"No, no; I haven't the heart left to go through it all again, even in words. One would think an inventor was the enemy of the human race. Yes, I will tell you; the sight of you has revived me a bit; it always does. Well, then, you know I am driven to invention now; it is my only chance; and, ever since Mr. Carden spoke to me, I have given my whole soul to the best way of saw-grinding by machinery. The circular saws beat me for a while, but I mastered them; see, there's the model. I'm going to burn it this very afternoon. Well, a month ago, I took the other model--the long-saw grinder--up to London, to patent the invention, as you advised me. I thought I'd just have to exhibit the model, and lodge the description in some Government office, and pay a fee, of course, to some swell, and so be quit of it. Lord bless you--first I had to lay the specification before the Court of Chancery, and write a petition to the Queen, and pay, and, what is worse, wait. When I had paid and waited, I got my petition signed, not by the Queen, but by some go-between, and then I must take it to the Attorney-general. He made me pay--and wait. When I had waited ever so long, I was sent back to where I had come from--the Home Office. But even then I could not get to the Queen. Another of her go-betweens nailed me, and made me pay, and wait: these locusts steal your time as well as your money. At last, a copy of a copy of a copy of my patent got to the Queen, and she signed it like a lady at once, and I got it back. Then I thought I was all right. Not a bit of it: the Queen's signature wasn't good till another of her go-betweens had signed it. I think it was the Home Secretary this time. This go-between bled me again, and sent me with my hard-earned signatures to the Patent Office. There they drafted, and copied, and docketed, and robbed me of more time and money. And, when all was done, I had to take the document back to one of the old go-betweens that I hoped I had worn out, the Attorney-general. He signed, and bled me out of some more money. From him to the other go-betweens at Whitehall. From them to the Stamp Office, if I remember right, and oh Lord, didn't I fall among leeches there? They drafted, they copied, they engrossed, they juggled me out of time and money without end. The first leech was called the Lord Keeper of the Seal; the second leech was called the Lord Chancellor; it was some go-between that acted in his name; the third leech was the Clerk of the Patents. They demanded more copies, and then employed more go-betweens to charge ten times the value of a copy, and nailed the balance, no doubt. 'Stand and deliver thirty pounds for this stamp.' 'Stand and deliver to me that call myself the Chancellor's purse-bearer--and there's no such creature--two guineas.' 'Stand and deliver seven, thirteen, to the clerk of the Hanaper'--and there's no such thing as a Hanaper. 'Stand and deliver three, five,' to a go-between that calls himself the Lord Chancellor again, and isn't. 'Stand and deliver six, naught, to a go-between that acts for the deputy, that ought to put a bit of sealing-wax on the patent, but hasn't the brains to do it himself, so you must pay ME a fancy price for doing it, and then I won't do it; it will be done by a clerk at twenty-five shillings a week.' And, all this time, mind you, no disposition to soften all this official peculation by civility; no misgiving that the next wave of civilization may sweep nil these go-betweens and leeches out of the path of progress; no, the deputy-vice-go-betweens all scowled, as well as swindled: they broke my heart so, often I sat down in their antechambers and the scalding tears ran down my cheeks, at being pillaged of my time as well as my money, and treated like a criminal--for what? For being, in my small way, a national benefactor."
"Ay," said the doctor, "you had committed the crime of brains; and the worse crime of declining to be starved in return for them. I don't rebel against the fees so much: their only fault is that they are too heavy, since the monopoly they profess to secure is short- lived, and yet not very secure; the Lord Chancellor, as a judge, has often to upset the patent which he has sold in another character. But that system of go-betweens, and deputy-go-betweens, and deputy- lieutenant-go-betweens and nobody doing his own business in matters of State, it really is a national curse, and a great blot upon the national intellect. It is a disease; so let us name it. We doctors are great at naming diseases; greater than at curing them.
"'Let us call it VICARIA, This English malaria.'
Of this Vicaria, the loss of time and money you have suffered is only one of the fruits, I think."
"All I know is, they made my life hell for more than a month; and if I have ever the misfortune to invent any thing more, I'll keep it to myself. I'll hide it, like any other crime. But no; I never will invent another thing: never, never."
"Stuff! Methinks I hear a duck abjure natation. You can't help inventing."
"I will help it. What, do you think I'll be such an ass as to have Brains in a country where Brains are a crime? Doctor, I'm in despair."
"Then it is time to cast your eyes over this little picture."
reward that they would win from him if they carried his
once, as the windand the nature of the coast proved unfit
must be a thing muchvalued among them, since at San Salvador
They returned on the night between the fifth and
He paused for a moment, hoping to be able to lower the
island and Santa Maria,he met with a man alone in an almadia