home ! Who is to look after my patients V'


" V\'hy, there is Doctor Goodfellow, who I am sure you
admire. He will attend any of your patients for you.
Do, my dear, have a little compassion upon yourself."

"And, I suppose, upon you to ; upon Kitty as well;
upon Mary, Patty, and little Johnny; servants and
all,-Heigh ! "

'^ If you please, my dear, even so, for you have not
had much compassion upon any of us lately ; and a change
towards^us all would be very agreeable."

A good wife has nothing to fear, and especially when
she knows that she so loves her husband as to desire
his health above all things else, whether of body, mind, or
spirit. If a wife may not expostulate with her husband,
who may.^ And notwithstanding all his perverseness,
she had her own way with him, because she felt it was

To Brighton they all went ; but the fancy had taken
too strong hold upon Doctor Bull, to let him rest. He
worried himself because he was awav from London, — he
worried himself about the state of his patients, — the
price of stocks, — the state of his own pulse, tongue, eyes,
and lungs, — till he could endure himself no longer.

"I must go and see my old friend Gambado; I know

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Online LibraryRichard CobboldGeoffery Gambado : or, A simple remedy for hypochondriacism and melancholy splenetic humours → online text (page 1 of 6)