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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 37

Paradise of Quacks

Paradise of Quacks.

Mr Wadd says that England has been called a paradise of quacks. Oar ancestors were a nostrum-loving race, from the king to the cottager; and the history of panaceas and specifics, in the form of elixirs, pills, powders, and waters, would form a large volume of humiliating memorials of the credulity of the public, who could swallow them, and the infatuation of the physician who could prescribe them. Who could page 66 believe that a philosopher would eat two hundred pounds of' soup?—a bishop drink a butt of tar-water?—or that in a course of chemical neutralisation Meyer should swallow twelve hundred poundsweight of crabs' eyes?

A glance at any newspaper—however insignificant or in whatever village published, high or low church, conservative or liberal—will show that our ancestors did not exceed in this respect their successors in this "enlightened age" of public opinion.