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Title: The Funny Side of Physic
Author: Crabtre, A. D.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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  By A. D. CRABTRE, M. D.

  J. B. BURR & HYDE.

  Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by
  In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.


The books which most please while instructing the reader, are those which
mingle the lively and gay with the sedate spirit in the narration of
important facts. The verdict of the reader of this work must be (it is
modestly suggested), that the author has luckily hit the happy vein in its

Of all facts which bear upon human happiness or sorrow, those which serve
to increase the former, and alleviate or banish the latter, are most
desirable for everybody to know; and of all professions which most
intimately concern the personal well-being of the public at large, that of
the physician is most important. The author of this book has spared no
pains of research to collect the facts of which he discourses, and has
endeavored to cover the whole ground embraced by his subject with
pertinent and important suggestions, statements, scientific discoveries,
incidents in the career of great physicians, etc., and to fix them in the
reader's mind by _apt anecdotes, which will be found in abundance
throughout the work_.

There is no better man in the world than the true physician, and no more
base wretch than the ordinary "Quack," or medical charlatan. If the author
has spared no pains of study to make his book acceptable, he may be said,
also, to have as unsparingly visited his indignation upon the quacks who
have all along the line of historic medicine disgraced the physician's and
the surgeon's profession.

The general public but little understand what a vast amount of ignorance
has at times been cunningly concealed by medical practitioners, and how
grossly the people of every city and village are even nowadays trifled
with by some who arrogate to themselves the honorable title of Doctor of

Herein not only the base and the good physician, but the honorable and the
trifling apothecary, receive their due reward, or well-merited punishment,
so far as the pen can give them. The reader will be utterly surprised when
he comes to learn how the quacks of the past and the present have brought
themselves into note by tricks and schemes very similar and equally
infamous. The wanton trifling with the health and life of their patients,
the greed of gain, and the perfect destitution of all moral nature, which
some of these men have exhibited in their career, are astounding.

The apothecaries, as well as physicians, are descanted on, and the
miserable tricks to which the large majority of them resort, exposed. The
public will be astonished to find what trash in the matter of drugs it
pays for; how filthy, vile, and often poisonous and hurtful materials
people buy for medicines at extortionate prices; how even the syrups which
they drink in soda drawn from costly and splendid fountains are often made
from the most filthy materials, and are not fit for the lower animals, not
to say human beings, to drink. And this fact is only illustrative of
hundreds of others set forth in this work.

This work not only exposes the multifold frauds of quacks, apothecaries,
travelling doctors, soothsayers, fortune-tellers, certain clairvoyants,
and "spiritual mediums," and the like, who "practise medicine" to a more
or less extent, or profess to discover and heal diseases,--but it points
out to the reader the most approved rules for protecting the health, and
recovering it when lost. In short, it is a work embodying the most sound
advice, founded upon the judgment of the best physicians of the past and
present, as tested in the Author's experience for a period of twenty
years' active practice. In other words, it is a compendium of sound
medical advice, as well as a racy, lively, and incisive dissection and
exposure of the villanies of quacks and other medical empirics, etc.

Persons of all ages will find the work not only interesting to read, but
most valuable in a practical sense. To the young who would shun the crafts
and villanies to which they must be exposed as they grow up,--for all are
liable to be more or less ill at times,--it will prove invaluable,
enabling them to detect the spurious from the reliable in medicine, and
how to judge between the pretentious charlatan (even enjoying a large
ride) and the true physician. And none are so old that they may not reap
great advantages from the work.





  SAMPLE CLERK."                                                        61




  BLACK MAIL.--POLICE AS A MIDWIFE, ETC., ETC.                          99


  LOVE.--"IS HE MAD?"--THOROUGHWORT WINS.                              123


  CUPID.--AN UNWILLING LISTENER.                                       157


  END OF A WRETCH.                                                     180


  JOKE."--A DRY SHOWER-BATH.--PARBOILING AN OLD LADY.                  200


  HE LOVE ME?"                                                         227


  TURN.--PROFESSOR HOLMES.--A HOMELESS STUDENT.                        253


  GHOSTS, OR WITCHES.                                                  278






  ISRAEL."                                                             362


  MOST OF THEM.                                                        386




  STABLE BOY.--POET-DOCTOR.                                            438


  RIDICULOSITY.                                                        461


  TURNED ON THE DOCTORS.                                               495




  CONUNDRUM.--MARRYING A REGIMENT.                                     538


  BEER AND BATH.--CASTS HIS LAST VOTE.                                 550


  THE MICE."--MUSIC AND HEALTH.                                        571


  SCROFULA.--NOTICES OF THE PRESS.                                     599






  OF A MOTHER-IN-LAW.                                                  680


  AND JOB DRESSED.                                                     695


  TO LOOK AT.--FUNERAL ANTHEMS.                                        709




  WRINKLES.--GOD'S SUNSHINE.                                           748


  ANIMAL AND VEGETABLE DIET.                                           769


  AVOID.--A TENDER POINT.                                              790


  DO THE BEST YOU CAN AND TRUST GOD FOR THE REST.                      811


  1. A. D. CRABTRE, M. D.,                     Frontispiece.

  2. DR. ANGLICUS PONTO,                                  31

  3. MISFORTUNES NEVER COME SINGLY,                       33

  4. THE MISER OUTWITS HIMSELF,                           38

  5. COMMENCING A PRACTICE IN NEW YORK,                   47

  6. GRACE BEFORE MEAT,                                   48

  7. OLD PILGARLIC TAKES A BATH,                          55

  8. PROFESSOR BREWSTER,                                  55

  9. AN INFANTRY CHARGE,                                  60

  10. THE "FREE PASS" PRESCRIPTION,                       69

  11. THE WRONG PATIENT,                                  71

  12. A CANDIDATE FOR THE PRESIDENCY,                     77

  13. UNDER FULL SAIL,                                    77

  14. "IT'S ALL A HUMBUG,"                                82

  15. "BAREFOOTED ON THE TOP OF HIS HEAD,"                93

  16. OLD "SANDS OF LIFE,"                                96

  17. REFRESHMENTS,                                       98

  18. THE EYE DOCTOR,                                    103


  20. HEALING THE SICK WITH A GOLDEN DOSE,               111


  22. A JUVENILE BACCHUS,                                122

  23. "DON'T YOU OBSERVE THE ARMS OF MRS. MAPP?"         128


  25. "POH! YOU'RE A GIRL,"                              141

  26. "HERE WE GO UP-UP-UPPY,"                           148

  27. "LOVE AMONG THE ROSES,"                            156

  28. THE INQUISITIVE COUNTRYMEN,                        161

  29. CURIOUS EFFECTS OF A FEVER,                        171

  30. MARRYING A FAMILY,                                 173

  31. 'OPATHISTS IN CONSULTATION,                        175


  33. TOO MUCH HAT,                                      179

  34. CONVINCING EVIDENCE OF INSOLVENCY,                 181

  35. "AN' WHO'LL YEZE LIKE TO SEE, SURE?"               183

  36. A BOSTON QUACK EXAMINING A STUDENT,                189

  37. ORNAMENTAL TAIL-PIECE,                             199

  38. DR. ABERNETHY IN THE HOSPITAL,                     202

  39. AN EXTENSIVE SET,                                  205

  40. "O, DOCTHER, DEAR, I'VE PIZENED ME BOY,"           207

  41. "LOST MARSER! LOST MARSER!"                        209

  42. NOT A STOMACH PUMP,                                213

  43. "LOWER TIER, LARBOARD SIDE,"                       217

  44. THE FARMER'S ESCAPE FROM THE CHOLERA,              223

  45. TOO MUCH VAPOR,                                    224

  46. A DRY SHOWER BATH,                                 225

  47. GRAPES AND WINE,                                   226

  48. CHARGE, INFANTRY!                                  239

  49. AFTER THE BATTLE,                                  240

  50. THE FORTUNE-TELLER'S MAGIC MIRROR,                 244


  52. THE HUNTRESS,                                      252

  53. THE ONONDAGA FARMER BOY,                           256

  54. THE POLITE QUADRUPED,                              265

  55. YOUNG ABERNETHY,                                   266

  56. "PINNY, SIR? JUST ONE PINNY,"                      274

  57. THE PENNILESS PHYSICIAN,                           276

  58. THE INDIAN WARRIOR,                                277

  59. BELIEVERS IN GHOSTS,                               278

  60. "HARK! THERE'S A FEARFUL GUST!"                    280

  61. A GRAVE SENTRY,                                    282

  62. A GHOST IN CAMP,                                   285

  63. OLD NAGLES,                                        286

  64. THE NAGLES BOYS,                                   287

  65. CHIEF MOURNERS,                                    288

  66. THE CORPSE THAT WOULD NOT SMOKE,                   290

  67. PREPARE TO DIE,                                    293

  68. THE BISHOP'S GHOSTLY VISITOR,                      295

  69. THE MUSICAL PUSS,                                  301

  70. A DARKEY BEWITCHED,                                301

  71. BOYLSTON STATION,                                  303

  72. WEIGHING A WITCH BY BIBLE STANDARD,                305

  73. PASSING THE FORT,                                  306

  74. THE GOD OF RECIPES,                                308

  75. SUN-SUNDAY,                                        310

  76. MOON-MONDAY,                                       313

  77. TUISCO-TUESDAY,                                    313

  78. WODEN-WEDNESDAY,                                   314

  79. THOR-THURSDAY,                                     315

  80. FRIGA-FRIDAY,                                      315

  81. SEATER-SATURDAY,                                   316

  82. GATHERING THE MANDRAKE,                            321

  83. "WAITING TO SEE THE IMAGES BOW,"                   323


  85. "WHO-A'-YOO?"                                      333

  86. THE PROPER USE OF "HOLY WATER,"                    334

  87. THE MODEST KISS,                                   339

  88. HOLDING THE PLOW,                                  340


  90. MARIAM, THE TUMOR DOCTOR,                          345

  91. THE SINGING DOCTOR,                                349

  92. THE SANATORIAN'S TURNOUT,                          351

  93. A NEW SCHOOL OF PRACTICE,                          354

  94. A VICTIM OF THE SPANKER,                           355

  95. DR. PULSFEEL LEAVING TOWN,                         356

  96. THE MUSICAL DOCTOR,                                358

  97. ENTHUSIASM,                                        359

  98. ALL WOOL,                                          361

  99. CHARITY THROWN AWAY,                               363

  100. THE BEGGAR BOY,                                   366

  101. REMORSE,                                          368

  102. THE LOST HEIR,                                    373

  103. A MORNING CALLER,                                 375

  104. "WHY DID I TAZE YE?"                              376

  105. SUCCESS OF TERRY'S COURTSHIP,                     379

  106. THE BETRAYED,                                     382

  107. SAILING INTO PORT,                                385

  108. A SAN BENITO PIG,                                 388



  111. A SLIPPER-Y FEE,                                  397

  112. A LIVING FEE,                                     399

  113. STUFFED PETS,                                     400

  114. A PIONEER OF HOMOEOPATHY,                         403

  115. A SHARP MULE TRADE,                               405

  116. ORNAMENTAL TAIL-PIECE,                            409

  117. PHYSICIAN'S CHARITY,                              411

  118. SEARCH FOR A PATIENT,                             412

  119. AN ECCENTRIC PATIENT,                             417

  120. A WOMAN'S REBUKE,                                 417

  121. AFRAID OF A POLYPUS,                              418

  122. ABERNETHY'S SURGICAL OPERATION,                   420

  123. RECKONING A DOCTOR'S FEES,                        424

  124. PATIENT NUMBER FIVE,                              425

  125. THE ASTONISHED BUTCHER,                           427

  126. MODERN IMPROVEMENTS IN DENTISTRY,                 431

  127. CHARITY NOT SOLICITED,                            431

  128. CAPTURE OF A WALL STREET BULL,                    433

  129. DEATH'S FEE,                                      436

  130. THE AMERICAN SAILOR,                              437

  131. MY FIRST LOVE,                                    439

  132. TEN YEARS LATER,                                  441

  133. FLIGHT OF THE DOCTOR,                             443

  134. THE LOVER AS A PEDDLER,                           447

  135. FLIGHT OF THE LOVERS,                             447

  136. AN AGED PUPIL,                                    453

  137. BIRTHPLACE OF GEORGE CRABBE,                      457

  138. "POPPING THE QUESTION,"                           460

  139. LOVE'S LINKS,                                     460

  140. THE LION MAGNETIZED,                              466

  141. A HARD SUBJECT,                                   467

  142. GASSNER HEALING "BY THE GRACE OF GOD,"            471

  143. NO LACK OF PATIENTS,                              475

  144. "A BOTTLE, A HEN, OR A WOMAN,"                    477

  145. EFFECTS OF AN EARTHQUAKE,                         483

  146. A BELIEVER SEES HIS GRANDMOTHER,                  483

  147. THE CHARMER DIVULGES HER SECRET,                  488

  148. "I PERCEIVE YOU ARE IN LOVE,"                     492

  149. THE FARMER'S DAUGHTERS,                           494


  151. NO TIME TO LOSE,                                  500

  152. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST,                             503

  153. DR. HUNTER IN CONSULTATION,                       504

  154. THE RUSSIAN GENERAL'S DRILL,                      506

  155. WHAT THE ELEPHANT IS LIKE,                        511

  156. A DOCTOR'S SOLACE,                                511


  158. DOSE--ONE QUART EVERY HOUR,                       526

  159. PUMPING AN OLD LADY,                              537

  160. A DANGEROUS PRESCRIPTION,                         537

  161. THE FARMER'S EMBLEMS,                             537

  162. THE DYING MESSAGE,                                541

  163. STUCK!                                            547

  164. COMMERCE,                                         549

  165. A GOOD LIVER,                                     551

  166. A DOCTOR "KILLING THE DEVILS,"                    555

  167. PAYING FOR HIS WINE,                              555

  168. A BAR-ROOM DOCTOR,                                555

  169. "THE DOCTOR ON A SOW!"                            565

  170. RESCUE OF THE DOCTOR,                             565

  171. "ONLY IRISH BEER,"                                568

  172. CURE FOR THE AGUE,                                569

  173. PLAYING THE REEDS,                                570

  174. AN EMBRYO APOLLO,                                 572

  175. THE PILGRIM CHEAT,                                577

  176. FRANKLIN'S EXPERIMENTS WITH ETHER,                585

  177. END OF THE WONDERFUL ONE-HOSS SHAY,               591

  178. "MUSIC, THE SOUL OF LIFE,"                        597

  179. THE MUSICAL MICE,                                 597

  180. FOUNTAIN,                                         598

  181. SIGNS OF CIVILIZATION,                            603

  182. SWILL MILK (MAGNIFIED),                           605

  183. PURE MILK (MAGNIFIED),                            606

  184. WATERED MILK (MAGNIFIED),                         606

  185. "WHAT'S IN THE MILK?"                             606

  186. A CHAMPAGNE BATH,                                 611

  187. MOTHER'S MILK--PURE AND HEALTHY,                  612

  188. MOTHER'S MILK AFTER DRINKING WHISKY,              612

  189. WAITING FOR ASSISTANCE,                           617

  190. A CONFECTIONERY STORE,                            619

  191. TARTARIC ACID FOR SUPPER,                         629

  192. A STREET CANDY STAND,                             629

  193. THE NEWSBOY'S MOTHER,                             630

  194. THE IDOL OF TOBACCO USERS,                        634

  195. PUNISHMENT OF THE TURK,                           638

  196. SMOKERS OF FOUR GENERATIONS,                      639

  197. "I WANT A CHAW OF TERBACKER,"                     641

  198. YOUNG SMOKERS,                                    642

  199. EXAMINATION OF THE SMOKER,                        643

  200. PURIFYING HIS BLOOD,                              644

  201. CLEANSING HIS BONES,                              645

  202. THE SMOKER,                                       647

  203. THE CHEWER,                                       648

  204. SIGN OF THE TIMES,                                648

  205. MY LAZY SMOKING FRIEND,                           650

  206. "SHALL I ASSIST YOU TO ALIGHT?"                   653

  207. WORK FOR TONGUES AND FINGERS,                     653

  208. WHAT KILLED THE DOG?                              657

  209. THE NEWSBOY,                                      658

  210. THE GREAT SURGEONS OF THE WORLD,                  661

  211. A CALL ON THE VILLAGE DOCTOR,                     663

  212. PHYSICIANS' COSTUME IN 1790,                      664

  213. HOW POOR TOMMY WAS LOST,                          666


  215. THE UNDERTAKERS' ARMS,                            671

  216. DISPUTE OF THE DOCTOR AND VALET,                  671

  217. A WIG MOUSE,                                      674

  218. THE MYSTERY EXPLAINED,                            675

  219. MEETING OF THE DOCTOR AND THE CURATE,             679

  220. DOCTOR CANDEE,                                    679

  221. A GERMAN BEER GIRL,                               681

  222. AN INDIGNANT BRIDE,                               686

  223. THE ITCH MITE,                                    689

  224. THE BURGLAR AND STUDENT,                          693

  225. HARVESTED,                                        694

  226. ASSISTANCE FROM A ROYAL SURGEON,                  696

  227. PETER THE GREAT AS A SURGEON,                     697

  228. JOB DISCHARGED BY SIR SCIPIO,                     703

  229. "BLEED HIM,"                                      704

  230. A BORROWED WATCH,                                 706

  231. JOB'S DECISION,                                   708

  232. SQUASHY'S SURGICAL OPERATION,                     715

  233. "WILL YE TAK' A BLAST, NOO?"                      720

  234. REPTILES FROM THE STOMACH,                        722

  235. "IT ISN'T CATCHIN',"                              724

  236. FUNERAL OF THE CANARY,                            725

  237. MY FRONT STREET PATIENT,                          731

  238. A SHOPPING PATIENT,                               733

  239. CALL AT THE TENEMENT,                             737

  240. THE WIDOW'S OCCUPATION,                           739

  241. THE PHYSICIAN AND THE FATHER,                     742

  242. THE PETER FUNK PHYSICIAN,                         745

  243. VIRTUE,                                           747

  244. THE FREEDOM OF THE PARK,                          761

  245. "IT COSTS NOTHING,"                               766

  246. A NATURAL POSITION,                               792

  247. AN UNNATURAL POSITION,                            792

  248. CORRECT POSITION,                                 796

  249. INCORRECT POSITION,                               796

  250. HOW WASP WAISTS ARE MADE,                         799

  251. A CONSUMPTIVE WAIST,                              800

  252. NON-CONSUMPTIVE WAIST,                            800

  253. A HEALTHY POSITION,                               804

  254. POSITION OF ARTERY IN ARM,                        811

  255. COMPRESSING AN ARTERY IN ARM,                     812

  256. POSITION OF ARTERY IN LEG,                        812

  257. THE DOCTOR'S QUEUE,                               816



    _Marina._ ... Should I tell my history,
              'Twould seem like lies disdained in the reporting.

    _Pericles._ Pray thee, speak.--_Shakspeare._


Medical humbugs began to exist with the first pretenders to the science of
healing. Quacks originated at a much later period. So materially different
are the two classes, that I am compelled to treat of them separately.

The word _humbug_ is a corruption of _Hamburg_, Germany, and seems to have
originated in London. The following episode is in illustration of both its
origin and meaning:--

"O, Bridget, Bridget!" exclaimed the fashionable mistress of a brown stone
front in Fifth Avenue, New York, to her surprised servant girl, "what have
you been doing at the front door?"

"Och, murther! Nothin', ma'am."

"Nothing!" repeated the mistress.

"Yes'm--that is--" stammered Bridget, greatly embarrassed.

"What were you doing at the front door but a moment since?"

"Nothin', ma'am, but spakin' to me cousin; he's a p'leeceman, ma'am, if ye
plaze, ma'am," replied Bridget, dropping a low courtesy to the mistress.

"No, no; I did not mean that. But haven't you been cleaning the door-knob
and the bell-pull?"

"Yes'm," replied Bridget, changing from embarrassment to surprise.

"Why, Bridget, didn't I tell you never to polish the front door-knobs
during the warm season? Now my friends will think that I have returned
from Saratoga--"

"And is it to Saratogy ye've been, ma'am?" exclaimed Bridget.

"No, you dunce; but was not the front of the house closed, and the
servants forbidden to polish the plates and glass, that my friends might
be led to believe we had all gone to the watering-place?"

That was true humbug. Double humbuggery! for the servant girl was
humbugging her mistress by pretending to polish the door-knobs, while she
was really coqueting with a policeman; and the mistress was humbugging her
friends into the belief that the house was closed, and the family gone to

So, Hamburg, on the Elbe, being a fashionable resort of the upper-ten-dom
of London, those who would ape aristocracy, yet being unable to bear the
expense of a trip to the Continent, closed the front of their dwellings,
moved into the rear, giving out word that they had gone to _Hamburg_.

When a house was observed so closed, with a notice on the door, the
passers by would wag their heads, and exclaim, questionably, "Ah, gone to
Hamburg!" or, "All gone to Hamburg!" "It's all Hamburg!" and so on. And,
like a thousand other words in the English language, this became
corrupted, and "humbug" followed. Hence, taking the sense from the
derivation of the word, humbug means "an imposition, under fair
pretences;" cheat; hoax; a deception without malicious intent. Webster
says it is "a low word."

