28 MEMORIES OF MY LIFE
ally adding water or I forget what other liquid, to render it of the proper consistency. Next a certain weight of the pill mass was rolled out by the help of a simple but ingeniously arranged slab, into a long worm of equal diameter and of standard length. Then the worm was cut simultaneously into equal segments, by the pressure of the grooved back of the same slab, by means of which the segments were also rolled into pills.
The other day I visited the great store and manufactory of chemical and other apparatus of Messrs. Griffiths, in or near Aldwych Street, and saw there a machine, occupying little more room than a moderately sized washing-stand, that claimed to turn out pills at the rate of one million in each twenty-four hours,-so if forty-five of these machines were kept continually at work day and night, it would enable a grandmotherly Socialist Government to supply to every man, woman, and child of the fortyfive millions of inhabitants of the British Isles one free pill daily.
The out-patients clustered in the hall outside the service window of the dispensary, and were supplied in turn. Then the prescriptions of the in-patients were handed in and attended to. It was a busy time. I learnt to do most of my part pretty well in a very few weeks, after which I was promoted to higher things.
Having always the run of the dispensary, and being a boy, I found certain drugs, such as liquorice, much to my taste, but especially poppy seed. A large number of poppy capsules were kept in stock for making soothing lotions. They are full of seeds, which contain no opium at all. These are not used for