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OUR COMMISSION.

THE disclosures in reference to the
adulteration of Food, Drinks, and Drugs, for
which the public are indebted to the vigor
and spirit of our contemporary THE LANCET,
lately inspired us with the idea of originating
a Commission to inquire into the extensive
adulteration of certain other articles which it
is of the last importance that the country
should possess in a genuine state. Every
class of the general public was included
in this large Commission; and the whole
of the analyses, tests, observations, and
experiments, were made by that accomplished
practical chemist, MR. BULL.

The first subject of inquiry was that article
of universal consumption familiarly known in
England as "Government." Mr. Bull
produced a sample of this commodity, purchased
about the middle of July in the present year, at
a wholesale establishment in Downing Street.
The first remark to be made on the sample
before the Commission, Mr. Bull observed,
was its excessive dearness. There was little
doubt that the genuine article could be
furnished to the public, at a fairer profit to the
real producers, for about fifty per cent less
than the cost price of the specimen under
consideration. In quality, the specimen was
of an exceedingly poor and low description;
being deficient in flavor, character, clearness,
brightness, and almost every other
requisite. It was what would be popularly
termed wishy-washy, muddled, and flat. Mr.
Bull pointed out to the Commission, floating
on the top of this sample, a volatile ingredient,
which he considered had no business
there. It might be harmless enough, taken
into the system at a debating-society, or after
a public dinner, or a comic song; but in its
present connection, it was dangerous. It had
not improved with keeping. It had come
into use as a ready means of making froth,
but froth was exactly what ought not to be
found at the top of this article, or indeed in
any part of it. The sample before the
Commission, was frightfully adulterated with
immense infusions of the common weed called
Talk. Talk, in such combination, was a rank
Poison. He had obtained a precipitate of
Corruption from this purchase. He did not
mean metallic corruption, as deposits of gold,
silver or copper; but, that species of
corruption which, on the proper tests being
applied, turned white into black, and black
into white, and likewise engendered quantities
of parasite vermin. He had tested the
strength of the sample, and found it not
nearly up to the mark. He had detected
the presence of a Grey deposit in one large
Department, which produced vacillation and
weakness; indisposition to action to-day, and
action upon compulsion to-morrow. He
considered the sample, on the whole, decidedly
unfit for use. Mr. Bull went on to say, that
he had purchased another specimen of the
same commodity at an opposition establishment
over the way, which bore the sign of
the British Lion, and proclaimed itself, with
the aid of a Brass Band, as "The only
genuine and patriotic shop;" but, that he had
found it equally deleterious; and that he had
not succeeded in discovering any dealer in the
commodity under consideration who sold it
in a genuine or wholesome state.

The bitter drug called Public Offices, formed
the next subject of inquiry. Mr. Bull
produced an immense number of samples of this
drug, obtained from shops in Downing Street,
Whitehall, Palace Yard, the Strand, and
elsewhere. Analysis had detected in every one of
them, from seventy-five to ninety-eight per cent
of Noodledom. Noodledom was a deadly
poison. An over-dose of it would destroy a whole
nation, and he had known a recent case where
it had caused the death of many thousand
men. It was sometimes called Routine,
sometimes Gentlemanly Business, sometimes The
Best Intentions, and sometimes Amiable
Incapacity; but, call it what you would, analysis
always resolved it into Noodledom. There was
nothing in the whole united domains of the
animal, vegetable, and mineral kingdoms, so
incompatible with all the functions of life as
Noodledom. It was producible with most
unfortunate ease. Transplant anything from soil
and conditions it was fit for, to soil and
conditions it was not fit for, and you immediately
had Noodledom. The germs of self-
propagation contained within this baleful
poison, were incalculable: Noodledom
uniformly and constantly engendering Noodledom,
until every available inch of space
was over-run by it. The history of the
adulteration of the drug now before the

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