The humbugs in medicine, we assert, began to exist with the first persons
of whom we have any account in the history of the healing art. Among the
early Egyptian physicians, Æsculapius was esteemed as the most celebrated.
He was the first humbug in his line. However, nearly all the accounts we
have of him are mythological. If we are to credit the early writers, this
great healer restored so many to life, that he greatly interfered with
undertaker Pluto's occupation, who picked a quarrel with Æsculapius, and
the two referred the matter to Jupiter for adjudication.

But we may go back of this "god of medicine." If he was physician to the
Argonauts, we must fix the date of his great exploits at about the year B.
C. 1263. It is claimed by good authority that the Book of Job dates back
to B. C. 1520, and is the oldest book extant. Herein we find Job saying,
"Ye are forgers of lies; ye are all physicians of no value." Since his
friends were trying their best to humbug him, Job certainly intimates that
physicians--some of them, at least--were looked upon as humbugs. But,
then, Job was only an Arab prince; not an Israelite, at all; nor does he
condescend to mention that "peculiar people" in his book. And besides,
what reliance can be based upon the opinion of a man respecting
physicians, whose only surgical instrument consisted of a "piece or
fragment of a broken pot"?

Therefore, leaving the "Arab prince," we will turn for a moment to the
early Jewish physicians. Josephus does not enlighten us much respecting
them. The Old Testament makes mention of physicians in three
instances,--the last figuratively.

The first instance--a rather amusing one--where physicians are mentioned
in the sacred writings, is in 2 Chron. xvi. 12: "And Asa, in the
thirty-ninth year of his reign, was diseased in his feet, until the
disease was exceeding great; yet in his disease he sought not to the Lord,
but to the physicians." The compiler adds, very coolly, as though a
natural consequence, "_And Asa slept with his fathers_!" This reminds us
of an anecdote by the late Dr. Waterhouse. An Irishman obtained twenty
grains of morphine, which, instead of quinine, he took at one dose, to
cure the chills. The doctor, in relating it long afterwards, added,
laconically, "He being a good Catholic, his funeral was numerously

For generations nearly all the pretensions to healing were made by the
priests and magicians, who humbugged and "bamboozled" the ignorant and
superstitious rabble to their hearts' content. Kings and subjects were
alike believers in the Magi. Saul believed in the magic powers of the
"witch of Endor." The wicked king Nebuchadnezzar classed Daniel and his
three companions with the magicians, although Daniel (chap. xi. 10) denied
the imputation. Joseph laid claim to the power of divination; for, having
caused the silver cup to be placed in the sack of corn, and after having
sent and brought his brother back, he said (Gen. xliv. 15), "What deed is
this that ye have done? Wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly
divine?" It seemed necessary to deal with the people according to their
belief. It was useless to dispute with them. As late as the preaching of
Paul and Barnabas, the whole nations of Jews and Greeks were so tinctured
with belief in magic and enchantment in healing, taught and promulgated by
the priesthood, that when the apostles healed the cripple of Lystra, the
rabble, headed by the priests, cried out, "The gods are come down to us in
the likeness of men." And they called Barnabas Jupiter, and Paul

The town clerk in the theatre said to the excited crowd, "These men are
neither robbers of churches, nor yet blasphemers of your goddess."

Diana was appealed to for women in childbirth; Mercurius for the healing
of cutaneous diseases (_herpes_), probably because he carried a _herpe_,
or short sword, also, at times, the caduceus; and Jupiter for various
diseases. But to return to the times of Saul and David.

It seems that the business became overcrowded, and the vilest and most
degraded of both sexes swelled the ranks of sorcerers, astrologers, and
spiritualists, until every class and condition of people became
impregnated with these beliefs, from kings to the lowest subject. Finally,
the strong arm of the law laid hold of them, and the edict went forth that
"a witch shall not live," that "a wizard shall be put to death," and that
"the soothsayer be stoned."

Nevertheless, the wretches continued to practise their deceptions, but
less openly for a time, and they are made mention of throughout the sacred
writings, until "the closing of the canon."

But the Scriptures are almost totally silent on surgery, and the remedies
resorted to by those pretending to the science--as also by physicians and
priests--were such as to lead us to believe that their _materia medica_
was very limited. Under the head of Ridiculous Prescriptions, we shall
mention these remedies:--

The earliest record we find of surgical operations in the Old Testament is
in Judges xix. 29,--a "capital operation," we may judge, for the account
informs us that the patient, a woman, "was divided into twelve pieces."

Turning to the profane writers for information, we plunge into an abyss of
uncertainty, with this exception; that the practice of medicine--it could
not be called a science--was still in the hands of the priesthood, and
partook largely of the fabulous notions of the age, being connected almost
entirely with idolatries and humbuggeries. The cunning priests caused the
rabble, from first to last, to believe that all disease was inflicted, not
from the violation of the laws of nature, but by some angry and outraged
divinity, whose wrath must be appeased by bribes (_paid to the priests_),
by incantations, and absurd ceremonies, or else the afflicted victim must
die a painful death, and forever after suffer a more horrible eternity.
The priests' receiving the pay reminds us of the following little

A very pious man, recently congratulating a convalescing patient upon his
recovery, asked his friend who had been his physician.

"Dr. Blank brought me safely through," was his reply.

"No, no," said the friend, "God brought you out of this affliction, and
healed you,--not the doctor."

"Well," replied the man, "may be he did; but I am sure that the doctor
will charge me for it."

The offices of priest and physician were united among the Jews, Heathens,
Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans. The Druids (from _draoi_, magician) ruled
and ruined the ancient Celts, Gauls, Britons, and Germans. The people of
these nations looked up to the priests as though life and death and
immortality hung only upon their lips. Among our aborigines we have also
examples of the double office of priest and "medicine man." And it is an
astonishing fact, that notwithstanding the ignorance of the pretenders to
healing, or the ridiculousness of the prescriptions, or the exorbitant
fees, the rabble of the age relied upon them with the most implicit
confidence. If the patient recovered, the priests--embodying the gods--had
restored them by their great skill and the favor of some particular
divinity, and so were worshipped, and again rewarded with other fees to
offer sacrifices to the individual god who was supposed to favor the
priest or wizard. If he died it was the will of the gods that it should so
be, and the friends lost none of their faith in the abilities of their
medical and spiritual advisers.

The priests could not be disposed of so easily as the witches and wizards
were supposed to have been, for they kept the people under greater fear,
and held the balance of power in their own hands. The only difference
between the priests and wizards was, that the former _claimed_ to exercise
their arts by the power of the gods, while the latter were said to be
assisted by the evil spirits. The priests claimed this in the times of
Christ, and tried to persuade the rabble that he was assisted by
Beelzebub. While the grasping priesthood professed poverty and
self-denial, they were continually enriching themselves by robberies and
extortions upon the ignorant and superstitious common people.

A mirth-provoking anecdote is told of Robin Hood and two friars, which we
cannot forbear relating here as illustrative of the above assertion. If
our readers regard stories from such a source as very uncertain, we have
only to reply that we are now dealing with "uncertainties."

"One day, Robin disguised himself as a friar, and went out on the highway.
Very soon he met two priests, to whom he appealed for charity in the
blessed Virgin's name.

"'That we would do, were it in our power,' they replied.

"'I fear you are so addicted to falsehood, I cannot believe that you have
no money, as you say. However, let us all down on our marrow bones, and
pray the Virgin to send us some money.'

"'No, no,' replied the priests; 'it is of no use.'

"'What! have you no faith in your patron saint? Down, I say, and pray.'

"In fear, down fell the two priests, and Robin by their side, and all
prayed most lustily.

"'Now feel in your pockets,' said Robin, rising.

"'There is nothing,' they replied, plunging their hands deep into their

"'Down again, and pray harder,' shouted Robin, drawing his sword.

"Down they fell, and mumbled over their Latin, but declared the gods had
sent them nothing.

"'I do not believe you,' said Robin; 'you ever were a pack of liars. Let
each stand a search, that we deceive not each other.' So Robin turned his
own empty pockets wrong side out, then compelled the friars to follow
suit, when lo! out fell five hundred pieces of gold.

"When Robin saw this glorious sight, he berated the priests soundly, and
taking the gold, went away to Sherwood, and made merry at the expense of
the church."

About 1185 B. C. we find among the Grecians some traces of what was termed
the healing art. But fact and fable, history and mythology, are so mixed
and blended, that it is impossible to gain any reliable information so far

Chiron is made mention of as having acquired much celebrity as a
physician. It is claimed that he was learned in the arts and sciences,
that he taught astronomy to Hercules, music to Apollo, and medicine to
Æsculapius, who came from Egypt. From what can be gleaned, of reliability,
it seems that he employed simple medicines, and possessed some knowledge
of dressing wounds and reducing fractures and dislocations; but no doubt
he pretended to greater things than the times would warrant, for, when
shot by an arrow from the bow of Hercules, his former pupil, he was unable
to heal the wound, and begged Jupiter to "set him up" among the stars,
which request was complied with, and Chiron was translated to the heavens,
where he still shines in the constellation Sagittarius, represented as a
centaur, with drawn bow, driving before him the other eleven signs of the

We have alluded to Æsculapius, and, passing over all others of his class,
we come to the times of Hippocrates.

Hippocrates is rightly called the "Father of Medicine," for he was the
first to raise medicine to a science. We mention him without classing him
with humbugs; but Menecrates, who flourished about the same time, arrived
at great notoriety by ruse and deception. He was "famous for vanity and
arrogance." He went about accompanied by some patients, whom he claimed to
have cured, as proofs of his great ability. One he disguised as Apollo,
another he arrayed in the habit of Æsculapius, and sent them abroad to
sound his praise, while he took upon himself the garb, and assumed the
character, of Jupiter.

Pliny says that medicine was the last of the sciences introduced into
Rome, and that the Septimont City was six hundred years without a regular
physician. Archagathus, a Grecian, settled in Rome about 300 B. C., and if
he was a fair sample of those who followed him, it had been better for
Rome that it had remained another six hundred years "without a regular
physician." He introduced cruel and painful escharotics, and made free use
of the knife and the lancet. He was a humbug of the first water, and a
quack besides, and as such he was banished in a few years.

The Christian era introduced some light into the medical, as well as the
religious world; yet we learn, by both sacred and profane writers, that
truth and knowledge were the exceptions, and ignorance and humbug were the
rule by which medicine was practised by those who pretended to the art.
Names changed, characters remained the same.

The priests still held their own, and were not, as already shown, to be
gotten rid of, as the witches and wizards, their rivals and imitators, by
litigation, nor was their power broken until the Decree of the Council of
Tours in 1163 A. D., which prohibited priests and deacons from performing
certain surgical operations.

After the Reformation the vocations of spiritual and medical adviser
diverged wider and wider, until now a priest or minister is seldom
consulted for bodily infirmities, and only by persons of the most ignorant
and superstitious denominations.

Setting the priesthood aside did not suppress humbugs in medicine. In fact
the profession went into disrepute, which the priests hastened, and a
lower order of people took upon themselves the practice of deceiving the
sick and afflicted. Now and then a greater humbug than common would spring
up, and for a time draw the rabble after him, till the next arose to
eclipse him.

From the discovery of America to about 1600, ambitious upstarts, humbugs,
and seekers of fame and fortune were drawn away from the old world, and
either for this reason, or because the biographers were attracted to a
more interesting field, accounts of medical celebrities are very meagre;
but from the latter period to the present day there has been no lack of
records from which to draw our material.

During the 17th and 18th centuries medical impostors had things all their
own way. Ignorance was no hinderance to advancement, socially or
pecuniarily. Some men published, in their own names, voluminous works, in
both English and Latin, which they themselves could not read. By soft
words and cunning arts others gained high positions, and, without
knowledge of the first branch of medical science, became "court

From the lowest walks, they rose up on every side: from the cobbler's
bench, and the tailor's board; from cutting up meat in the butcher's shop,
to "cutting up" naughty boys in a pedagogue's capacity; from shaving the
unwashed rabble behind the striped barber's pole, to shaving their wives
behind counters, where they measured the cloth of the weaver, they became
cobblers of poor healths, butchers of men, and shavers of the invalided
public. But these will be discoursed of under another head.

We here offer one proof of this state of affairs by a quotation from the
original charter of the first College of Physicians, granted by Henry
VIII., which reads, "Before this period a great multitude of ignorant
persons, of which the greater part had no insight into physic, _nor into
any other kind of learning_,--some could not even read the Book,--so far
forth that common artificers, as smiths, weavers, and women boldly and
accustomedly took upon themselves great cures, to the high displeasure of
God, great infamy of the faculty, and the grievous hurt, damage, and
destruction of many of the king's liege people."

The meetings of this august body (College of Physicians) were held at the
house of Dr. Linacre. "He was a gentleman of distinction, both as a
physician and scholar." He became disgusted with physic, and took "holy
orders" five years before his death. He was one of the original
petitioners of the charter, which complained that the above rabble of
doctors could not read the Book (Bible). Now see the ignorance--the
hypocrisy of the man!

Dr. Caius, who wrote his epitaph, says of Linacre, "He certainly was not a
very profound theologian, for a short time before his death he read the
New Testament for the first time, when, so greatly was he astonished at
finding the rules of Christianity so widely at variance with their
practice, that he threw down the sacred volume in a passion, saying,
'Either this is not gospel, or we are not Christians.'" This was just
prior to 1600.

This Dr. Caius is supposed to be the same character whom Shakspeare
introduced in his "_Merry Wives of Windsor_;" and as it is a fact patent
to all that the great poet had no very exalted opinion of doctors, and
would "throw physic to the dogs," it has been suggested that Caius was
produced by him on that ground.

There are others of this and a later period, whom, though ranking amongst
the greatest of humbugs, we defer mentioning here, but will notice in our
chapter on quacks.

Mr. Jeaffreson, in his excellent work, "Book About Doctors," to which work
I am indebted for several anecdotes, says,--

"The lives of three physicians--Sydenham, Sir Hans Sloane, and
Heberden--completely bridge over the uncertain period between old
empiricism and modern science."

The former, Dr. Thomas Sydenham, was born at Windford Eagle, Dorsetshire,
England, in 1624, and was esteemed as an excellent physician and profound
scholar of his day. Nothing is known of his boyhood. For a time he was a
soldier. He was about forty years old when admitted a member of the
College of Physicians. Dr. Richard Blackmore, his contemporary, who was
but a pedagogue at the outstart himself, but afterwards knighted as Sir
Richard, says of Dr. Sydenham, "He was only a disbanded officer, who
entered upon the practice of medicine for a maintenance, without any
preparatory learning." The fact of his possessing a diploma went for
nothing, since Dr. Meyersbach obtained his about this time for a few
shillings, and without the rudiments of an education, made a splendid
living out of the credulity even of the most learned and fashionable
classes of English society, and arrived at the height of honor and

The reader must admit that diplomas were cheap honors, when one was
granted to a dog! A young English gentleman, for the sport of the thing,
paid the price of a medical diploma soon after Dr. Meyersbach's was
granted, and had it duly recorded in the archives of the college (Erfurth)
as having been awarded to Anglicus Ponto.

"And who was Anglicus Ponto?"

"None other than the gentleman's dog--a fine mastiff."

But this question was not asked till too late to prevent the joke. It had
the good effect, however, to raise at once the price of degrees.

Dr. Sydenham published several medical works, copies of which are now
extant, but his pretensions to skill availed him but little in time of
need. His prescriptions--some of them, at least--were very absurd, and
during his latter years, while enjoying a lucrative practice, and
possessing the utmost confidence of the _bon ton_, he suffered
excruciating pains from the gout, which, with other complications, ended
his days. "Physician, heal thyself."

[Illustration: DR. ANGLICUS PONTO.]

Dr. Blackmore, an aspirant to medical fame, applied to Dr. Sydenham, while
residing in Pall Mall, with the following inquiry:--

"What is the best course of study for a medical student?"

"Read Don Quixote," was Sydenham's reply. "It is a very good book. I read
it yet." I find this in a biographical dictionary of 1779. While some
biographers endeavor to pass this off as a joke, it is a well-known fact
that the doctor was a sceptic in medicine, and those who knew him best
believe that he meant just what he said.

On the arrival of Dr. Sloane in London, he waited on Dr. Sydenham, as
being the great gun of the town at that time, and presented a letter of
introduction, in which an enthusiastic friend had set forth Sloane's
qualifications in glowing language, as being perfected in anatomy, botany,
and the various branches of medicine. Sydenham finished the letter, threw
it on the table, eyed the young man very sharply, and said,--

"Sir, this is all very fine, on paper--very fine; but it won't do.
Anatomy! botany! Nonsense. Why, sir, I know an old woman in Covent Garden
who better understands botany; and as for anatomy, no doubt my butcher can
dissect a joint quite as well. No, no, young man; this is all stuff. You
must go to the bedside; it is only there that you can learn disease."

In spite of this mortifying reception, however, Sydenham afterwards took
the greatest interest in Dr. Sloane, frequently taking the young man with
him in his chariot on going his rounds.

In "Lives of English Physicians," the author, in writing of Dr. Sydenham,
says, "At the commencement of his practice, it is handed down to us, that
it was his ordinary custom, when consulted by patients for the first time,
to hear attentively their story, and then reply, "Well, I will consider
your case, and in a few days will prescribe something for you;" thereby
gaining time to look up such a case. He soon learned that this
deliberation would not do, as some forgot to return after "a few days,"
and to save his fees he was obliged, _nolens volens_, to prescribe on the

A further proof of his contemptible opinion of deriving knowledge from
books, as expressed above to Dr. Blackmore, is exemplified and
corroborated in an address to Dr. Mapletoft (1675).

"The medical art could not be learned so well and surely as by use and
experience, and that he who would pay the nicest and most accurate
attention to the symptoms of distempers, would succeed best in finding out
the true means of cure."

"Riding on horseback," he says, in one of his books, "will cure all
diseases except confirmed consumption." How about curing gout?

A very amusing, though painful picture, is drawn by Dr. Winslow, a
reliable author of the seventeenth century, in his book, "Physic and

"Dr. Sydenham suffered extremely from the gout. One day, during the latter
part of his life, he was sitting near an open window, on the ground floor
of his residence in St. James Square, inspiring the cool breeze on a
summer's afternoon, and reflecting, with a serene countenance and great
complacency on the alleviation of human misery that his skill enabled him
to give. Whilst this divine man was enjoying this delicious reverie, and
occasionally sipping his favorite beverage from a silver tankard, in which
was immersed a sprig of rosemary, a sneak thief approached, and seeing the
helpless condition of the old doctor, stole the cup, right before his
eyes, and ran away with it. The doctor was too lame to run after him, and
before he could stir to ring and give alarm the thief was well off."


This reminds one of a story of an old man who stood in a highway, leaning
on his staff, and crying, in a feeble, croaking voice, "Stop thief! stop

"What is the matter, sir?" inquired a fellow, approaching.

"O, a villain has stolen my hat from my head, and run away."

"Your hat!" looking at the bare head; "why didn't you run after him?"

"O, my dear sir, I can't run a step. I am very lame."

"Can't run! then here goes your wig." And so saying, the fellow caught the
poor old man's wig, and scampered away at the top of his speed.

Dr. Sydenham died December 29, 1689. He could not be termed a quack, but
certainly he was a consummate humbug.

An author, before quoted, after copying a description of the "poor
physician" of the age, adds,--

"How it calls to mind the image of Dr. Oliver Goldsmith, when, with a
smattering of medical knowledge and a German diploma, he tried to pick out
of the miseries and ignorance of his fellow-creatures the means of keeping
soul and body together! He, too, poet and doctor, would have sold a pot of
rouge to a faded beauty, or a bottle of hair dye, or a nostrum warranted
to cure the bite of a mad dog."

"Set a rogue to catch a rogue." And to this principle we are indebted for
the exposition of many fallacies and humbugs pursued by early physicians
in order to gain practice.

"Dr. Radcliffe," says Dr. Hannes, "on his arrival in London, employed half
of the porters in town to call for him at the coffee-houses (a famous
resort of physicians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) and
places of public resort, so that his name might become known."

On the other hand, Radcliffe accused Dr. Hannes of the same trick a few
years later. Doctors were doctors' own worst enemies. Instead of standing
by each other of the same school, in lip service, or passing by each
other's errors and imperfections in silence, as they do nowadays, they
quarrelled continually, accusing each other of the very tricks they
practised themselves.

Of Dr. Meade it was confidently asserted, that without practice at first,
he opened extensive correspondence with all the nurses and midwives in his
vicinity, associated and conversed with apothecaries and gossips, who,
hoping for his trade, would recommend him as a skilful practitioner. The
ruse worked, and soon the doctor found his calls were _bona fide_. This is
a trick that some American physicians we know of may have learned from Dr.
Meade. Certainly they know and practise the deception.

When Dr. Hannes went to London, he opened the campaign with a coach and
four. The carriage was of the most imposing appearance, the horses were
the best bloods, sleek and high-spirited, the harnesses and caparisons of
the richest mountings of silver and gold, with the most elegant trimmings.

"By Jove, Radcliffe!" exclaimed Meade, "Dr. Hannes' horses are the finest
I have ever seen."

"Umph," growled Radcliffe, "then he will be able to sell them for all the
more." But Dr. Radcliffe's _prognosis_ was at fault for once; and
notwithstanding all the prejudice that Radcliffe and his friends could
bring to bear against Hannes, and the lampooning verses spread broadcast
against him, he kept his "fine horses," and rode into a flourishing

To make his name known, Dr. Hannes used to send liveried footmen running
about the streets, with directions to poke their heads into every coach
they met, and inquire anxiously, "Is Dr. Hannes here?" "Is this Dr.
Hannes' carriage?" etc.

Acting upon these orders, one of these fellows, after looking into every
carriage from Whitehall to Royal Exchange, ran into a coffee-house, which
was one of the great places of meeting for members of the medical
profession. Several physicians were present, among whom was Radcliffe.

"Gentlemen," said the liveried servant, hat in hand, "can your honors tell
me if Dr. Hannes is present?"

"Who wants Dr. Hannes, fellow?" demanded Radcliffe.

"Lord A. and Lord B., your honor," replied the man.

"No, no, friend," responded the doctor, with pleasant irony; "those lords
don't want _your master_; 'tis he who wants them."

The humbug exploded, but Hannes had got the start before this occurred.

A worthy biographer begins thus, in writing of Dr. Radcliffe: "The
Jacobite partisan, the physician without learning, the luxurious _bon
vivant_, Radcliffe, who grudged the odd sixpence of his tavern score,"
etc., "was born in Yorkshire, in the year 1650."

But notwithstanding Radcliffe's plebeian birth, he died rich, therefore
respected--a fact which hides many sins and imperfections. He not only
humbugged the people of his day into the belief that he was a learned and
eminent physician, but by his shrewdness in disposing of his gains, in
bestowing wealth where it would tell in after years, when his body had
returned to the dust from whence it came,--such as giving fifty thousand
dollars to the Oxford University as a fund for the establishment of the
great "Radcliffe Library," etc.,--he succeeded in humbugging subsequent
generations into the same belief.

Certainly there is room for a few more such humbugs.

Dr. Barnard de Mandeville, in "Essays on Charity and Charity Schools,"
says of Radcliffe, "That a man with small skill in physic, and hardly any
learning, should by vile arts get into practice, and lay up wealth, is no
mighty wonder; but that he should so deeply work himself into the good
opinion of the world as to gain the general esteem of a nation, and
establish a reputation beyond all contemporaries, with no other qualities
but a perfect knowledge of mankind, and a capacity of making the most of
it, is something extraordinary."

Mandeville further accuses him of "an insatiable greediness after wealth,
no regard for religion, or affection for kindred, no compassion for the
poor, and hardly any humanity to his fellow-creatures; gave no proofs that
he loved his country, had a public spirit, or love of the arts, books, or
literature;" and asks, in summing up all this, "What must we judge of his
motives, the principle he acted from, when after his death we find that he
left but a mere trifle among his (poor) relatives who stood in need, and
left an immense treasure to a university that did not want it?"

"Radcliffe was not endowed with a kindly nature," says another writer.
"Meade, I love you," he is represented as saying to his fascinating
adulator, "and I will tell you a secret to make your fortune. Use all
mankind ill."

Radcliffe had practised what he preached. Though mean and penurious, he
could not brook meanness in others.

The rich miser, John Tyson, approximating his end, magnanimously resolved
to pay two of his three million guineas to Dr. Radcliffe for medical
advice. The miserable old man, accompanied by his wife, came up to London,
and tottered into the doctor's office at Bloomsbury Square.

"I wish to consult you, sir; here are two guineas."

"You may go, sir," exclaimed Radcliffe.

The old miser had trusted that he was unknown, and he might pass for a
poor wretch, unable to pay the five guineas expected from the wealthy, as
a single consultation fee.

"You may go home and die, and be d----d; for the grave and the devil are
ready for Jack Tyson of Hackney, who has amassed riches out of the public
and the tears of orphans and widows."

As the miserable old man turned away, Radcliffe exclaimed, "You'll be a
dead man in less than ten days."

It required little medical skill, in the feeble condition of the old man,
in order to give this correct prognosis.

Radcliffe was the Barnum of doctors. "_Omnia mutantur, et nos mutamus in
illis_," exclaimed Lotharius the First. But that "all things are changed,
and we change with them," did not apply to medical humbugs during the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries--no, nor in the nineteenth century,
as we will show, particularly in our articles on Quacks and Patent


The requisites essential to success are amusingly described by a writer of
the former time, as follows:--

_First._ A decent black suit, and (if your credit will stretch so far), a
plush jacket, not a pin the worse if threadbare as a tailor's cloak--it
shows the more reverend antiquity.

_Second._ You must carry a caduceus, or cane, like Mercury, capped with a
civet-box (or snuff-box like Sir Richard's), and must walk with becoming
gravity, as if in deep contemplation upon an arbitrament between life and

_Third._ You must hire convenient lodgings in a respectable neighborhood,
with a hatch[1] at the door; have your reception-room hung with pictures
of some celebrated physicians, ancient historical scenes, and anatomical
plates, and the floor belittered with gallipots and half-empty bottles.
Any sexton will furnish your window with a skull, in hope of your custom.

_Fourth._ Let your desk never be without some old musty Greek and Arabic
authors, and on your table some work on anatomy, open at a picture page,
to amuse, if not astonish spectators, and carelessly thrown on the same a
few gilt shillings, to represent so many guineas received that morning as

_Fifth._ Fail not to patronize neighboring alehouses, which may, in turn,
recommend you to inquirers; and hold correspondence with all the nurses
and midwives whose address you may obtain, to applaud your skill at

_Sixth._ Be not over modest in airy pretensions, not forgetting that
loquaciousness and impudence are essentials to gaining a fool's
confidence. In case you are naturally backward in language, or have an
impediment of speech, you are recommended to persevere in a habit of
mysterious and profound silence before patients, rendered impressive by
grave nods and ahems.


From what meagre biographies we have of French doctors of the past, we are
led to believe that, as at the present time, the humbugs outnumbered the
honest medical practitioners. In the days of Clovis and the great
Charlemagne, before the power of Rome was broken, before Russia was a
nation, and when England was subject to the caprices of many masters,
there were many surgeons employed in the armies of these kings, but the
priests and wizards were the physicians to the great public. The surgeons
possessed all the knowledge there was to be attained at that distant day;
yet they made the heart, not the brain, the centre of thought, and "the
palace of the soul," knew little of anatomy, and nothing of the
circulation of the blood.

The physicians of later periods held court positions by flattery, not by
merit. This was particularly true up to and inclusive of the reign of
"LOUIS LE GRAND." Those who attended as physicians upon the court of this
remarkable monarch of France for seventy-two years, received no stipend
whatever, except the honor of holding so exalted a position as court
physician to such a mighty ruler; and, notwithstanding the outside
practice that this elevated station necessarily brought them, but few
physicians could long bear the enormous expense attending that position.

Louis resided at a distance from his capital. His changes of residence
were continual, and not without a design, and chiefly made for the purpose
of creating and maintaining a number of artificial distinctions. By these
he kept the court in a state of constant anxiety, expense, and
expectation. When the next proposed change was announced, he had made it
the fashion for courtiers to accompany him,--to Versailles, to St.
Germain, or Marly,--and to occupy apartments near him, and the
extravagance and magnificence in which he made it incumbent upon his
followers to appear, with the frequent prescribed changes, rendered it too
expensive a position for a man to sustain, unless possessed of a previous
ample fortune. The surgeons of the armies were paid for their services.

Both Drs. O'Meara and Antommarchi have testified to Napoleon's scepticism
in medicine and distrust of physicians. But "surgeons are godlike," he is
represented as saying, and upon all worthy he bestowed the "Legion of

At St. Helena, Dr. Antommarchi was endeavoring to persuade the emperor to
take a simple remedy which he had prepared for him.

"Bah!" exclaimed Napoleon, "I cannot; it is beyond my power to take

"I pray your majesty to try," entreated the doctor.

"The aversion I have for the slightest preparation is inconceivable. I
have exposed myself to the dangers of the battle-field with indifference;
I have seen death without betraying emotion; but to take medicine, I
cannot," was his reply.

Madame Bertrand, who was present, tried also to persuade the emperor to
take the physician's prescription.

"How do you manage to take all those abominable pills and drugs, Madame
Bertrand, which the doctor is continually prescribing for you?" asked the

"O, I take them without stopping to think about it," was her reply; "and I
beg your majesty will do the same."

Still the dying man shook his head, and appealed to General Montholon, who
gave a similar answer.

"Do you think it will relieve me from this oppression, doctor?" he finally
asked of Dr. Antommarchi.

"I do, my dear sire; and I entreat your majesty to drink it."

"What is it?" asked Napoleon, eying the glass suspiciously.

"Merely some orange water," was the reply.

"Give it me, then;" and the emperor seized the cup and drank the contents
at one draught.

"The emperor has no faith in medicine, and never takes any," said Las
Cases, in his memoirs.

About the year 1723, a man sprang into notice in Paris, styling himself
Dr. Villars. He claimed relationship to the Duke Louis Hector Villars, and
the Abbe Pons is represented as saying that "Dr. Villars is superior to
the great marshal, Louis Hector. The duke kills men,--the doctor prolongs
their existence."

Villars declared that his uncle, who had been killed at the age of one
hundred years, and who might, but for his accidental death, have lived
another half century, had confided to him the secret of his longevity.
It consisted of a medicine, which, if taken according to directions
accompanying each bottle, would prolong the life of the fortunate
possessor _ad infinitum_.

Villars employed several assistants to stand on the corners of the
streets, and who, when a funeral was seen passing, would exclaim,--

"Ah! if the unfortunate deceased had but taken Dr. Villars' nostrum, he
might now be riding in his own carriage, instead of in a hearse."

"Of course," says our authority, "the rabble believed the testimony of
such respectable and _disinterested_ appearing witnesses, and made haste
to obtain the doctor's nostrum--and instructions." And here is where the
laugh comes in.

The patient received positive instructions to live temperately, to eat
moderately, bathe daily, to avoid all excesses, to take steady and
moderate exercise, to rise early, and, in fact, to obey all the laws of
nature. Of course those who persevered in these instructions were greatly
benefited thereby, and the dupes, attributing their recovery to the use of
the nostrum, lauded the doctor.

The medicine, put up in a small bottle, carefully labelled, and sold for
the modest sum of five francs, consisted of water from the River Seine,
tinctured with a quantity of spirits of nitre. A few were wise enough to
see the trick, but most people believed in the efficacy of the nostrum.

Unfortunately for Villars, he intrusted his secret to another, the humbug
leaked out, and Othello's occupation was gone; but not, however, until
Villars had amassed a large fortune from the credulity of the public.

This brings to mind a story, the truth of which can be vouched for,
respecting a New England doctor. His labels contained the following

"The doctor charges you to take care of the health God has given you. In
eating and exercise be moderate. Avoid bad habits and excesses that sap
the life from you. Use no salt pork, newly-baked fine bread, vinegar,
coffee, strong tea, or spirits while taking this medicine. 'Tis not in the
power of man to restore you to health unless you regard these directions."

"What do you think of this?" asked the editor of a journal of Dr. P.,
former professor of H---- College, presenting a vial of the high dilution,
as the medicine was, labelled as above.

"All very well," the doctor replied, after having read the label; "for if
the vial contains nothing but water, with just sufficient alcohol to keep
it, a strict observance of these directions might restore you to health."

"You have treated my case for a long time, doctor, and have never given me
such instructions. Pray why don't _you_ get up something similar?"

"Well, what was his reply?" I asked, as the editor hesitated.

"O, he has not yet informed me."


Humbug is not necessarily synonymous with ignorance. So far from it, that
doubtless a very perfect and successful man in the art of humbugging must
be educated to his business.

The following true statement is a case in point: A physician of New York,
now in excellent standing, who "rolls in riches," and whose own carriage
is drawn by a span of horses that Bonner once might have envied, was but a
few years ago as poor as a church mouse, and as unknown as Scripture. He
had graduated with honors in Transylvania University, opened an office in
a country town, where his knowledge and talents were unappreciated, and
which place he abandoned after a twelve months' patient waiting for a
practice which did not come. He had become poorer every month, and but
for the kind assistance of early friends, must have perished of want.

"Either it is distressingly healthy here, or the good people are afraid to
trust their lives and healths in the hands of an inexperienced physician,"
he remarked to a friend to whom he applied for means for a new start

"And where will you try your luck next?" inquired his friend.

"In New York city."

"In New York city?"

"Yes, and I shall there succeed," he exclaimed, with great determination.

"Well, I hope in my heart of hearts you will," was his friend's reply, as
he kindly loaned him the required sum of money.

Had his friend asked the advice of a third party before making the loan,
doubtless the answer would have been something like the following, though
it was respecting another case:--

"Dr. J. wants me to loan him some money for thirty days; do you suppose he
will refund it?"

"What! lend him money?" was the reply. "He return it? No, sir; if you lend
that man an emetic he would never _return_ it."

On his borrowed funds,--neither principal nor interest of which his kind
friend ever expected him to be able to return,--the doctor entered the
great metropolis. He hired a house in a respectable locality, and hung out
his sign. During his long quiet days in the country village he had read a
great deal, and was "up to the tricks" of his predecessors. He had
particularly posted himself on the ways and means resorted to by some of
those physicians, of whom we have already made brief mention, for getting
into practice.


"What avails it that I know as much as other physicians who have entered
upon a practice? What does my diploma amount to if I have no patients?"
he asked himself over and again. Practice was now his want, and this is
the way he obtained it. Having read of a celebrated physician, who kept
his few patients a long time in waiting, under pretence that he was
preoccupied by the many who fortunately had preceded, our young physician
adopted that great man's tactics. For want of patients to keep in waiting,
he hired some decently dressed lackeys to apply regularly at his front
door, at specified times, and wait till the colored servant admitted them,
one at a time. Each was passed out after a half hour's supposed
consultation, and the next admitted. The neighbors and others passing,
seeing patients continually in waiting, some with a hand, a foot, face, or
other parts bound up, were led to read his sign, and soon a _bona fide_
patient applied, who, in turn, was kept waiting a long time,
notwithstanding the young doctor's anxiety to finger a real medical fee
from his first New York patient. Others followed, the lackeys were
dismissed, and the physician's practice was established. His merit kept
what his shrewdness had obtained.

Cannot the reader avouch for the reputed extensive rides of some country
doctor, who, without a known patient, harnessed his bare-ribbed old horse
to his crazy gig, and drove furiously about the country, returning by a
roundabout way, without having made a single professional visit, thereby
humbugging the honest country people into a belief that he had innumerable
patients in his route?

To quite another class of humbugs belongs the subject of the following
sketch. I have had the pleasure of meeting him but twice--may I never meet
him again. The first interview was at the board of a country hotel.

[Illustration: GRACE BEFORE MEAT.]

I had arrived late at evening by rail, and ordered a light supper. When
the tea-bell had summoned me, I found a large, phlegmatic individual
seated opposite at the table, who possibly had arrived by the same
conveyance as myself. His person was quite repulsive. He was probably
fifty years of age, his eyes watery and restless, his thin stock of
hair--indicating a corresponding poverty of brain--black, streaked by
gray, was stuck back professionally (!) over a low bump of veneration, and
high organs of firmness and self-esteem, which, with a Roman nose, large,
protruding under jaw, and wide, open mouth, gave him a striking
appearance, at least. But what was most observable was his thin, uneven,
scraggy whiskers, uncombed, and besmeared by tobacco juice and bits of the
weed, drooling down over their uncertain length, over waistcoat, and so
out of sight below the table. His coat sleeves had evidently been
substituted for a handkerchief when too great a surplus of tobacco juice
obstructed his face. He bent his great, watery eyes over towards me, and
opened the ball by suggesting that I ask a blessing over the food so
bountifully and temptingly laid before us. Having too much compassion on
the present exhausted state of my stomach to disregard its immediate
demands, and too little confidence in the veneration of my _vis-a-vis_ to
return the request, I went to eating, while he closed one eye, keeping the
other on a plate of hot steak just placed before him by the table girl. I
have since been strongly reminded of him by the character "Bishopriggs,"
in Wilkie Collins's book, "_Man and Wife_." I think, however, for
hypocrisy, the present subject exceeded Bishopriggs. Having wagged his
enormous jaw a few times, by way of grace, he began eating and conversing

"I take it, friend, you're a railroad conductor, coming in so late," he
suggested, between mouthfuls.

"No," was my brief reply.

"Perhaps, cap'n, you're a drummer. Sell dry or wet goods?"


"A newspaper man?"

I merely shook my head.

"Then a patent medicine vender?"

"No!" emphatically.

"Not a minister," he asserted. "Perhaps a doctor," he perseveringly

"Yes, sir; I am a physician."

"O! ah! indeed! I am rejoiced to learn it. Give me your hand, sir," he
exclaimed, rising and reaching his enormous palm across the table. "I am
rejoiced, as I said before, to meet a brother."

"A _brother_!" I repeated, with unfeigned surprise and disgust.

"Yes, a brother! I, too, am a doctor. I have the honor," etc., for the
next ten minutes, while I hastened to finish my supper.

His last interrogation was what a college boy would call a "stunner."

"_Do you think, sir, that the Fillopian ducks are the same in a male as
they are in a female?_"

[Dr. S., a quack living in Winsted, Conn., once said to an educated
physician, that he sometimes found difficulty in introducing a female
catheter on account of the "prostrate" (meaning _prostate_) gland,--which
exists only in the male!]

I saw him once after the above interesting interview. He entered the drug
house of Rust, Bird, & Brother, Boston, just as I was about to go out. I
could not refrain from turning my attention towards him, as I recognized
his stentorian voice.

"Have you got any _Bonyset arbs_?" was all I waited to hear. I
subsequently learned that he was known in Vermont and part of New York
State by the _sobriquet_ of "Dr. Pusbelly."

The following story respecting "Dr. Pusbelly," related in my hearing by a
stage-driver, is in perfect keeping with the character of the man, as he
impressed me in my first interview at the country hotel.


One sunny day in autumn I had occasion to take a long journey "away down
in Maine," when and where there was no railroad. I was seated on the
outside of a four-horse stage-coach, with three or four other passengers,
one of whom was a lady, who preferred riding in that elevated station to
being cramped up inside the coach with eight persons, besides sundry
babies, a poodle dog, and a parrot.

"Sam," our driver, was a sociable fellow, full of pleasant stories,--and
Medford rum, though he was considered a perfectly safe Jehu. The greatest
drawback to his otherwise agreeable yarns was his habit of swearing.
Notwithstanding the presence of the lady, he would occasionally round his
periods and emphasize his sentences with an expletive which had better
have been omitted.

"Can't you tell a story just as well without swearing, Sam?" I inquired.

"O, no; it comes second natur. Why, cap'n, everybody swears sometimes. And
that reminds me--Git up, Jerry" (to the horse). "There was an old doctor,
Pill--Pilgarlic, I called him, on account of his pills, and the strong
effluvia from his cataract mouth. He was up round Champlain, where I drove
before the d--d railroads ruined the great stage business. Well, he was as
religious as a cuss,--that ain't swearin', is it, cap'n? Well, he came
round there pill-peddling, you see, and in order to make the old women
believe in his (expletive) medicines--"

"Don't swear, Sam. You can tell the story better without. Come, try,"
interrupted a passenger, with a twinkle of fun in his expressive eyes.

"Who's telling this story,--you or me?" exclaimed Sam, with a wink.

"Yes, he talked pills by Bible doctrine, swore his essences by the blood
of the Lamb, the ---- old hypocrite. I knowed he was a blamed old
hypocrite, for I had to drive him round every onct in a while, and he
never failed, in season and out of place, to exhort me to seek salvation,
and a new heart, and pure understanding, while, all the time, the filthy
tobacco juice slobbered all over his filthier mug, and down his scattering
whiskers;--now and then one, like the scattering trees in yonder
field,--all over his vest; and his coat sleeves were as bad, from frequent
drawing across his face. Yes, he said, 'Jesus,' but he meant pills. He
said, 'Get wine and milk, without money and without price,' but he meant,
buy his essences, _with_ money. The old gals went crazy over him, and the
pill market was lively. The louder he prayed and exhorted, the faster he
sold his medicines.

"One Sunday afternoon he wanted me to shy him over the lake; so, taking
his Hem-book and Bible in his coat pockets, and his two tin trunks of
medicine, he followed me to the shore. He seated his great carcass in the
starn of the boat, while I rowed him over the lake. All the way he
slobbered tobacco juice; and gabbled his religion at me, while
occasionally I swore mine back at him.

"When we got over, I jumped out, and told him to set steady till I hauled
the boat up further; but he didn't mind, and rose up in the starn with his
kit, a tin trunk in each hand, just as I gave the craft a yerk, when over
backwards he went kerflounce into the water,--carcass, trunks, Bible,
pills, and essences, all into the lake. O, the d----! You ought to have
seen him. Up he came, puffin' and blowin' like a big whale! Then I fished
him out with the boat-hook, and went for his trunks. No sooner had he
reached _terror firmer_ than, blowin' the surplus water and tobacco out of
his throat, _he commenced swearin' at me_. Religion went by the board! O,
Jerusalem! Such a blessing as he gave me I never before heard. I knowed it
was pent up in him, the ---- old sinner, and he only wanted the occasion
to let it out. The bath done it! It was the cussidest baptism I ever
witnessed in the hull course of my life."

"Was he called Dr. Pusbelly?" I suggested, at the close of the narrative.

"Yes, that was his name; but I called him Old Pilgarlic, blame him."


When I lived in Hartford, Conn., some years ago, there resided in that
city a black man, then somewhat noted as a "seer" among various classes of
whites, as well as blacks, and who resides there still, and has since
become quite famous. In what category to place this man,--Professor
Brewster, so called,--it is perhaps a little difficult to determine;
whether among "clairvoyants," "animal magnetizers," "natural doctors,"
"fortune-tellers," or what, or all, it must be admitted that he is a
"character," and wields great influence among certain classes. Nature made
him a superior man of his race, and what thorough, early education
might have done for him, we are left to conjecture. So noted is
Professor Brewster, that I have thought him a proper subject for comment
here, as a living illustration of what a man of subtle genius may
accomplish, though wholly without "book learning," or other approved
instruction, in the field of medicine.


A reliable friend of mine has gathered the following facts and statements
in regard to Professor Brewster, and taken pains to secure the
accompanying engraving of the veritable professor, as he appears in the
year 1872.


"The full name of this remarkable man, now residing in Hartford, Conn., is
Worthington Hooker Erasmus Brewster, commonly called, by those who venture
on familiarity, 'Worthy' Brewster, for short. Worthy is of full medium
height, powerfully built, and well knitted together. His head is very well
moulded, and also extremely large, but not disproportionally large for his
massive shoulders. He was born of 'poor but honest' (though undoubtedly
black) parents, in the town of Granby, Conn., on the 21st day of January,

"The boy Worthy, at the age of six years, went with his mother (his father
having died) and her new husband to the hills of Litchfield County to
live, and was there brought up to youth's estate, enjoying the
opportunities of education at the district school in what is now _West_
Winsted. The places of the birth and early rearing of Professor Brewster
are fixed beyond question, which fact will, it is hoped, forbid the
contention of other towns, and of 'seven cities,' or more, over the
question, after he shall have passed away. Worthy was not attracted to
literature and science, however. He seemed to spurn these, as unworthy of
his natural gifts to waste their time upon. But he learned to read, and
can write a 'fair hand.' Seeing no special need of being cramped and
confined by the narrow rules of spelling, Worthy has invented a style of
orthography for himself, and writes a compact, forcible, and even masterly

"But we must not linger on the details of his youth. Suffice it that
Worthy grew up a powerful lad, and became the conquering athlete of all
the region about his home. No man, of hundreds who tried, was able to
successfully wrestle with him. The strongest men were no match for him. He
was as agile as he was powerful, and to this day retains great elasticity
of foot and limb. He was a mysterious fellow also, and, before he was
sixteen years old, was regarded by his friends and acquaintances, of
African descent, especially, as a sort of prophet, while many whites
considered him a necromancer, and people all about declared he 'had the
devil in him' to no ordinary extent. Worthy claimed, in those days, to
'see visions,' and many stories are current among his contemporaries
regarding his then being able to 'charm snakes,' and do other miraculous
things. Abundant witnesses, such as they are, can now be found ready to
take their oaths that they have seen Worthy, 'with their own eyes,'
perform his miracles. It is certain that these believe in him.

"At the age of twenty Worthy went to New York city, where (in Lawrence
Street) he lived for the period of a year, successfully practising the art
of fortune-telling. While there Worthy first discovered his powers as a
'mesmerizer,' or magnetic physician. A school-girl, knowing that Worthy
'practised the healing art' somewhat, and suffering intensely with a
toothache, jeeringly asked him, 'Why can't you think of something to cure
my toothache?' Whereupon Worthy clapped his hands to her head, and
vigorously drew them down her cheeks, half in fun, half seriously, when,
to his astonishment, he found that all his (sound) teeth ached terribly,
while she declared that the pain had left hers. Such is his story; and it
is by no means an improbable one; for animal magnetism is a fixed fact
(however it may be analyzed or defined), and diseases are often
'magnetically' alleviated; and Worthy, with his powerful body and superb
health, as well as native force of intellect, may be as naturally gifted,
as a magnetic operator, as even Mesmer himself. Indeed, the writer is
inclined to believe that Worthy's great power over many people is largely
due to his superior vital forces.

"Worthy now turned his attention considerably to diseases, but returned to
Litchfield County for a while. At the age of twenty-six, he resolved 'to
see more of the world,' and in the capacity of steward embarked at New
Haven on board the brig Marshal, Captain Brison, freighted with horses,
and bound for a long trading voyage to the Island of Demarara, and to
South America, where they coasted during the winters, and took in coffee,
etc., in exchange for their cargo. Worthy was gone from home on this
voyage two years and two months, during which time he learned many
mysteries. He was a foreign traveller now, and his polite and
professional education may be said to have at that time become

"Since then Worthy has practised medicine to considerable extent, told
fortunes, 'looked' (in a crystal) for stolen property, and, if we are to
believe half of what is attested by many astute people (such as police
detectives, etc.), has, by force of his great sagacity, or in some way (he
would say, through clairvoyance), managed to achieve great success in
ferreting out lost or stolen treasures, and bringing thieves to grief.

"People of all classes in society visit him with their troubles of mind
and body. But the major part of his clientage is females. The wives and
accomplished daughters of wealthy men, as well as poor and ignorant women,
come from distant parts of the country to consult him, and a great number
of the first ladies of Hartford also consult him. Worthy carries on the
business of a 'chair-seater,' partly to occupy his time during the
intervals of his divinations, and partly to provide an excuse for cautious
persons to call on him for consultations. Those who consult him do so
mostly regarding secret matters, and they pretend to visit him to engage
him to seat chairs!

"He is consulted in respect to all sorts of diseases, and by unsuccessful,
perplexed, or doubting lovers; by husbands whose wives have absconded, and
who are anxious to call them back; by wives in regard to their wandering
husbands; by hosts of superstitious people (and these are found in all
classes), who believe themselves 'possessed by devils,' or demons. He is
expected to cast out the devils (and he does so as surely as most doctors
cure imaginary diseases). People who have lost property, and officers of
the law in search of stolen goods, consult him; and bachelors and widowers
in want of wives, and countless maids (both old and young), anxious to get
married, visit him and receive his sweet consolations, or mourn over the
ill luck which he prognosticates for them. His correspondence is large. A
hasty glance through several hundred letters in 'Professor Brewster's'
possession convinced the writer that the amount and character of the
superstition and ignorance which exist in these days, in our very midst,
are probably but little conjectured by the more cultivated classes. They
are indeed astounding, but are not confined, as we have before intimated,
to the wholly illiterate classes. People competent to write letters with
grammatical precision, and observing what would ordinarily be called an
'excellent business style,' at least, in their composition, consult the
professor; and so successful is Worthy in his diagnoses of and
prescriptions for various diseases, that many of his patients write him
letters overflowing with gratitude, while others voluntarily and
admiringly attest his skill as a 'seer.' To what talent, 'gift,' or what
secret of good luck, 'Professor Brewster' owes the many successes he wins
(even though he may fail ten times more often than he succeeds), we
cannot, of course, decide. But certain it is that he, with all his claims
to a knowledge of the 'occult,' exists, practises his arts, and through a
period of years has retained his old patients, and the postulants before
his supposed demigodship, while adding constantly to their number. In this
he is a remarkable man. He has accumulated quite a respectable property,
and is decidedly one of the 'institutions' of the enlightened and
cultivated city of Hartford.

"It should be remarked here that Worthy was, during the late civil war, a
true patriot. He was attached to the twenty-ninth regiment Connecticut
Volunteers, under Colonel Wooster (a 'colored' regiment), and was 'gone to
the war' over two years. His powers as a 'clairvoyant,' or 'fore-seer,'
served him in the war, and he 'always knew what was coming,' he says. As a
part of the curious history of the war, serving to show how little the
people of the North understood, in the first years of the contest, that
they were fighting for a great humanitary end,--the abolition of chattel
slavery,--it may be noted here, that Worthy wrote to Governor Buckingham,
in August, 1862, proposing to raise a black regiment, and the governor, by
his secretary, replied to Worthy's proposition, that he then did 'not deem
it expedient,'--which fact institutes a comparison between the judgments
of the governor and Worthy, not uncomplimentary to the latter."





There are few occupations wherein Old Time has wrought so few changes as
in that of the apothecary's. What it was four hundred years ago it is
to-day! Who first invented its weights, measures, and symbols, I am unable
to say; but it is a fact that they remain the same as when first made
mention of by the earliest writers on the subject.

Drop into the "corner drug store,"--and what corner has none!--examine the
balances, the tables of weights and measures, the graduating glass, the
signs for grains, scruples, ounces, and pounds, and you will find them the
same as those used by the earliest known _medical_ apothecaries, by those
of the Elizabethan period, or when King Lear (Lyr) said, "Give me an ounce
of civet, good apothecary, to sweeten my imagination; there's money for

The money has changed; _names_ of drugs are somewhat altered; some new
ones have taken the place of old ones; prescriptions changed in quality;
but quantities, and modes of expressing them, are unchanged.

"In the middle ages an apothecary was the keeper of any shop or warehouse,
and an officer appointed to take charge of a magazine."--_Webster._

We have good grounds for supposing this to have been the case in the time
of the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem, more that two thousand years
ago. Nehemiah informs us that the son of an apothecary assisted in
"fortifying Jerusalem unto the broad wall." Was not this the office of an
overseer, or "keeper of a magazine"? Various artisans were employed to
perform certain portions of the work, and who more appropriate or better
qualified to oversee the rebuilding of the fortifications than "an officer
appointed to take charge of the magazines"?

One more reference we draw from Scripture,[2] viz., in Exodus xxxvii. 29,
where "the holy anointing oil" (not for medicine, but for the tabernacle),
"and the pure incense of sweet spices" (not medical), "were made according
to the work [book?] of the apothecary." This, however, no more implies
that the said "apothecary" was a medical man, a dispenser of physic, or
versed in medical lore, than that the maker of shewbread (Lev. xxiv. 5)
was necessarily a pharmacist.

In fact, there seems to have been no need of an apothecary, as medicine
dispenser, until about the latter part of the thirteenth century.

The oldest known work on compounding medicines was written by Nicolaus
Mynepsus, who died in the commencement of the fourteenth century.

The first apothecaries were merely growers and dispensers of herbs, and
were but a poor and beggarly set.

Shakspeare's delineation of the "_poor apothecary of Mantua_," in Romeo
and Juliet, so completely answers the description of the whole "kit" of
druggists of the times, that we may be pardoned in quoting him.

Romeo says,--

  "I do remember an apothecary,--
  And hereabouts he dwells,--whom late I noted
  In tattered weeds, with overwhelming brows,
  Culling of simples (herbs). Meagre were his looks;
  Sharp misery had worn him to the bones;
  And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
  An alligator stuffed, and other skins
  Of ill-shaped fishes; and about his shelves
  A beggarly account of empty boxes,
  Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds;
  Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses,
  Were thinly scattered to make up a show.
  Noting this penury, to myself I said,--
  'An' if a man did need a poison now,
  Whose sale is present death in Mantua,
  Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.'

         *       *       *       *       *

  What, ho! apothecary!
    _Apothecary._ Who calls so loud?
    _Romeo._ Come hither, man! I see that thou art poor.
  Hold! There is forty ducats! [$80.] Let me have
  A dram of poison.
    _Apoth._ Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua's law
  Is death to any he that utters them.
    _Rom._ Art thou so bare, and full of wretchedness,
  And fear'st to die? Famine is on thy cheeks;
  Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes;
  Upon thy back hangs ragged misery;
  The world is not thy friend, nor the world's law;
  The world affords no law to make thee rich;
  Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.
    _Apoth._ My poverty, but not my will, consents."

When we behold the opulent druggists of the present day, we can hardly
credit the fact that for nearly two hundred years the apothecary of Mantua
was a fair specimen of the wretches who represented that now important
branch of business.

The physician was the master, the apothecary the slave!

The following were among the rules prescribed by Dr. Bullyn for the
"apothecary's life and conduct" during the Elizabethan era:--

    "1. He must serve God, be clenly, pity the poore.

    2. Must not be suborned for money to hurt mankind.

    4. His garden must be at hand, with plenty of herbes, seedes, and

    5. To sow, set, plant, gather, preserve, and keepe them in due time.

    6. To read Dioscorides, to learn ye nature of plants and herbes.
    (Dioscorides published a work on vegetable remedies about 1499, in
    Greek. The _translation_ was referred to.)

    8. To have his morters, stilles, pottes, filters, glasses, and boxes
    cleane and sweete.

    12. That he neither increase nor diminish the physician's bill
    (prescription), nor keepe it for his own use.

    14. That he peruse often his wares, that they corrupt not.

    15. That he put not in _quid pro quo_ (i. e., substitute one drug for
    another.) (Would not this be excellent advice to some of the
    apothecaries of the present day?)

    16. That he meddle only in his vocation.

    18. That he delight to reade Nicolaus Mynepsus, and a few other
    ancient authors.

    19. That he remember his office is only ye physician's _cooke_.

    20. That he use true waights and measures.

    21. That he be not covetous or crafty, seeking his own lucre before
    other men's help and comfort."

We may see the wisdom evinced by the author of the above advice,
especially in articles Nos. 2, 12, and 21, when we know of a druggist's
clerk of modern times, who, having stolen the physician's prescriptions
intrusted to his care, started out on borrowed capital, and, putting them
up as his own wonderful discoveries, advertised them extensively, until
his remedies, for all diseases which flesh is heir to, are now sold
throughout the entire universe!

As the doctors were accustomed to retain their most valuable recipes, and
put up the medicines themselves, selling them as nostrums, and because of
the heavy percentage demanded by them for those intrusted to the
apothecaries, and the small profit accruing from the sale of medicines at
the time, the poor wretched "cookes" were necessarily kept in extreme
poverty. So, in order to eke out a living, the apothecaries were also
grocers and small tradesmen. As at the present day, they were not required
to possess any knowledge of medical science beyond the reading of a few
books "relating to the nature of plants," hence very little honor or
profit could accrue from the business alone.

Grocers kept a small stock of drugs, sometimes in a corner by themselves,
but not unusually thrown about and jumbled amongst the articles kept for
culinary and other purposes. As mineral medicines became more generally
used, these were also added to the little stock, and not unfrequently was
some poisonous substance dealt out by a green clerk (as is often the case
nowadays) to the little errand girl, sent in haste for some culinary

Allspice and aloes, sugar and tartar emetic, lemon essence and laudanum,
were thrown promiscuously together into drawers, or upon the most
convenient shelves, and you need not go far into the country to witness
the same lamentable spectacle in the enlightened nineteenth century. The
apothecary gave the most attention, as now, to the exposition and sale of
those articles which sold the most readily, and returned the greatest
profit. All druggists at present sell cigars and tobacco, at the same time
not unusually posting up a conspicuous sign--


The following is a case in point:--

_Druggist._ Smoking not allowed here, sir.

_Customer._ Why! I just bought this cigar from you.

_Druggist._ Well, we also sell emetics and cathartics. That does not
license customers to sit down and enjoy them on the premises.

In the thirteenth year of the reign of James I. of England (and James VI.
of Scotland) the apothecaries and grocers were disunited. The charter,
however, placed the former under the control of the College of Physicians,
who were endowed with the arbitrary powers of inspecting their shops and
wares, and inflicting punishments for alleged neglects, deficiencies, and

The physicians knew so little, that the apothecaries soon were enabled to
cope with them; "and before a generation had passed away the apothecaries
had gained so much, socially and pecuniarily, that the more prosperous of
them could afford to laugh in the face of the faculty, and by the
commencement of the next century they were fawned upon by the younger
physicians, and were in a position to quarrel with the old, which they
soon improved."

As it was a common occurrence for patients to apply at the apothecary's
for a physician, the former either recommended the applicant to one who
favored him, _or else prescribed for the patient himself_. The
promulgation of this fact was the declaration of war with the old
physicians, who heretofore had done their best to keep down the
apothecaries. The former threatened punishment, as provided by law; the
latter retaliated, by refusing to call them in to consult on difficult
cases. "Starving graduates of Oxford and Cambridge, with the certificate
of the college in their pockets, were imbittered by having to trudge along
on foot and see the mean 'medicine mixers,' who had scarce scholarship
enough to construe a prescription, dashing by in their carriages."

The war progressed,--Physician _vs._ Apothecary,--and the rabble joined.
Education sided with the physicians, interest sided with the

  "So modern 'pothecaries taught the art,
  By doctors' bills, to play the doctors' part;
  Bold in the practice of mistaken rules,
  Prescribe, apply, and call their masters fools."

To circumvent the apothecaries, a dispensary was established in the
College of Physicians, where prescriptions were dispensed at cost. While
this proceeding served to lessen the apothecary's income for a time, it
could not greatly benefit the prescribing physician. The former might
parallel his case with Iago, and say of the physician, he

  "Robs me of that which not enriches him,
  And makes me poor indeed."

Physicians were divided into two classes,--Dispensarians and
Anti-dispensarians. Charges of ignorance, extortion, and of double-dealing
were preferred on both sides. The dispensary doctors charged their
opponents with playing into the hands of the apothecaries by prescribing
enormous doses, often changing their prescriptions uselessly to increase
the druggists' revenues and _their own percentage_! On the other hand, the
dispensarians were accused of charging a double profit on prescriptions
whenever the ignorance of the patient, respecting the value of drugs,
would admit of the extortion.

Had the physicians been united, the apothecaries would have had to
succumb; but a divided house must fall, and the apothecaries won the day.

A London apothecary, having been prosecuted by the college for prescribing
for a patient without a regular physician's advice, carried the case up to
the House of Lords, where he obtained a verdict in his favor; and another
apothecary, Mr. Goodwin, whose goods had been seized by some dispensary
doctors, having obtained a large sum for damages, which being considered
test cases, the doctors from this time (about 1725) discontinued the
exercise of their authority over the apothecaries.

Thus emancipated from the supervision of the physicians, the apothecaries
began to feel their own importance, and most of them prescribed boldly for
patients, without consulting a doctor. The ignorance of many of them was
only equalled by their impudence. It is not unusual, at the present day,
for not only apothecaries, but their most ignorant clerks, to prescribe
for persons, strangers perhaps, who call to inquire for a physician; and
cases, too, where the utmost skill and experience are required.

The following amusing anecdote is sufficiently in accordance with facts
within our own knowledge to be true, notwithstanding its _seeming_


The handwriting of Macready, the actor, was curiously illegible, and
especially when writing a pass to the theatre. One day, at New Orleans,
Mr. Brougham obtained one of these orders for a friend. On handing it to
the latter gentleman, he asked,--

"What is this, Brougham?"

"A pass to see Macready."

"Why, I thought it was a physician's prescription, which it most

"So it does," acquiesced Mr. Brougham, again looking over the queer
hieroglyphics. "Let us go to an apothecary's and have it made up."

Turning to the nearest druggist's, the paper was given to the clerk, who
gave it a careless glance, and proceeded to get a vial ready.

With a second look at the paper, down came a tincture bottle, and the vial
was half filled. Then there was a pause.

Brougham and his friend pretended not to notice the proceedings. The clerk
was evidently puzzled, and finally broke down, and rang for the
proprietor, an elderly and pompous looking individual, who issued from the
inner sanctum. The clerk presented the paper, the old dispenser adjusted
his eye-glasses, examined the document for a few seconds, and then, with a
depreciating expression,--a compound of pity and contempt for the
ignorance of the subordinate,--he proceeded to fill the vial with some
apocryphal fluid, and, giving it a professional "shake up," duly corked
and labelled it.


"A cough mixture, gentlemen," he said, with a bland smile, as he handed it
to the gentleman in waiting, "and a very excellent one, too. Fifty cents,
if you please."

In a copy of the London Lancet, 1844, is reported Dr. Graham's bill. In
the same number of which is a reply by an apothecary, who asks if "the old
and respectable class of apothecaries are to be forever abolished;" and
he quotes the assertion from one of the articles in the bill: "Is it not a
notorious fact that the masses of chemists and druggists know nothing of
the business in which they are engaged?" Dr. Graham certainly ought to
have known.

Druggists are liable to make mistakes,--as are all men; but carelesness
and ignorance, one or both, are usually to be found at the bottom of the
fatalities so common in the dispensing of prescriptions. I know an old and
experienced druggist who sold a pot of extract belladonna for extract
dandelion. In the same city, on the same street, I know another who was
prosecuted for dispensing opium for taraxicum, which carelesness caused
the death of two children. The following mistake was less fatal, but only
think of the poor lady's feelings!

A servant girl was sent to a certain drug store we know of, who, in a
"rich brogue," which might have caused General Scott's eyes to water with
satisfaction, and his ears to lop like Bottom's after his transformation
by the mischievous fairy, she asked for some "caster ile," which she
wished effectually disguised.

"Do you like soda water?" asked the druggist.

"O, yis, thank ye, sir," was the prompt reply; "an' limmun, sir, if ye
plaze; long life to yeze."

The man then proceeded to draw a glass, strongly flavored with lemon, with
a dose of oil cast upon its troubled waters.

"Drink it at one swallow," said he, presenting it to the smiling Bridget.
This she did, again thanking the gentlemanly clerk.

"What are you waiting for?" he inquired, seeing that she still lingered.

"I'm waitin' for the caster ile, sir," said the girl.

"O! Why you have just taken it," replied the soda-drug man.

"Och! Murther! It was for a sick man I wanted it, an' not meself at all."

[Illustration: THE WRONG PATIENT.]

While there have been great changes in the drug trade during the last
fifty years, necessary to the increasing demand for drugs, the
establishment of wholesale houses and some specialties, and in cities, the
substitution of cigars, soda water, patent medicines, etc., for groceries
and provisions, the dispensing apothecary is nearer to what he was
hundreds of years ago, as we asserted at the commencement of this chapter,
than any other professional we know of. The paraphernalia of the shop is
nearly the same. There is no improvement in pot, in jar, in tables, in
spatula; the old, ungainly mortar is not _substituted_ by a mill; the
signs of ounces and drachms remain the same, though so near alike that
they are easily and often mistaken one for the other, and the prescription
before the dispenser is prefixed by a relic of the astrological symbol of
Jupiter,--"the god of medicine to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians,"--as a
species of superstitious invocation. In our largest cities even, in the
shop windows, the mammoth flashing blue bottles, "a relic of empiric
charlatanry," still brighten our street corners, and frighten our horses
at night, as in the days of our forefathers.

We intimated that "patent medicines" had added greatly to the trade. This
we shall treat of under its proper head. Many have arisen from penury to
affluence, from obscurity to renown, in the drug trade of later years; but
take away the tobacco trade, the soda fountain, and the outside patent
nostrums, and wherein would the apothecary now differ from his

"The Yankees bate the divil for swallowing drugs," said an Irishman.

"A paddy will take nothing but castor oil," replied the Yankee.

Yankee or Irish, English or Scotch, French or German, they all rush to the
drug store for pills, for powder, for whiskey (?), for tobacco, for patent
medicines, and the druggists flourish.

From the window near which I write this, I overlook a wholesale drug store
on a "retail street." The front windows contain only _patent medicines_,
and the flashy signs that announce their virtues. Few prescriptions are
dispensed within. Before the door, piled nearly a story high, I have just
counted ninety-eight boxes, and some barrels. There are hundreds of these
drug houses scattered over this city; and every other city of America has
its quota.

Yes, the Irishman had the right of it; "the Yankees _do_ bate the divil
for swallowing drugs." Further, it is my positive opinion that his
infernal majesty beats a good many of them by the encouragement of their
purchase; and, kind reader, if you have the ghost of a doubt of the truth
of our intimation, don't, I pray, promulgate it, but, like a wise judge,
withhold your decision until the evidence is in; until you hear our
exposition of "patent medicines."

A patient comes to the city for the purpose of consulting some experienced
physician for a certain complaint. Probably he gets a prescription, with
instructions to go to a certain respectable druggist or apothecary in town
to have the necessary medicines put up. Of course a respectable physician
knows of a reliable apothecary. The patient, in nine cases out of ten,
desires to retain the prescription, and often does so. He goes to another
drug store, more convenient, for a second quantity of the same; and now
let me ask the patient,--no matter who or where he is,--did you ever get
the same kind of medicine, in _look_, color, quantity, and
taste,--all,--the second time, from the same prescription? I have often
heard the patient complain that he could not get the same put up at the
very store where he got the original prescription compounded.

I once was called to visit a lady who was laboring under great
prostration; "sickness at the stomach," with constipation.

"What is the disease?" inquired the anxious husband, who had previously
employed two regular physicians for the case, and discharged them both.

"Nux vomica," was the reply.

I gathered up three of the vials on the table, and, taking them to the
designated apothecary's, I demanded the prescriptions corresponding with
the numbers on the vials. These were duplicates.

He had made a mistake! that's all. He had compounded an ounce of tincture
of nux instead of a drachm! Not that a drachm could be taken at a dose
with impunity; but whatever the dose was, the patient was continually
taking eight times as much as the physician intended to prescribe.

Another reason of the failure of the prescribing physician meeting the
expectation anticipated, is the use of old and inert medicines.

Where a man's treasure is, his heart is also. An apothecary's interest is
more in nostrums, tobacco, _soda_, etc., than in medicines; how, then, can
he follow the excellent advice of Dr. Bullyn, in article "14, that he
peruse often his wares, that they corrupt not."

But the greatest cheat is in the "substituting" business; the "_quid pro
quo_." Horse aloes may be bought for ten cents a pound. Podophyllin costs
seventy-five cents an ounce. They each act as cathartic, and I have
detected the former put in place of the latter. How is the physician to
know the cheat? How is the patient to detect it? Perhaps the former
_stuff_--aloes--may have given the victim the hemorrhoids. One dose may be
quite sufficient to produce that distressing disease. This only calls for
another prescription! So it looks a deal like a "you tickle me, and I'll
tickle you" profession, at best. Thus the patient becomes disgusted, and
resorts to our next--"Patent Medicines."

In closing this chapter on Apothecaries, I must relate a little scene to
which I was an eye-witness. Meantime, let me say to the "respectable
druggist," Don't be offended if I have slighted you by leaving you out, in
my description of the various kinds of apothecaries enumerated above.
There is a respectable class of druggists whom I have not mentioned, and
doubtless you belong to that order.

On going home one evening, not long since, I observed several boys, loud
and boisterous, surrounding a lamp post. As I approached, I heard, among
the cries and vociferations,--

"Howld to it, Jimmy; it'll be the makin' of ye."

I drew nearer, and discovered a sickly-looking lad leaning up against the
lamp post, with the stump of a cigar in his mouth, and a taller boy
endeavoring to hold him up by his jacket collar, while a short-set urchin
was stooping behind to assist in the task. They were evidently endeavoring
to teach "Jimmy" to smoke. The poor fellow was deathly sick, and faintly
begged to be let off.

"O, no, no. Stick to it, Jimmy; it'll be the makin' of yese," was

"Sure, ye'll niver do for a _sample clark in a potecary shop_," said
another, as he blew a cloud of smoke from his own cigar stump into the
pale face of the victim to modern accomplishments.


"General Grant smokes, Jimmy, and you'll never be a man if you don't
learn," added a voice minus the brogue.

A policeman here interfered, and rescued the wretched "Jimmy."

"What is a sample clerk, my lad?" I asked of the boy who had used the
above expression.

"O, sir, he's the divil o' the 'potecary shop; the lean, pimply-faced
urchin what tastes all the pizen drugs for the boss. If his constitution
is tough enough to stand it the first year, then they makes a clark of him
the nixt."




    "Expunge the whole."--POPE.

    "These are terrible alarms to persons grown fat and wealthy."--SOUTH.


In the former chapters are shown some of the causes which led to the
present immense _demand_ for proprietary nostrums, or patent medicines.
The conflicting "_isms_" and "_opathies_" of the medical fraternity, their
quarrels and depreciations of one and another, their expositions of each
other's weaknesses, frauds, and duplicities, disgusted the common people,
who finally resorted to the irregulars, to astrologers, and humbugs of
various pretensions, and to the few advertised nostrums of those earlier

"While there is life there is hope," and invalids would, and still
continue to seize upon almost any promised relief from present pain and
anticipated death. Speculative and unprincipled men have seldom been
wanting, at any period, to profit by this misfortune of their
fellow-creatures, and to play upon the credulity of the afflicted, by
offering various compounds warranted to restore them to perfect health. At
first such medicines were introduced by the owner going about personally
and introducing them; subsequently, by employing equally unprincipled
parties, of either sex, to go in advance, and tell of the wonderful cures
that this particular nostrum had wrought upon them. And to listen to these
lauders, one would be led to suppose that they had been afflicted with all
the ills nameable, adapting themselves to the parties
addressed,--yesterday, the gout; to-day, consumption, etc.,--regardless of
truth or circumstance. The physician created the apothecary. The two
opened the way for the less principled patent medicine vender.

"Are not physicians and apothecaries sometimes owners of patent
medicines?" is the inquiry raised. Yes, certainly; but the true physician,
or honorable apothecary, is then sunk in the nostrum manufacturer. Next we
have the mountebanks. These were attendant upon fairs and in the
marketplaces, who, mounted upon a bench,--hence the name,--cried the
marvellous virtues of the medicine, and, by the assistance of a _decoy_ in
the crowd, often drove a lucrative business.

Finally, upon the general introduction of printing, physician, apothecary,
mountebank, speculator, all seized upon the "power of the press," to more
extensively introduce their "wonderful discoveries."

When you notice the name--and, O, ye gods, such names as are patched up to
attract your attention!--to a new medicine, systematically and extensively
advertised in every paper you chance to pick up, you wonder how any profit
can accrue to the manufacturer of the compound after paying such enormous
prices as column upon column in a thousand newspapers must necessarily
cost. "If the articles cost anything at the outset," you go on to
philosophize, "how can the manufacturers or proprietors make enough profit
to pay for this colossal advertising?" The solution of the problem is
embodied in your inquiry. They cost nothing, or as near to nothing as
possible for worthless trash to cost. This is the secret of the fortunes
made in advertised medicines.

When we _know_ the complete worthlessness of the majority of the articles
that are placed before the public,--yea, their more than worthlessness,
for they are, many of them, highly injurious to the user,--the fact of
their enormous consumption is truly astonishing. The drug-swallowing
public has grown lean and poor in proportion as the manufacturers and
venders of these villanous compounds have grown fat and wealthy.

Said the proprietor of "Coe's Cough Balsam" and "Dyspepsia Cure" to the
author, "If you have got a _good_ medicine, one of value, don't put it
before the public. I can advertise _dish water_, and sell it, just as well
as an article of merit. It is all in the advertising." As the above
preparations were advertised on every board fence, and in every newspaper
in New England at least, did his assertion imply that those articles were
mere "_dish water_"?


I was informed by a Mr. Johnston, who engineered the advertising of the
preparation, that it cost but one eighth of a cent per bottle. If you want
to make a liquid glue, dissolve a quantity of common glue in water at
nearly boiling point, say one pound of glue to a gallon of water; add an
ounce or less of nitric acid to hold it in solution, and bottle. The more
glue, the stronger the preparation.

The pain-killers and liniments are the most costly, on account of the
alcohol necessary to their manufacture; and, in fact, the principal item
of expense in all liquid medical articles put up for public sale, is in
the alcohol essential to their preservation against the extremes of heat
and cold to which they may be subjected.


There is an article which "smells to heaven," the acidiferous title of
which glares in mammoth letters from every road-side, wherein the
audacious proprietor obviates the necessity of alcohol for its preparation
or preservation. It is merely fermented slops--"dish water," minus the
alcohol. Take a few handfuls of any bitter herbs, saturate them in any
dirty pond water,--say a barrel full,--add some nitric acid, and bottle,
without straining! Here you have _Vinegared Bitters_! The cheeky
proprietor informs the "ignorant public" that, "if the _medicine_ becomes
sour (ferments), as it sometimes will, being its 'nature so to do,' it
does not detract from its medical virtues." True, true! for it never
possessed "medical virtues."

The cost of this villanous decoction is _scarcely half a cent a bottle_!
Soured swill! It is recommended to cure fifty different complaints! It
sells to fools for "one dollar a bottle," and will go through one like so
much quicksilver. "Try a bottle," if you doubt it. The "dodge" is in
advertising it as a temperance bitter. Having no alcoholic properties, it
in no wise endangers the user in becoming addicted to _stimulants_.

Sarsaparilla humbugs are only second to the above. But a few years since
an immense fortune was realized by a New York speculator in human flesh on
a "Sarsaparilla" which contained not one drop of that all but useless
medicine; nor did it possess any real medical properties whatever.


To illustrate this point, we introduce the following conversation between
the author and a "down east" farmer, in 1852:--

"It's all a humbug, is saxferilla!" exclaimed the old farmer, rapping his
fist "hard down on the old oaken table."

"Why, no; not _all_ sarsaparilla; you must admit--"

"No difference. I tell you it's a pesky humbug, all of it."

[Illustration: "IT'S ALL A HUMBUG."]

Withdrawing his tobacco pipe from his mouth, he laid it on the table, and
standing his thumb end on the board, as a "point of departure," he turned
to me, and said,--

"Why, in the medical books it has been analyzed, and they say it's nothin'
but sugar-house molasses, cheap whiskey, and a sprinkling of essence of
wintergreen and saxafras. Git the book, and see 'Townsend's Saxferilla,'
and that is the article! But they are all alike. Let me tell you about the
great New York saxferilla speculation. One man, S. P. Townsend, started a
compound like this here--nothin' but molasses and whiskey, and essence to
scent it nicely. When he had got it advertised from Texas to the Gut of
Canser (Canso, Provinces), from the Atlantic to the Specific, and was
about to make his fortune off on it, some speculators see he was doin' a
good thing, and, by zounds! they put their heads together, and their
dollars, to have a finger in the pie; and they done it. This is the way
they circumscribed him. They hired an old fellow,--I believe he was a
porter in a store when they found him,--named Jacob Townsend, and a right
rough old customer he was, all rags and dirt, hadn't but one reliable eye,
and a regular old rumsucker.

"Well, they fixed him up with a fine suit of clothes, and, by zounds! they
palmed him off for the original, Simon Pure saxferilla man. So they
advertised him as the real ginuine Townsend, and started a 'saxferilla,'
with his ugly old face on the bottles, and said that the other was
counterfeit, you see; and there he sat, with his one eye cocked on the
crowd of customers that crowded round to see the ginuine thing, you know.
So they blowed the other saxferilla as counterfeit, and finding in a store
a bottle or two that had _fomented_, they made a great noise about the
bogus saxferilla, 'busting the bottles,' and all that, and again asserting
that the Jacob Townsend was the true blue, Simon Pure; and it took, by
zounds! Yes, the public swallowed the lie, the saxferilla, old Jacob, and
all. I hearn that both the parties made a fortune on it."

Stopping to take a whiff at his neglected pipe, he resumed:--

"Saxferilla is all a humbug!"

S. P. Townsend, as is well known, amassed a fortune, at one time, on the
profits of the "sarsaparilla," put up, as the reader may remember, in
huge, square, black bottles. The Boston Medical and Surgical Journal, Vol.
XL. p. 237, says, "Townsend's Sarsaparilla, Albany, N. Y., in nearly black
bottles," is "composed of molasses, extract of roots _or_ barks (sassafras
bark is better than essence, because of body and color), and _probably_
senna and sarsaparilla. A. A. HAYES, State Assayer."

The medical properties are all a _supposition_, even though Dr. Hayes was
_hired_ to give the analysis of it to the public, in the interest of the
proprietor, and consequently he would not detract from its _supposed_

Pectorals, wild cherry preparations, etc., are cheaply made. Oil of
almonds produces the _cherry_ flavor, _hydrocyanic acid_ (prussic acid, a
virulent poison) and morphine, or opium, constitute the medical
properties. I have not examined the exception to the above.

_Pills._ The bitter and cathartic properties of nearly every pill in the
market,--advertised preparation,--whether "mandrake," "liver,"
"vegetable," or what else, are made up from aloes, the coarsest and
cheapest of all bitter cathartics. One is as good as another. You pay your
money, however; you can take your choice.

One holds the ascendency in proportion to the money or cheek invested by
the owner in its introduction. A great Philadelphia pill, now sold in all
the drug stores of America, was introduced by the following "dodge": The
owner began small. He took his pills to the druggists, and, as he could
not sell an unknown and unadvertised patent pill, he left a few boxes on
commission. He then sent round and bought them up. Their ready sale
induced the druggists to purchase again, for cash. The proprietor invested
the surplus cash in advertising their "rapid sale," as well as their "rare
virtues," and by puffing, and a little more buying up, he got them
started. He necessarily must keep them advertised, or they would become a
_drug_ in market.

Wilkie Collins, Esq., in "No Name," has the best written description of
the _modus operandi_ of keeping a "pill before the people," and I cannot
refrain from quoting Captain Wragge to Magdalen in this connection.

"My dear girl, I have been occupied, since we last saw each other, in
slightly modifying my old professional habits. I have shifted from moral
agriculture to medical agriculture. Formerly I preyed on the public
sympathy; now I prey on the public's stomach. Stomach and sympathy,
sympathy and stomach. The founders of my fortune are three in number:
their names are Aloes, Scammony, and Gamboge. In plainer words, I am now
living--on a pill! I made a little money, if you remember, by my friendly
connection with you. I made a little more by the happy decease
(_Requiescat in pace_) of that female relative of Mrs. Wragge's. Very
good! What do you think I did? I invested the whole of my capital, at one
fell swoop, in advertising a pill, and purchased my drugs and pill boxes
on credit. The result is before you. Here I am, a grand financial fact,
with my clothes positively paid for, and a balance at my banker's; with my
servant in livery, and my gig at the door; solvent, popular, and all on a

Magdalen smiled.

"It's no laughing matter for the public, my dear; they can't get rid of me
and my pill; they must take us. There is not a single form of appeal in
the whole range of human advertisement which I am not making to the
unfortunate public at this moment. Hire the last novel--there I am inside
the covers of the book; send for the last song--the instant you open the
leaves I drop out of it; take a cab--I fly in at the windows in red; buy a
box of tooth-powders at the chemists--I wrap it up in blue; show yourself
at the theatre--I flutter down from the galleries in yellow. The mere
titles of my advertisements are quite irresistible. Let me quote a few
from last week's issue. Proverbial title: 'A pill in time saves nine.'
Familiar title: 'Excuse me, how is your stomach?' Patriotic title: 'What
are the three characteristics of a true-born Englishman?--his hearth, his
home, and his pill;' etc.

"The place in which I make my pill is an advertisement in itself. I have
one of the largest shops in London. Behind the counter, visible to the
public through the lucid medium of plate glass, are four and twenty young
men, in white aprons, making the pill. Behind another, four and twenty
making the boxes. At the bottom of the shop are three elderly accountants,
posting the vast financial transactions accruing from the pill, in three
enormous ledgers. Over the door are my name, portrait, and autograph,
expanded to colossal proportions, and surrounded, in flowing letters, the
motto of the establishment: 'DOWN WITH THE DOCTORS.' Mrs. Wragge
contributes her quota to this prodigious enterprise. She is the celebrated
woman whom I have cured of indescribable agonies, from every complaint
under the sun. Her _portrait_ is engraved on all the wrappers, with the
following inscription: 'Before she took the pill,' etc."

[In this country we are familiar with the ghostly looking picture of a
man, the said proprietor of a medicine, "before he took the pill" (aloes),
and "after;" the "after" being represented by a ridiculous extreme of
muscular and adipose tissue.]

"Captain Wragge's" is the style in which most medicines are placed before
the public. We take up our morning journal: its columns are crowded by
patent medicine advertisements. We turn in disgust from their glaring
statements, and attempt to read a news item. We get half through, and find
we are sold into reading a puff for the same trashy article. We take a
horse-car for up or down town, and opposite, in bold and variegated
letters, the persistent remedy (?) stares you continually in the face. We
enter the post office: the lobbies are employed for the exposition,
perhaps sale, of the patent medicines. We open our box: "O, we've a large
mail to-day!" we exclaim; when, lo! half of the envelopes contain patent
medicine advertisements, which have been run through the post office into
every man's box in the department. And so it goes all day. We breakfast on
aloes, dine on quassia, sup on logwood and myrrh, and sleep on morphine
and prussic acid!

"The humors of the press" sometimes inadvertently tell you the truth
respecting this or that remedy advertised in their columns.

A religious newspaper before me says of a proprietary medicine,
"Advertised in another column of our paper: It is a _hell-deserving_
article." Probably the copy read, "Well-deserving article."

Said a certain paper, "A correspondent, whose duty it was to 'read up' the
religious weeklies, has concluded that the reason of those journals
devoting so much space to patent medicine announcements is, 'that the
object of religion and quackery are similar--both prepare us for another
and better world.'"

The proprietor of a pill,--not Captain Wragge,--threatened recently to
prosecute a New Hampshire newspaper publisher for a puff of his "Gripe

As every fool, as well as some wise people, read the "personals" in the
papers, an occasional notice of a tooth-paste, bitter, or tonic is
inserted therein, thus:--

    "AUGUSTUS APOLPHUS: I will deceive you no longer. My conscience
    upbraids me. Those pearly white teeth you so much admire are false!
    false! They were made by Dr. Grinder, dentist. I use Dr. Scourer's
    tooth-paste, which keeps them clean and white. 'O, how sharper than a
    serpent's thanks it is to have a toothless child.'


Great and public men are sometimes induced or inveigled into recommending
a patent medicine. In London, one Joshua Ward, a drysalter, of Thames
Street, about the year 1780, introduced a pill, composed of the usual
ingredients,--aloes and senna,--which, owing to some benefit he was
supposed to have derived from their use, Lord Chief Baron Reynolds was led
to praise in the highest terms. The result of this high dignitary's
patronage was to give prominence to Ward and his pills, which subsequently
sold for the fabulous price of 2s. 6d. a pill! General Churchill added his
praise, and Ward was called as a physician to prescribe for the king.
Either in consequence, or in spite of the treatment, the royal malady
disappeared, and Ward was _re_warded with a solemn vote of the House of
Commons protecting him from the interdiction of the College of
Physicians. In addition to the liberal fee, he asked for and obtained the
privilege of driving his carriage through St. James Park! Notwithstanding
the pill, Reynolds died of his disease not long afterwards.

Henry Fielding subscribed to the wonderful efficacy of "Tar Water," a
nostrum of his day, but died of the disease for which it was recommended.

Some time prior to 1780 there was published in the newspapers a list of
the patent nostrums, or advertised remedies, in London, which numbered
upwards of two hundred.

Now there are known, in the United States alone, to be upwards of three
hundred differently named hair preparations.

Dr. Head, of whom we have made mention, "realized large sums from
worthless quack nostrums," while at the same time another popular
physician, with a Cambridge (England) diploma in his office, was
proprietor of a "gout mixture," which sold at the shops for two shillings
a bottle.

Some of these shameless scoundrels, owners of advertised nostrums, with
little or no sense of honor, have published the recommendations of great
men, without the knowledge or permission of the parties whose names were
so falsely affixed to their worthless stuff. A New York quack recently
used the name of Henry Ward Beecher in this manner. Mr. Beecher published
him as a thief and forger of his name, which only served to bring the
doctor (?) into universal notice. Only to-day I read his impudent
advertisement in a newspaper, with Mr. Beecher's name affixed as
reference. If you prosecute one of the villains for issuing false
certificates, even for forging your own name, it does him no great injury,
you get no satisfaction, and in the end it only serves to call public
attention to a worthless article, thereby increasing its sale.

In the London _Medical Journal_ of 1806, Dr. Lettsom attacked and exposed
a "nervous cordial," stating that it was a deleterious article; "that it
had killed its thousands;" and further asserted that Brodum, its
proprietor, was a Jewish knave, having been a bootblack in Copenhagen, and
a wholesale murderer. Brodum at once brought an action against the
proprietor of the _Journal_, laying the damages at twenty-five thousand
dollars. Brodum held the advantage, and the _Journal_ proprietor asked for
terms of settlement. Brodum's terms were not modest. He, through his
attorney, agreed to withdraw the action provided the name of the author
was revealed, and that he should whitewash the quack in the next number of
the _Journal_, over the same signature! Dr. Lettsom consented to these
terms, paid the lawyers' bills and costs, amounting to three hundred and
ninety pounds, and wrote the required puff of Brodum and his nostrum.

SOOTHING SYRUPS, nervous cordials, etc., owe their soothing properties to
opium, or its salt--morphine.

From "OPIUM AND THE OPIUM APPETITE," by Alonzo Calkins, M. D., we are
informed that an article sold as "Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup," for
children teething, contains nearly _one grain of the alkaloid_ (morphine)
_to each ounce of the syrup_! Taking one teaspoonful as the dose (that is,
one drachm), and there being eight drachms to the ounce, consequently
about one eighth of a grain of morphine is given to an infant at a dose!
Do you wonder it gives him a _quietus_? Do you wonder that the mortality
among children is greatly on the increase? that so many of the darling,
helpless little innocents die from dropsy, brain fever, epileptic fits,
and the like?


Perhaps you take yours "plain." No! Then you may want to know how the pure
fruit syrup, which sweetens and flavors the soda, is made. The "soda"
itself is a very harmless article.

BUTYRIC ETHER is usually taken for a basis. Butyric ether is manufactured
from rancid butter, old rotten cheese, or Limburger cheese. The latter is
the "loudest," and affords the best flavor to the ether. The cheese is
treated with sulphuric acid. Old leather is known to give it a
particularly fine flavor. Any old boots and shoes will answer.

PINEAPPLE SYRUP is made from butyric and formic ether. The latter is
manufactured from soap or glycerine. Sulphuric acid and red ants will do
as well.

STRAWBERRY is made of twelve parts of butyric ether and one of acetic
ether, alcohol, and water. Color with cochineal--a bug of the tick
species, from Mexico. Sometimes a little real strawberry is added, but it
is not deemed essential.

RASPBERRY is made from the same articles. If convenient, the druggist adds
a little raspberry jam or syrup. If not, color a little deeper, add some
strawberry, and change the label to raspberry.

VANILLA SYRUP is made of Tonqua beans, such as boys sell on the street.

PEACH is made from bitter almonds. WILD CHERRY the same.

NECTAR is formed by a compound of various syrups and Madeira wine. You can
easily make the Madeira of neutral spirits, sugar, raisins, and logwood to
color it.

SARSAPARILLA. Take the cheapest and nastiest molasses obtainable. Strain
it to remove dead bees, sticks, cockroaches, etc. Flavor with essence
sassafras and wintergreen. Little extract sarsaparilla will do no harm if
added to the mixture. It is very harmless.

LEMON is made of citric acid and sugar.

COFFEE is made mostly of chiccory, burnt livers, sometimes a little coffee
bean. Horses' livers are said to be the best, giving it a _racy_ flavor,
and more _body_.

"They are all very good," the vender tells you; he takes his plain,
however. You see how much cheaper these are than the _real_ fruit syrup
itself; and as neither you nor I can tell the difference by _taste_, what
inducement has the dealer in soda water to use the costlier articles?

I have a friend who sells the "pure syrups," and I presume the reader has
also; but I respectfully decline drinking soda water with "pure fruit


    Extract from the report of Professor C. F. Chandler, Ph. D., chemist
    to the Metropolitan Board of Health. This report, which presents the
    results of the examination of a few of the articles in general use,
    was printed in full in the Chemical News (American reprint) for May,
    1870. We present the following list of dangerous preparations, which
    gives the number of grains of lead, etc., in one fluid ounce.


                                                         Grains of lead in
                                                         one fluid ounce.

      1. Clark's Distilled Restorative for the Hair,         0.11
      2. Chevalier's Life for the Hair,                      1.02
      3. Circassian Hair Rejuvenator,                        2.71
      4. Ayer's Hair Vigor,                                  2.89
      5. Professor Wood's Hair Restorative,                  3.08
      6. Dr. J. J. O'Brien's Hair Restorer, America,         3.28
      7. Gray's Celebrated Hair Restorative,                 3.39
      8. Phalon's Vitalia,                                   4.69
      9. Ring's Vegetable Ambrosia,                          5.00
      10. Mrs. S. A. Allen's World's Hair Restorer,          5.57
      11. L. Knittel's Indian Hair Tonique,                  6.29
      12. Hall's Vegetable Sicilian Hair Renewer,            7.13
      13. Dr. Tebbet's Physiological Hair Regenerator,       7.44
      14. Martha Washington Hair Restorative,                9.80
      15. Singer's Hair Restorative,                        16.39


    _Perry's Moth and Freckle Lotion._

      Mercury in solution, 2.67 gr. }equiv.{ Corrosive Sub.,   3.61 gr.
      Zinc in solution,    0.99  "  }  to  { Sulphate of Zinc, 4.25  "

    The sediment contains mercury, lead, and bismuth.


                                      Grains of lead in one fluid
                                         ounce, after shaking.

      Eugenie's Favorite,                    108.94 grains.
      Phalon's Snow-white Enamel,            146.28   "
      Phalon's Snow-white Oriental Cream,    190.99   "

    CONCLUSION.--It appears from the foregoing,--

    1. The HAIR TONICS, WASHES, and RESTORATIVES contain lead in
    considerable quantities; that they owe their action to this metal, and
    that they are consequently highly dangerous to the health of persons
    using them.

    2. With a single exception, Perry's Moth and Freckle Lotion, the
    LOTIONS for the skin are free from lead and other injurious metals.

    3. That the ENAMELS are composed of either carbonate of lime, oxide of
    zinc, or carbonate of lead, suspended in water. The first two classes
    of enamels are comparatively harmless; as harmless as any other white
    dirt, when plastered over the skin to close the pores and prevent its
    healthy action. On the other hand, the enamels composed of carbonate
    of lead are highly dangerous, and their use is very certain to produce
    disastrous results to those who patronize them.


A gentleman of perhaps thirty-five years of age once called upon the
writer for advice relative to baldness, when he related the following
experience, permitting me to make a note of it at leisure.

"In 1865 my friends intimated to me that my hair was getting slightly thin
on the crown of my head. I have always had a mortal terror of being bald,
and daily examinations convinced me that my fears were about to be
realized. My first inquiry was for a remedy.

"'What shall I do to prevent its falling out?' I nervously inquired.

"'Get a bottle of Dr. ----'s Hair Restorative,' one advised; another, some
different preparation,--all advertised remedies,--till I had a list a yard
long of various washes, preventives, restorers, etc., _ad infinitum_.

"I obtained one of _the very best_. I used it as directed. It _stuck_ as
though its virtue consisted in sticking the loose hairs firmly to the
firmer-rooted ones. But alas! after a month's trial, sufficient hair had
come out of my head to make a respectable _chignon_!

"I next got some of Mrs. A. S. S. Allon's--or All--something; I forget the
rest of the name; I'm sure of the A. S. S., however,--and that was worse
than the _gum-stick-'em_ kind, for the hair came out faster than before.

"In despair, I applied to a 'respectable apothecary,' who keeps the next
corner drug store. 'For God's sake, Mr. Bilious, have you got any good
preventive for falling of the hair?' I exclaimed.

"'O, yes, just the article,' he replied, rubbing his palms vigorously. He
then showed me his stock, consisting of _thirty-nine different kinds_!

"'All very good--highly recommended,' he remarked, with commendable

"I selected one--with rather an ominous name, I
admit:--_Kat-hair-on_!--preferring cat's hair to none.

"I used the Kathairon according to directions."

"'Did the cat's hair grow?' I anxiously inquired.

"'Neither cat's hair nor human hair.' No. Worse and worse. I was about to
abandon all effort, when, stopping on a corner to get a young boot-black
to shine my boots, preparatory to making a call on a lady acquaintance,
before whom I was desirous of making a genteel appearance, a dirty, ragged
little urchin peered around the block, and exclaimed, 'O, mister, you're
barefooted on top o' yer head!' I had inadvertently removed my hat, to
wipe my forehead.


"This was the last feather. Though coming from but a dirty boot-black, it
stung me to the marrow. I kicked over the boy, box, blacking, and all, and
rushed into the nearest drug shop. I bought another new hair preparation.
Another ominous name--'_Bare-it_!'

"This I also used, as directed on the label, for a month. 'I think,' I
said, 'if I use it a second month, it will entirely _bare it_!'

"I bought a wig, and had my head shaved. I didn't lock myself up in a
coal-cellar, or hide under a tub, like Diogenes, but I felt that I would
have gladly done either, to hide myself from the eyes of the world. The
girls all cast shy glances at me as they passed; as though the majority of
_them_ did not wear false hair!

"In utter desperation, I visited a dermatologist. What a name to make hair
grow! Well, he examined my scalp with a microscope, and said the hair
could be made to grow anew. 'I discover myriads of germs, which only
require the right treatment in order to spring up in an exuberant crop of
wavy tresses.' I bought his preparations. Bill, thirty-eight dollars. They
were worthless.

"Soon after this failure, I heard of a new remedy--'a sure cure.' The
proprietor possessed a world-wide reputation, from the manufacture of
various other remedies for nearly all diseases to which we poor mortals
are subject, and there might be something in this. It was recommended to
cure baldness, and restore gray hair to its natural color. I would go and
see the proprietor of this excellent hair restorer. I hastened to Lowell.
I was ushered into the doctor's sanctum--into the very presence of this
Napoleon of medicine-makers, the Alexander of conquered worlds--of medical

"With hat in hand, I bowed low to the great Doctor Hair--or hair doctor.
He beheld my veneration for himself. With a practised eye, he noted my
genteel apparel. Flattered by my obeisance, and not to be outdone in
politeness, he arose, removed his tile, and bowed equally low in return to
my profound salutation, when lo! _O tempora! O mores!_ he was both bald
and gray! I retired without specifying the object of my visit."


When a man tells you, point blank, that he is selling an article for the
profit of it, believe him; but when he asserts that he is advertising and
offering a remedy solely for the public good, for the benefit of suffering
humanity, he is a liar. Beware of such.

Furthermore, when he publishes an advertisement in every paper in the
land, announcing that himself having been miraculously or "providentially"
cured of a _variety_ of diseases by a certain compound, the _prescription_
for which he will send free to any address, you should hesitate, until
satisfied of the disinterestedness of the party, and meantime ask yourself
the following question: "Provided this be true, why don't the unparalleled
benevolent gentleman _publish the recipe_, which would cost so much less
than this persistent advertising 'that he will send it to any requiring
it'? And you are next led to ask,--

"Where is the 'dodge'? For money is what he is after."

A reverend (?), a scoundrel, a "wolf in sheep's clothing," advertises in
nearly every paper you chance to notice, especially _religious_
newspapers, a remedy he discovered while a missionary to some foreign
country, that cured him of a _variety_ of diseases, the recipe for which
medicine he will send to any address, _free of charge_.

"Here is the '_Old Sands of Life_' dodge," I said, "which I had the
satisfaction of exposing fourteen years ago."

The reader may recollect the advertisement of "A Retired Physician,
seventy-five years of age, whose sands of life had nearly run out," who
advertised so extensively a remedy which cured his daughter, etc., which
remedy he would send _free_, to the afflicted, on application.

I investigated his "little fraud." I found, instead of an old man
"seventy-five years of age," a young man of about twenty-eight or thirty.
He was no reverend. He had no daughter. He was a tall, gaunt, profane,
tobacco-chewing, foul-mouthed fellow, with a bad impediment in his speech
from loss of palate, whose name _was_ Oliver Phipps Brown, a printer by
trade, who formerly worked as journeyman in the _Courant_ office,
Hartford, Conn. The police finally got hold of him, and broke up the

[Illustration: OLD "SANDS OF LIFE."]

Here is now a parallel case. The above _reverend_ says he will send the
recipe free. I directed my student to write for it. The recipe came, with
various articles named therein, supposed to be the Latin names of plants.
I assert that there are no such medicines in the Materia Medica, or the
world. The _reverend_ don't want that there should be. Why? Because you
would not then send to him for his "Compound."

He sends with his recipe a circular, in which he gives you the history of
_his marvellous discovery_. Further along, by some oversight, he says it
was made known to him through a physician!

The names are bogus. The whole remedy is a humbug. There are names in it
as _species_ which sound something like some medical term; and the
druggist may be deceived thereby. The reverend quack, foreseeing "the
difficulty in obtaining the articles in their purity at any druggist's,"
advises you to send to him for them. Do you begin to see the _dodge_? He
"will furnish it at _cost_." Only think! How benevolent! "My means make
me independent." Think again. An invalid from boyhood, his time and means
exhausted in travelling "in Europe two years," and was only "sent a
missionary (?) through the kindness of friends," he assures us in his
circular. Here he _discovered through an old physician_--surely a new mode
of discovery--this wonderful compound, which cured him in "six weeks," and
forthwith, in gratitude, he proceeded to New York, and began putting up
this marvellous remedy "_at cost_."

Let us examine the article sold for three dollars and a half a small
package. Dr. Hall, of the "Journal of Health," examined the article which
"Old Sands of Life" sold as _Canabis Indica_, and found the cost "_but
sixteen cents, bottle and all_." Nevertheless, "The Retired Physician"
sold it to his dupes for two dollars. I do not hesitate to say that the
above compound cost even _less than sixteen cents a package_.

"But," said a gentleman to me, "he is connected with the Bible House. Here
is his address: 'Station D, Bible House, New York.'"

"There is a post-station by that name. Suppose I should give an address,
'34 Museum Building.' Would that imply that I was a play-actor, or owner
of the Museum?" I replied.

"Then it is only another 'Reverend' dodge--is it?" he asked.

"Precisely; it is to give character to his characterless address."

"Don't the newspaper publishers know it is a swindle?" he suggested.

"There's not the least doubt that they know it."

"Then hereafter I shall have little faith in the religion or honesty of
the newspaper that publishes such swindling advertisements."

"Admitting that they know the dishonesty of the thing,--and how can any
man endowed with common sense but see that there is _swindle_ on the face
of it?--the publisher of that advertisement is a _particeps criminis_ in
the transaction."

"Why don't some of the thousand victims who have been swindled into buying
this worthless stuff expose him?"

"In exposing the _reverend wolf_, don't you see they would expose their
own weakness? This is the reason of the fellow's selecting the peculiar
class of diseases as curable by his great discovery. The poor sufferer
does not wish the community to know that he is afflicted by such a

"It is truly a great dodge; and no doubt the knave has found fools enough
to make him '_independent_.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

RULES. 1. Take no patent or advertised medicines at all. They are of no
earthly use! You never require them, as they are not conducive to your
health, happiness, or longevity.

There are physicians who can cure every disease that flesh is heir
to--_excepting one_.

2. Apply in your need only to a respectable physician.

3. Give your preference to such as administer the smallest quantities of
medicine--_and are successful in their practice_.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have barely begun to exhaust the material I have been years collecting
for this chapter; but I must desist, to give room for other important




    "One says, 'I'm not of any school;
    No living master gives me rule;
    Nor do I in the old tracks tread;
    I scorn to learn aught from the dead.'
    Which means, if I am not mistook,
    'I am an ass on my own hook.'"


"Every man is either a physician or a fool at forty," says the old

"May not a man be both?" suggested Canning, in the presence of a circle of
friends, before whom Sir Henry Halford happened to quote the old saying.

"There is generally a fool in every family, whom the parents select at
once for a priest or a physician," said Peter Pindar. He was good

I am of the opinion that there are many whose mental capacity has been
overrated, who have made doctors of themselves; but we are not to treat of
fools in this chapter, but of men whom _circumstances_ have created
physicians, and of men who, in spite of circumstances of birth or
education, have made themselves doctors.

In the choice of a trade or profession, every young man should weigh
carefully his natural capacity to the pursuit selected. His parents or
guardians should consult the youth's adaptability rather than their own
convenience. How many have dragged out a miserable existence by ill choice
of a calling! Men who were destined by nature to be wood-sawyers and
diggers of trenches, are found daily taking upon themselves the immense
responsibility of teaching those whose mental calibre is far above their
own, or assuming the greater responsibility of administering to the

If a man finds himself adapted to a higher calling than that originally
selected for him by his friends, by all means let him "come up higher;"
but too many by far have changed from a trade to a profession to which
they had no adaptability.

So we find men in the medical profession who were better as they
were,--bakers, barbers, butchers, tailors, tinkers, pedagogues, cobblers,
horse doctors, etc., etc.

There used to be a fish-peddler going about Boston, blowing a fish-horn,
and crying his "fresh cod an' haddock," who, getting tired of that loud
crying and loud smelling occupation, took to blowing his horn for his
"wonderful discovery" of a "pasture weed," which cured every humor but a
thundering humor (one can see the humor of the joke), and every eruption
since the eruption of Hecla in 1783,--which is a pity that he had not made
his discovery in time to have tried it on old Hecla's back when it was up.


A barber of Boston, accidentally overhearing a gentleman mention a certain
remedy for the "barber's itch," seized upon the idea of speculating upon
it, and at once sold out his shop, made up the ointment, clapped M. D. to
his name, put out his circulars, and is now seeking whom he may devour, as
a physician.

With the looseness of morals and the laxity of our laws, one of these
fellows "can make a doctor as quick as a tinker can make a tin kettle."

Probably more barbers have become doctors than any other artisans, for the
reason that barbers were formerly nearly the only acknowledged
"blood-letters." In the earlier days of Abernethy, barber surgeons were
recognized, and the great doctor said of himself, "I have often doffed my
hat to those fellows, with a razor between their teeth and a lancet in
their hands." Doubtless some of them arrived to usefulness in the
profession. Dr. Ambrose Paré, a French barber surgeon, was called the
father of French surgery, and enjoyed the confidence of Charles IX. An
eminent surgeon of London was Mr. Pott. He was contemporary with Dr.
Hunter, and gave lectures at St. Bartholomew Hospital in Hunter's
presence. Some person asking a wag one day where Dr. Hunter was, he
replied that, "with barber surgeons he _had gone to pot_."

This alliance of surgery and shaving, to say nothing of other
qualifications with which they were sometimes associated, conceivably
enough furnished some pretext for apprenticeships, since Dickey Gossip's
definition of

  "Shaving and tooth-drawing,
  Bleeding, cabbaging, and sawing,"

was by no means always sufficiently comprehensive to include the
multifarious accomplishments of "the doctor." "I have seen," says Dr.
Macillwain, of England, "within twenty-five years, chemist, druggist,
surgeon, apothecary, and the significant, '&c.,' followed by hatter,
hosier, and linen draper, all in one establishment."

I saw in New Hampshire, in 1864, doctor, barber, and apothecary
represented by one man.

William Butts, another barber surgeon of London, was called to attend
Henry VIII., and was rewarded for his professional services with the
honor of knighthood in 1512. Another, who was knighted by Henry VIII., was
John Ayliffe, a sheriff, formerly a merchant of Blackwell Hall.

Royalty had a chronic habit of knighting quacks. Queen Anne became so
charmed by a tailor, who had turned doctor, and who, by some hook or
crook, was called to prescribe for the queen's weak eyes, that she had him
sworn in, with another knave, as her own oculist. "This lucky gentleman,"
says a reliable author, "was William Reade, a botching tailor of Grub
Street, London. To the very last he was a great ignoramus, as a work
entitled 'A Short and Exact Account of all Diseases Incident to the Eyes,'
attests; yet he rose to knighthood, and the most lucrative and fashionable
practice of the period." Reade (_Sir William_) was unable to read the book
he had published (written by an _amanuensis_); nevertheless, aristocracy,
and wise and worthy people at that, who listened to his dignified voice,
viewed his pompous person, encased in rich garments, and adorned with
jewelry and lace ruffles, _cap-a-pie_, resting his chin upon his enormous
gold-headed cane, as, reclining in his splendid coach, drawn by a span of
superb blood horses, up to St. James, considered him the most learned and
eminent physician of that generation.

In the British Museum is deposited a copy of a poem to the great oculist.
This poem Reade himself had written, at the hand of a penny-a-liner, a
"poet of Grub Street," immediately after he was knighted, which has been
mainly instrumental in handing his name down to posterity.


About the year 1705, one Roger Grant rose into public notice in London, by
his publication of his own "marvellous cures." This fellow was no fool,
though a great knave. He was formerly a travelling tinker, subsequently a
cobbler, and Anabaptist preacher. From tinkering of pots, he became
mender of soles of men's boots and shoes; thence saver of souls from
perdition, a tinkerer of sore eyes, and lightener of the body. The
following bit of poetry was written in 1708 for his benefit, the "picture"
being one which Grant, who was a very vain man, had gotten up from a
copperplate likeness of himself, to distribute among his friends. The
picture was found posted up conspicuously with the lines:--

  "A tinker first, his scene of life began;
  That failing, he set up for a cunning man;
  But, wanting luck, puts on a new disguise,
  And now pretends that he can cure your eyes.
  But this expect, that, like a tinker true,
  Where he repairs one eye, he puts out two."

[Illustration: THE EYE DOCTOR.]

He worked himself into notoriety by the publication, in pamphlet form, of
his cures,--a mixture of truth strongly spiced with falsehood,--and
scattering it over the community. "His plan was to get hold of some poor,
ignorant person, of imperfect vision, and, after treating him with
medicine and half-crowns for a few weeks, induce him to sign a
testimonial, which he probably had never read, that he was born blind, and
by the providential intervention of Dr. Grant, he had been entirely
restored. To this certificate the clergyman and church-wardens of the
parish, in which the patient had been known to wander in mendicancy, were
asked to attest; and if they proved impregnable to the cunning
representations of the importunate solicitors, and declined to sign the
certificate, the doctor did not scruple to save them that trouble by
signing their names himself."

More than once was the charge of being a tinker preferred against him. The
following satire was written and published for his benefit--with Dr.
Reade's--after Queen Anne had Dr. Grant sworn in as her "oculist in

  "Her majesty sure was in a surprise,
    Or else was very short-sighted,
  When a tinker was sworn to look to her eyes,
    And the mountebank Reade was knighted."


The distinguished chemical philosopher and physician of Penzance, Sir
Humphry Davy, Bart., was the son of a poor wood-carver, at which trade
Humphry worked in his earlier days, and was named by his familiar
associates, the "Little Carver Davy." On the death of his father, the
widow established herself as a milliner at Penzance, where she apprenticed
her son to an apothecary. His mother was a woman of talent and great moral
sense. When, as Sir Humphry, he had reached the summit of his fame, he
looked back upon the facts of his humble origin, his father's plebeian
occupation and associates, and his mother's mean pursuit, followed for his
benefit, with mortification instead of regarding them as sources of


In a rickety old three story house, the lower part of which was occupied
as a butcher's shop and trader's room, and the upper stories as a
dwelling-house, at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in 1721, was born Mark Akenside.
His father was a butcher, and one day, as the boy Mark was assisting at
the menial occupation of cutting up a calf, a cleaver fell from the shop
block upon another "calf,"--that of young Akenside's leg,--which lamed him
for life.


Akenside was a Nonconformist, and by the aid of the Dissenters' Society
young Mark was sent to Edinburgh to study theology. From theology he went
to physic, his honest parent refunding the money to the society paid for
his studies under their patronage, and he subsequently obtained his degree
at Cambridge, and became a fellow of the R. S.

Like Davy, Akenside became ashamed of his plebeian origin. His lameness,
like Lord Byron's, was a continual source of mortification to him.

He became a physician to St. Thomas; and, as he went with the students the
rounds of the hospital, the fastidiousness of the little bunch of dignity
at having come so closely in contact with the vulgar rabble, induced him,
at times, to make the strongest patients precede him with _brooms_, to
clear a way for him through the crowd of diseased wretches, who,
nevertheless, had wonderful faith in his wisdom, and would cry out,
"_Bravo for the butcher boy with a game leg!_" as they fell back before
the fearful charge of corn brooms.

By the assistance of friends, and his ever extensive practice, Akenside
was enabled, to the day of his death, in 1770, to keep his carriage, wear
his gold-hilted sword, and his huge well-powdered wig.


"Dr. Messenger Monsey, in the heyday of his prosperity, used to assert to
his friends that the first of his known ancestors was a baker and a
retailer of hops. At a critical point of this worthy man's career, when
hops were 'down,' and feathers 'up,' in order to raise the needful for
present emergencies he ripped up his beds, sold the feathers, and refilled
the ticks with hops. When a change occurred in the market soon afterwards
the process was reversed; even the children's beds were reopened, and the
hops sold for a large profit over the cost of replacing the feathers!"

"That's the way, sirs, that my family hop-ped from obscurity," the doctor
would conclude, with great gusto.

The Duke of Leeds used, in the same manner, to delight in boasting of his
lucky progenitor, Jack Osborn, the shop lad, who rescued his master's
beautiful daughter from a watery grave at the bottom of the Thames, and
won her hand away from a score of noble suitors, who wanted, literally,
the young lady's _pin_-money as much as herself. Her father was a pin
manufacturer, and had in his shop on London Bridge amassed a considerable
wealth in the business. The jolly old man, instead of disdaining to
bestow the lovely and wealthy maid--his only child--on an apprentice,

"Jack Osborn won her, and Jack shall wear her."

When Lord Bath vainly endeavored to effect a reconciliation between the
doctor and Garrick, who had fallen out, Monsey said,--

"Why will your lordship trouble yourself with the squabbles of a
merry-andrew and a _quack_ doctor?"

Monsey continued his quarrel with Garrick up to the day of the death of
the great tragedian. The latter seldom retaliated, but when he did his
sarcasm cut to the bone.

Garrick's style of satire may be inferred from his epigram on James Quin,
the celebrated actor, and illegitimate son of an Irishman, "whose wife
turned out a bigamist." When Garrick make his debut on the London stage,
at Godman's Fields playhouse, October 19, 1741, as "Richard the Third,"
Quin objected to Garrick's original style, saying,--

"If this young fellow is right, myself and all the other actors are

Being told that the theatre was crowded to the dome nightly to hear the
new actor, Quin replied that "Garrick was a new religion; Whitefield was
followed for a time, but they would all come to church again." Hence
Garrick wrote the following epigram:--

  "Pope Quin, who damns all churches but his own,
  Complains that heresy infects the town;
  That Whitefield-Garrick has misled the age,
  And taints the sound religion of the stage.
  'Schism,' he cries, 'has turned the nation's brain,
  But eyes will open, and to church again!'
  Thou great Infallible, forbear to roar;
  Thy bulls and errors are revered no more.
  When doctrines meet with general approbation,
  It is not _heresy_, but reformation."

When confined to his bed in his last sickness, Garrick had the advice of
several of the best physicians, summoned to his villa near Hampton, and
Monsey, in bad taste and worse temper, wrote a satire on the occurrence.
He accused the actor of parsimony, among other mean qualities, and though,
after the death of Garrick, January 22, 1779, he destroyed the verses,
some portions of them got into print, of which the following is a

  "Seven wise doctors lately met
    To save a wretched sinner.
  'Come, Tom,' said Jack, 'pray let's be quick,
    Or we shall lose _our_ dinner.'

  "Some roared for rhubarb, jalap some,
    And others cried for Dover;[3]
  'Let's give him something,' each one said,
    'And then let's give him over.'"

At last, after much learned wrangling, one more learned than the others
proposed to arouse the energies of the dying man by jingling a purse of
gold in his ear. This suggestion was acted upon, and

  "Soon as the favorite sound he heard,
    One faint effort he tried;
  He oped his eyes, he scratched his head,
    He gave one grasp--and died."

Riding on horseback through Hyde Park, Monsey was accompanied by a Mr.
Robinson, a Trinitarian preacher, who knew that the doctor's religion was
of the Unitarian stamp. After deploring, in solemn tones, the corrupt
state of morals, etc., the minister turned to Monsey, and said,--

"And, doctor, I am addressing one who believes there is no God."

"And I," replied Monsey, "one who believes there are _three_."


The good man, greatly shocked, put spurs to his horse, and, without
vouchsafing a "good day," rode away at a high gallop.


Some of the hundreds of respectable medical practitioners of this
democratic country, who, between commencement and the following term, used
to lengthen out their scanty means by "teaching the young idea how to
shoot" in some far-off country village, will scarcely thank me for
introducing the above-named subject to their present notice. However, it
will depend somewhat upon the way they take it; whether, like Sir Davy,
they are ashamed of their "small beginnings," or, like Dr. Monsey, they
may independently snap their fingers in the face of their plebeian origin,
and boast of their earlier common efforts for a better foothold among the
great men of their generation.

Among English physicians, with whom it was, and still is, counted a
disgrace to have been previously known in a more humble calling, we may
find a long list of "doctors pedagogic," beginning with Dr. John Bond, who
taught school until the age of forty, when he turned doctor. He was a man
of great learning, however, and became a successful physician. Even among
the good people of Taunton, where he had resided and labored as a
pedagogue in former years, he was esteemed as a "wise physician."

John Arbuthnot was a "Scotch pedagogue." He was distinguished as a man of
letters and of wit; the associate of Pope and Swift, and of Bolingbroke; a
companion at the court of Queen Anne.

Arbuthnot owed his social elevation to his quick wit, rare conversational
powers, and fascinating address, rather than to his family influence,
professional knowledge, or medical success.

"Dorchester, where, as a young practitioner, he endeavored to establish
himself, utterly refused to give him a living; but it doubtless," says
Jeaffreson, "maintained more than one dull empiric in opulence. Failing to
get a living among the rustic boors, who could appreciate no effort of the
human voice but a fox-hunter's whoop, Arbuthnot packed up and went to

Poverty for a while haunted his door in London, and to keep the wolf away
he was compelled to resort to "the most hateful of all occupations--the
personal instruction of the ignorant."

Arbuthnot was a brilliant writer as well as fluent talker, and by his
literary hit, "Examination of Dr. Woodward's Account of the Deluge," he
was soon brought into notice. By the merest accident and the greatest
fortune he was called to Prince George of Denmark, when his royal highness
was suddenly taken sick, and, as all who fell within the circle of his
magical private acquaintance were led to respect and love him, the doctor
was retained in the good graces of the prince. On the death of Dr. Hannes,
Arbuthnot received the appointment of physician-in-ordinary to the queen.

The polished manner of the fortunate doctor, his handsome person, and
flattering, cordial seeming address, especially to ladies, made him a
court favorite. To retain the good graces of his royal patient, the queen,
"he adopted a tone of affection for her as an individual, as well as a
loyal devotion to her as a queen." His conversation, while it had the
semblance of the utmost frankness, was foaming over with flattery.

"If the queen won't swallow my pills she will my flattery," he is said to
have whispered to his friend Swift; but this report is doubtful, as he
stood in fear of the displeasure of the querulous, crotchety, weak-minded
queen, who had but recently discharged Dr. Radcliffe for a slip of the
tongue, when at the coffee-house he had said she had the "_vapors_."

"What is the hour?" asked the queen of Arbuthnot.

"Whatever hour it may please your majesty," was his characteristic reply,
with his most winning smile and graceful obeisance.

By this sort of flattery he retained his hold in the queen's favor till
her death.

By these facts one is reminded of the saying of Oxenstierna, when, on
concluding the peace of Westphalia in 1648, he sent his young son John as
plenipotentiary to the powers on that occasion, remarking, in presence of
those who expressed their surprise thereat,--

"You do not know with how little wisdom men are governed."

With the loss of the queen's patronage at her death, and his wine-loving
proclivities, Dr. Arbuthnot became sick and poor, and died in straitened


Who reached the acme of medical fame, and became court physician, was Sir
Richard Blackmer. He surely ought not to have been called an ignoramus (by
Dr. Johnson), for he resided thirteen years in the University of Oxford.
After leaving Oxford, his extreme poverty compelled him to adopt the
profession of a schoolmaster. In the year 1700 there were collected
upwards of forty sets of ribald verses, under the title of "Commendary
Verses, or the Author of Two Arthurs, and Satyr against Wit;" in which Sir
Richard was taunted with his earlier poverty, and of having been a

Every man has his advertisement and his advertisers. The poets and
lampooners were Blackmer's. They assisted in bringing him into notoriety.
Among them were Pope, Steele, and the obscene Dr. Garth. While the authors
of those filthy, licentious productions (which no bar-maid or
kitchen-scullion at this day could read without blushing behind her pots
and kettles) were flattering themselves that they were injuring the
honest doctor, they were bringing him daily into the notice of better men
than themselves, and heaping ignominy upon the authors of such vile

One satire opened thus:--

  "By nature meant, by want a pedant made,
  Blackmer at first professed the whipping trade.

         *       *       *       *       *

  In vain his pills as well as birch he tried;
  His boys grew blockheads, and his patients died."

Mr. Jeaffreson says, "the same dull sarcasms about killing patients and
whipping boys into blockheads are repeated over and again; and as if to
show, with the greatest possible force, the pitch to which the evil of the
times had risen, the coarsest and most disgusting of all these lampoon
writers was a lady of rank,--the Countess of Sandwich!"

Wouldn't a young Harvard or Yale medical graduate, without money, friends,
or a practice, leap for joy with the knowledge that he had two-score
_disinterested_ writers advertising him into universal notice, since it is
considered a burning disgrace for an honorable, upright, and educated
physician to advertise himself!

Of course Sir Richard rose, in spite of his foes, to whom he seldom
replied. He says, in one of his own works, "I am but a hard-working
doctor, spending my days in coffee-houses (where physicians were wont to
receive apothecaries, and, hearing the cases of their patients, prescribe
for them without seeing them, at half price), receiving apothecaries, or
driving over the stones in my carriage, visiting my patients."

The honest, upright man who rises from nothing, and continues to ascend
right in the teeth of immense opposition from his enemies, seldom relapses
into obscurity in after life. Though Dr. Blackmer failed as a poet, he
died esteemed as an honest man, a consistent Christian, and an excellent


Many cases might be instanced of weavers becoming physicians, but let one
suffice. John Sutcliffe, a Yorkshire weaver, with no early educational
advantages, and with the broadest provincial dialect, became a respectable
apothecary, and subsequently a first-class medical practitioner. He rose
entirely by his own integrity, frugality, industry, and intelligence.

Amongst his apprentices was Dr. John Coakley Lettsom, whose name must ever
rank high as a literary man, and a benevolent and successful physician.
Lettsom was born in the West Indies, and was a Quaker. The place under the
Yorkshire apothecary was secured for the boy by Mr. Fothergill, a Quaker
minister of Warrington, England.

A senior drug clerk informed the rustic inhabitants of the arrival of a
Quaker from a far off county, where the people were _antipodes_,--whose
feet were in a position exactly opposite to those of the English. Having
well circulated this startling information, the merry clerk and
fellow-apprentices laid back to enjoy the joke all by themselves.

The very day the new apprentice entered upon his duties, the apothecary
shop became haunted by an immense and curious crowd of gaping rustics, old
and young, male and female, to see the wonderful Quaker who was accustomed
to walking on his head!

Day after day the curious peasants came and went, and if the astonished
Sutcliffe closed his doors against the unprofitable rabble, they peered in
at his windows, or hung about the entrances, hoping to see the remarkable
phenomenon issue forth. But as the day of "walking off on his ear" had not
then arrived, they were doomed to disappointment and lost faith in his
ability to do what they had expected of him.


John Radcliffe, the humbug, "the physician without learning," was the son
of a Yorkshire yeoman. When he had risen to intimacy with the leading
nobility of London,--as he did by his "shrewdness, arrogant simplicity,
and immeasurable insolence,"--he laid claim to aristocratic origin. The
Earl of Derwenter recognized _Sir_ John as a kinsman; but the heralds
interfered with the little "corner" of the doctor and earl, after
Radcliffe's decease, by admonishing the University of Oxford not to erect
any escutcheon over his plebeian monument.

Of Radcliffe's success in getting patronage we have spoken in another
chapter. Doubtless he, Dr. Hannes, and Dr. Mead all resorted to the same
sharp tricks, of which they accused each other by turns, in order to gain
notoriety and practice.

DR. EDWARD HANNES was reputed a "_basket-maker_." At least, his father
followed that humble calling. Of the son's earlier life little is known.
About the year 168-, he burst upon the London aristocracy with a
magnificent equipage, consisting of coach and four, and handsome liveried
servants and coachmen.

These were _his_ advertisements, and he soon rode into a splendid
practice, notwithstanding Radcliffe's contrary prognostication.

Dr. Hannes and Dr. Blackmer, being called to attend upon the young Duke of
Gloucester, and the disease taking a fatal turn, Sir John Radcliffe was
also called to examine into the case. Radcliffe could not forego the
opportunity here offered to lash his rivals, and turning to them in the
presence of the royal household, he said,--

"It would have been happy for the nation had you, sir (to Hannes), been
bred a basket-maker, and you, sir (to Blackmer), remained a country
schoolmaster, rather than have ventured out of your reach in the practice
of an art to which you are an utter stranger, and for your blunders in
which you ought to be whipped with one of your own rods."

As the case was simply one of rash, none of them had much to boast of.


There have been, and still are, thousands in the various walks of life,
who, at some period, have attempted the practice of medicine. Among the
hundreds whom our colleges "grind out" annually, not more than one in
twenty succeeds in medical practice so far as to gain any eminence, or the
competence of a common laborer.


The most remarkable thing respecting this noted man occurred at his birth.
_He was born triplets!_

Yes, though "born of parents entirely unknown to history," three different
places have claimed themselves, or been claimed, as his birthplace.

Before his energies became perverted to political aims, he had endeavored
to rise, by his own talent and energies, through the sciences.

The year 1789 found him in the position of veterinary surgeon to the Count
d'Artois, thoroughly disgusted with his failure to rise in society with
the "quacks," as he termed them, "of the Corps Scientifique."

Miss Mühlbach, in her "_Maria Antoinette and her Son_," presents Marat in
conversation with the cobbler, Simon, as follows:--

"The cobbler quickly turned round to confront the questioner. He saw,
standing by his side, a little, remarkably crooked and dwarfed young man,
whose unnaturally large head was set upon narrow, depressed shoulders, and
whose whole (ludicrous) appearance made such an impression upon the
cobbler that he laughed outright.

"'Not beautiful, am I?' asked the stranger, who tried to join in the laugh
with the cobbler, but the result was a mere grimace; which made his
unnaturally large mouth extend from ear to ear, displaying two fearful
rows of long, greenish teeth. 'Not beautiful at all, am I? Dreadful ugly!'

"'You are somewhat remarkable, at least,' replied the cobbler. 'If I did
not hear you speak French, and see you standing upright, I should think
you the monstrous toad in the fable.'

"'I am the monstrous toad of the fable. I have merely disguised myself
to-day as a man, in order to look at this Austrian woman and her brood.'

"'Where do you live, and what is your name, sir?' asked the cobbler, with
glowing curiosity.

"'I live in the stables of the Count d'Artois, and my name is Jean Paul

"'In the stable!' cried the cobbler. 'My faith, I had not supposed you a
hostler or a coachman. It must be a funny sight, M. Marat, to see _you_
mounted upon a horse.'

"'You think that such a big toad does not belong there exactly. Well, you
are right, brother Simon. My real business is not at all with the horses,
but with the men of the stable. I am the horse doctor of the Count
d'Artois, and I can assure you that I am a tolerably skilful doctor.'"

We do not quote the above author as reliable authority in personal
descriptions, beyond the "shrugging of shoulders," which habit she
attributes to all of her characters (_vide_ "Napoleon and Queen Louisa,"
where she uses the phrase some twenty-three times).

At the time of his assuming the dictatorship, he resided in most squalid
apartments, situated in one of the lowest back streets of Paris, in
criminal intimacy with the wife of his printer.... He sold their bed to
get money to bring out the first number of his journal, and lived in
extreme poverty at a time when he could have become immensely rich by
selling his silence.

The death of this wretch was hastened only a few days by his
assassination, for he was already consumed by a disgusting disease, and it
is melancholy to add that he was adored after his death, and his remains
deposited in the Pantheon with national honors, and an altar erected to
his memory in the club of the Cordeliers.

"I killed one man to save a hundred thousand!" exclaimed the magnificent
Charlotte Corday to her judges; "a villain to save innocents, a furious
wild beast, to give repose to my country!" Thus the "horse doctor"
ignominiously perished at the hands of a woman,--a woman who immortalized
herself by killing a "villain."


We find many cases where ministers have turned doctors, and _vice versa_.

"PETER PINDAR" is here worthy of a passing notice. His true name was
Wolcot. Descended from a family of doctors for several generations, he
nevertheless himself failed to gain a living practice.

When King George III. sent Sir William Trelawney out as governor of
Jamaica, about 1760, he took young Dr. Wolcot with him, who acted in the
treble capacity of physician, private secretary, and chaplain to the
governor's household. Dr. Wolcot's professional knowledge had been
acquired somewhat "irregularly," and it is very doubtful whether he ever
received ordination at the hands of the bishops.

It is true, however, that he acted as rector for the colony, reading
prayers and preaching whenever a congregation of ten presented itself,
which occurred only semi-occasionally.

The doctor was fond of shooting, and 'tis gravely reported that he and his
clerk used to amuse themselves on the way to church by shooting pigeons
and other wild game, with which the wood abounded. Having shot their way
to the sacred edifice, the merry parson and jolly clerk would wait ten
minutes for the congregation to convene, and if, at the expiration of that
time, the quota had not arrived, the few were dismissed with a blessing,
and the pair shot their way back home. If but a few negroes presented
themselves, the rector ordered his clerk to give them a bit of silver,
with which to buy them off.


One old negro, more cunning than the rest, and who discovered that the
parson's interest was rather in the discharge of his fowling-piece than
the discharge of his priestly duties, used to present himself punctually
every Sunday at church.

"What brings you here, blackie?" asked the parson.

"To hear de prayer for sinners, and de sarmon, masser."

"Wouldn't a _bit_ or two serve you as well?" asked the rector, with a

"Well, masser, dis chile lub de good sarmon ob yer rev'rence, but dis time
de money might do," was the reply, with a significant scratch of his
woolly head.

The parson would then pay the price, the negro would grin his thanks, and,
chuckling to himself, retire; and for a year or more this sort of
_black_-mailing was continued.

Tiring of _acting_ as priest, Wolcot returned to London, and vainly
endeavored to establish himself in practice. Neither preaching nor
practising physic was his forte, and he resorted to the pen. Here he
discovered his genius. Adopting the _nom de plume_ of "Peter Pindar," he
became famous as a political satirist, and the author of numerous popular
works. He died in London in 1819. Wolcot possessed a kindly heart, and a
benevolence deeper than his pockets.


Some very laughable scenes, as well as very touching and painful ones,
might be recorded, had we space, where policemen have necessarily been
unceremoniously summoned to act as physician or surgeon in absence of a

In Portland, the police have to turn their hand to most everything.
Circumstances beyond his control compelled one Mr. J. S. to act the part
of midwife to a strapping Irish woman at the station-house, one evening,
he being the sole "committee of reception" to a bouncing baby that came
along somewhat precipitately. The account, which is well authenticated,
closes by saying,--

"Mother, baby, and officer are doing as well as can be expected!"

We have seen the "officer." He did better than was "expected."

The writer was on a Fulton ferry boat in the winter of 1857, when a
similar scene occurred. A German woman was taken in pain. A whisper was
passed to a female passenger; a policeman was summoned from outside the
ladies' (?) cabin; the male occupants were ejected,--even myself and
another medical student, and the husband of the patient. The latter
remonstrated, and demonstrated his objection to the momentary separation
by beating and shouting at the saloon door.

"Katharina! Katharina!" he shouted, "keep up a steef upper lips!"

This roaring attracted nearly all the men from the opposite side of the
boat, who crowded around him and the door, to learn the cause of the
Teutonic demonstrations of alternate fear, anger, and encouragement.

"Got in himmel! Vere you leefs ven you's t' home? Vich a man can't come
mit his vife, altogedder? Hopen de door, unt I preaks him mit mine feest;
don't it?" So he kept on, alternately cursing the policeman and
encouraging "Katharina," till we reached the Brooklyn side, and left the
ferry boat.




    "Angel of Patience! sent to calm
    Our feverish brow with cooling palm;
    To lay the storm of hope and fears,
    And reconcile life's smile and tears;
    The throb of wounded pride to still,
    And make our own our Father's will."--WHITTIER.


"From the earliest ages the care of the sick has devolved on woman. A
group by one of our sculptors, representing Eve with the body of Abel
stretched upon her lap, bending over him in bewildered grief, and striving
to restore the vital spirit which she can hardly believe to have departed,
is a type of the province of the sex ever since pain and death entered the

"To be first the vehicle for human life, and then its devoted guardian; to
remove or alleviate the physical evils which afflict the race, or to watch
their wasting, and tenderly care for all that remains when they have
wrought their result--this is her divinely appointed and universally
conceded mission.

"Were she to refuse it, to forsake her station beside the suffering, the
office of medicine and the efforts of the physician would be more than
half baffled. And yet, where her post is avowedly so important, she has
generally been denied the liberty of understanding much that is involved
in its intelligent occupancy. With the human body so largely in her charge
from birth to death, she is not allowed to inquire into its marvellous
mechanism. With the administering of remedies intrusted to her vigilance
and faithfulness, she has not been allowed to investigate the qualities,
or even know the names or the operations of those substances committed to
her use. To be a student with scientific thoroughness, and to practise
independently with what she has thus acquired, has been regarded as
unseemly, or as beyond her capacity, or as an invasion of prerogatives
claimed exclusively for men.

"Indeed, the whole domain of medicine has been '_pre-empted_' by men, and
in their '_squatter sovereignty_' they have sturdily warned off the
gentler sex."--Rev. H. B. Elliot, in "_Eminent Women of the Age_."

It seems to my mind, and ought to every thinking mind, to be ridiculously
absurd that "man born of woman" should set up his authority against woman
understanding "herself." "Man, know thyself," is stereotyped, but if it
ever was put in type form for "woman to know herself," it has long since
been "_pied_."

"Search the Scriptures," and you would never mistrust that "eternal life,"
or any other life, came, or existed a day, through woman. Mythological
writers, who come next to scriptural, give woman no credit in medical
science. We will except Hygeia, the goddess of health, the fabled daughter
of Æsculapius. In the _medical_ history of no country does she occupy any
prominence. There were "Witches," "Enchantresses," "Wise Women,"
"Fortune-tellers," who in every age have existed to no small extent, and
under various names have figured in the histories of all nations,
receiving the countenance of prince and beggar--but females as physicians,
_as a class_, have never been recognized by nations or governments, or
scarcely by communities or individuals.

In searching the memorials of English authors for two hundred years past,
we can find but little to disprove the above assertions. In Mr.
Jeaffreson's "Book of Doctors," the author fails to find memorials of
their actions, as female physicians, sufficient to fill a single chapter;
and those of whom he has made mention, he discourses of mostly in a
ridiculous light, as though entirely out of their sphere, or as being of
the coarser sort, and questions "if two score could be rescued from
oblivion whom our ancestors intrusted with the care of their invalid wives
and children."

In this connection, let us briefly mention such as are better known in
English literature, as doctresses especially as mentioned by Mr.

Two ladies, who are immortalized in "Philosophical Transactions for 1694,"
were Sarah Hastings and Mrs. French. Another, who received the support of
bishops, dukes, lords, countesses, etc., in 1738-9, was Mrs. Joanna
Stephens, "an ignorant and vulgar creature." After enriching herself by
her specifics, consisting of a "pill, a powder and a decoction," she
bamboozled the English Parliament into purchasing the secret, for the
(then) enormous sum of £5000. "The Powder consists of _eggshells_ and
_snails_, both calcined."

"The decoction is made by boiling together Alicant _soap_, swine's-cresses
burnt to a blackness, honey, camomile, fennel, parsley, and burdock
leaves." "The pill consists of snails, wild carrot and burdock seeds,
ashen keys, hips, and haws, all burnt to a blackness; soap and honey."

When we take into consideration the fact that there were no "medical
schools for females," at that day, nor until within the last ten or twelve
years, that every female applicant was rejected by the medical colleges of
England, and that all female practitioners were held in disrepute by both
physician and the public, the above repulsive remedies may not so greatly
excite our surprise.


The most remarkable woman doctor made mention of in English literature,
was Mrs. Mapp, _née_ Sally Wallin. We have collected these facts
respecting her origin, character, and career, from _Chambers' Miscellany_
and the _Gentlemen's Magazine_, 1736-7. Hogarth has immortalized her in
his "Undertaker's arms." She is placed at the top of that picture, between
Josh Ward, the _Pill_ doctor, and Chevalier Taylor, the quack oculist.
(See page 668.)

She was born in Weltshire, in 169-. Her father was a "bone-setter," which
occupation "run in the family," like that of the Sweets, of Connecticut,
or like the marine whom Mrs. Mapp saw one day, as she, in her carriage,
was driving "along the Strand, O."

Said sailor having a wooden leg, the doctress asked, "How does it happen,
fellow, that you've a wooden leg."

"O, easy enough, madam; my father had one before me. It sort o' runs in
the family, marm," was the laconic reply. From a barefooted school-girl at
Weltshire, where Sally obtained barely the rudiments of a common
education, she became her father's assistant in bone-setting and

The next we hear of Miss Wallin, is at Epsom, where she became known as
"Crazy Sally." She has been described as a "very coarse, large, vulgar,
illiterate, drunken, bawling woman," "known as a haunter of fairs, about
which she loved to reel, screaming and abusive, in a state of roaring

It is astonishing as true, that this unattractive specimen of the female
sex became so esteemed in Epsom, where she set up as a physician, that the
town offered her £100 to remain there a year! The newspapers sounded her
praise, the gentry, even, lauded her skill, and physicians witnessed her

"Crazy Sally" awoke one morning and found herself famous. Patients of rank
and wealth flocked from every quarter. Attracted by her success and her
accumulating wealth, rather than by her _beauty_ or _amiable_ disposition,
an Epsom swain made her an offer of marriage, which she, like a woman,
accepted. This fellow's name was Mapp, who lived with her but for a
fortnight, during which time he "thrashed her" (or she him, it is not just
clear which) "three times," and appropriating all of her spare change,
amounting to five hundred dollars, he took to himself one half of the
world, and quietly left her the other. Our informant adds, "She found
consolation for her wounded affections in the homage of the world. She
became a notoriety of the first water; every day the public journals gave
some interesting account of her, and her remarkable operations."

The _Grub Street Journal_ of that period said, "The remarkable cures of
the woman bone-setter, Mrs. Mapp, are too numerous to enumerate. Her
bandages are extraordinarily neat, and her dexterity in reducing
dislocations and fractures most wonderful. She has cured persons who have
been twenty years disabled." Her patients were both male and female. Some
of her most difficult operations were performed before physicians of

Her carriage was splendid, on the panels of which were emblazoned her coat
of arms. Regularly every week she visited London in this magnificent
chariot drawn by four superb, cream-white horses, attended by servants,
arrayed in gorgeous liveries. She put up at the Grecian Coffee-House, and
forthwith her rooms would be thronged by invalids.

Notices of her were not always of the most complimentary sort. Being one
day detained by a cart of coal that was unloading in a narrow street of
the metropolis, on which occasion she was arrayed in a loosely fitting
robe-de-chambre, with large flowing sleeves, which set off her massive
proportion most conspicuously, she let down the windows of her carriage,
and leaning her bare arms upon the door, she impatiently exclaimed,--

"Fellow, how dare you detain a lady of rank thus?"

"A lady of rank!" sneered the coal-man.

"Yes, you villain!" screamed the enraged doctress. "Don't you observe the
arms of Mrs. Mapp on the carriage?"


"Yes--I _do_ see the arms," replied the impudent fellow, "and a pair of
durned coarse ones they are, to be sure."

On another occasion she was riding up Old Kent Road, dressed as above
described. "Her obesity, immodest attire, intoxication, and dazzling
equipage were, in the eyes of the mob, so sure signs of royalty, that she
was taken for a court lady, of German origin, and of unpopular repute. The
crowd gathered about her carriage, and with oaths and yells were about to
demolish the windows with clubs and stones, when the nowise alarmed
occupant, like Nellie Gwynn, on a similar occasion, rose in her seat,
and, with imprecations more emphatic than polite, exclaimed,--

"---- you! Don't you know who I am? I am Mrs. Sally Mapp, the celebrated
bone-setter of Epsom!"

"This brief address so tickled the humor of the rabble that the lady was
permitted to proceed on her way, amid deafening acclamations and

This famous woman's career may be likened to a rocket. She flashed before
the people as suddenly, ascended as brilliantly to the zenith of fame, and
fell like the burned, blackened stick.

Mrs. Mapp spent her last days in poverty, wretchedness, and obscurity, at
"Seven Dials," where she died almost unattended, on the night of December
22, 1737. Her demise was thus briefly announced in the journals:--

"Died at her lodgings, near Seven Dials, last week, Mrs. Mapp, the once
much-talked-of bone-setter of Epsom, so wretchedly poor that the parish
was obliged to bury her."

Mr. Jeaffreson makes mention of two more "female doctors;" one an honest
widow, mother of "Chevalier Taylor," who, at Norwich, carried on a
respectable business as an apothecary and doctress, and Mrs. Colonel
Blood, who, at Romford, supported herself and son by keeping an apothecary


Perhaps English authors and English readers may be satisfied to allow the
above meagre and unenviable array of pretenders to stand on record as the
representatives of "female doctors" in their liberal and enlightened
country! Americans can boast of a better representative.

While England claims a "Female Medical Society," and one "Female Medical
College," the United States has several of the former, and three regularly
chartered "Female Medical Colleges." In a recent announcement of the
English college, it claims fifty students, "but the aim of the whole
movement is at present only to furnish competent midwives."

The "Maternity Hospital," of Paris (which existed long before the late
Franco-Prussian war, but which we can learn nothing of since the fall of
that once beautiful city), "afforded some opportunity for observation,
receiving females nominally as students, but they were not allowed to
prescribe in the wards, nor were they instructed in regard to the use and
properties of the remedies there prescribed. Indeed, they can hardly rise
above the position of proficient nurses," says our informant.

Some few medical colleges of the United States are admitting females on
the same footing as the heretofore more favored "lords of creation."

A female college has been in existence in Philadelphia for above twenty
years. The "New England Female Medical College" was chartered in 1856; but
the "regular" colleges, as Yale, Harvard, etc., refuse all female

New York has been more liberal towards the gentler sex. At Geneva,
Rochester, Syracuse, and elsewhere, as early as 1849-50, medical schools
of the more liberal sort, but of undoubted respectability and legal
charters, opened their doors to female students. In 1869 the New York
Female Medical College was chartered, since which time more than two
hundred ladies have therein received medical instruction.

In all the principal cities of the Union may be found from one to a dozen
respectably educated and successful female practitioners, who have
attained to some eminence in spite of the opposition of the "faculty," and
the ignorant prejudices of the common people.

It is surprising how early and persistently some men forget that they were
"born of woman!" Their contempt of the capabilities of womankind would
lead one to suppose them to be ashamed of their own mothers. Mark Twain's
facetious but instructive speech, once delivered before an editorial
gathering in Boston, ought to be rehearsed to them daily; yes, and
enforced by petticoat government upon their notice till it became
stereotyped into their stupid brains. Mark says,

"What, sir, would the peoples of the earth be without woman? They would be
scarce, sir,--almighty scarce! (Laughter.) Then let us cherish her; let us
protect her; let us give her our support, our encouragement, our
sympathy,--our--selves, if we get a chance.

"But, jesting aside, Mr. President, woman is gracious, lovable, kind of
heart, beautiful, worthy of all respect, of all esteem, of all deference.
Not any here will refuse to drink her health right cordially, for each and
every one of us has personally known, and loved, and honored the very best
of them all,--_his own mother_!"

Sarah B. Chase, M. D., a respectable and successful female physician of
Ohio, gives the following excellent advice:--

"I would not encourage any woman to study medicine, with the expectation
of practising, who is not ready and willing--ay, _anxious_ and
_determined_--to go through the same severe drill of preparation, the same
thorough discipline, as is required of man before he is crowned with the
honors of an M. D."


Among the first successful female physicians of Boston, where she was born
in 1805, is Harriot K. Hunt, M. D. Her father was a shipping merchant,
who, by honesty and uprightness died comparatively poor, for riches are
not always to the upright. Her mother is described by Rev. H. B. Elliot,
"as one possessing a mind of remarkable qualities, argumentative,
practical, independent, and, withal, abounding in tenderness and genial
brightness." In 1830 we find Miss Hunt not only thrown upon her resources
for her own livelihood (her father having left but barely the house that
gave them shelter to be called their own), but the support and care of an
only and invalid sister, somewhat her junior, were also entirely dependent
upon her labors. As a school teacher she met the former, as a student and
nurse she finally surmounted the latter. "What! more pedagogues turned

After nearly three years' employment of various physicians on the part of
the elder sister, and the extreme suffering from the "distressing and
complicated disease," and, what was worse, the "severest forms of
prescriptions of the old school of physic" for the same time by the
younger sister, the Misses Hunt were led to investigate for themselves.
They purchased medical works, which they read early and late.

In 1833 Harriot leased her house, and entered the office of a doctress,
Mrs. Mott by name, in the double capacity of secretary and student. The
younger sister became a patient of Mrs. Mott's. The husband of Mrs. Mott
was an English physician, who, with his wife to attend the female portion
of his patients, had established himself in Boston. Mrs. Mott was without
a thorough medical education. "She made extravagant claims to medical
skill in the treatment of cases regarded as hopeless." In 1835 Dr. Mott
died, and Mrs. Mott returned to England. Under the treatment of the latter
the invalid sister had so much improved in health as to be able to "walk
the streets for the first time in three years;" yet where is the "old
school doctor," or the veriest charlatan, that would give her the credit
she so seemingly deserved in this case. Both were her opponents. Even the
students of the neighboring medical school were "pitted against her." The
old adage respecting his Satanic majesty having the credit due him, did
not seem to apply to her case. But Mrs. Mott was more than a match for
their cunning, if not for their scientific theorizings, as the following
anecdote will show.

"Three wise men of Gotham," that amiable lady, Mrs. Goose, tells us,
"went to sea in a bowl; and had the bowl been stronger, my song would have
been longer." This has its parallel in the three wise students of H----,
who laid their wise heads together, and went to _see_--Mrs. Mott, the
doctress, of Hanover Street. One was to pretend that he had some peculiar
disease, for which he, with his anxious friends, wished to consult the
"wise woman." They entered the doctor's office, and demanded to see the
doctress. This was an open insult to the woman, as she only gave her
attention to females and children. Nevertheless, Mrs. Mott, whose
olfactory nerves were not so obtuse as to prevent her from distinguishing
the aroma of that peculiar little animal quadruped of the genus _Mus_,
obeyed the summons, and entered the presence of the three wise

Now the fun began. Not the fun that _was to be_ at the expense of the
"ignorant old female quack," however.

One of the gentlemen arose, and after a profound bow, began, with some
embarrassment, to state his case.

"But wait just a moment," the doctress interrupted. "You intimate that it
is a _peculiar_ case. My fee for consultation in such cases is _three
dollars_. Please hand over the money, and proceed."

This was an unexpected demand. They had thought to have a little fun,
expose the woman's ignorance, and have a "huge thing" to tell to their
class-fellows, _and not pay for it_! Mrs. Mott was a woman, but she
possessed powerful magnetic influence, and held fast to the point, viz.,
her fee for consultation; and to the chagrin of the patient (?), and the
astonishment of his chums, the three dollars were paid over to the

"Now, sir, you will please state your case," said the lady, pocketing the
fee, adjusting her eye-glasses, and seating herself for a consultation.

"Yes. Well--it is a--a peculiar case," stammered the patient.

"You have informed me of that point before. Please proceed," remarked the
doctress with great complacency to the embarrassed fellow.

"It's a delicate case," he blushingly replied.

"O, indeed; then step into this private consulting room;" and arising, she
led the way to an inner office, where the young man involuntarily
followed, greatly to the amusement of the two remaining students, who
remarked, "It is getting blamed hot for us here."


In a moment, the invalid--greatly improved, one might judge, from his
agility,--rushed from the private sanctum with a bound, grasped his hat
from the table, exclaiming, "Come on, for God's sake!" and rushed from the
house, followed by his now thoroughly affrighted companions.

"What's the matter? What did the old tarantula say to you?" demanded the
young man's chums, when well outside of the web into which they had so
impudently intruded themselves.

"Don't you ever ask me," he vociferated. "A ---- pretty mess you got me
into. But if either of you ever again mistake that old woman for a fool, I
hope to God she'll take you into her private consulting room."

But to return to Miss Hunt and her sister. In 1855 or '56 the sisters
opened an office in Boston. As with all young physicians without "dead
men's shoes," professional support, or wealthy and influential friends to
back them, patients gathered slowly at first, but with a steady increase,
the care of whom soon devolved entirely upon Harriot, as her sister
married, and retired from practice.

In 1847 she had an extensive practice among a wealthy and influential
class of people, which many an older physician of the sterner sex might
envy. With a large practical knowledge, acquired in twelve years'
experience, she applied to Harvard College for permission to attend a
course of medical lectures. She was refused admission. In 1850 she again
applied. The officers consented this time, but the students offered such
objections to the admission of females into their presence, that Miss Hunt
generously declined to avail herself of the long-coveted opportunity.

"The Female Medical College," at Philadelphia, in 1853, granted Miss Hunt
an honorary degree.... She is now in the midst of an extensive practice.
Miss Hunt has lived a glorious, self-denying life, upholding her sister
co-laborers, and the "dignity of the profession," never demeaning herself
by stooping to sell her knowledge, by any of those disreputable practices
that mark the avaricious M. D., the charlatan, the parasites, and the
leeches of the profession, both male and female.

Among eighty-five "female physicians" (?) of Boston, eighteen claim to be
graduates of some college. We know of several who deserve a favorable
mention here, but present limits will not admit.


In New York city there are upwards of two hundred so-called "female
physicians," about eighty per cent. of whom, according to the best
authority,--police reports, etc.,--subsist by _vampirism_! Here, in this
chapter, I shall mention a few of the really meritorious ones, reserving
the large majority to be "shown up" under the various chapters as
"fortune-tellers," "clairvoyants," and "astrologers."

The subject of the following imperfect, because brief, sketch,--MRS. C. S.
LOZIER, M. D.,--late of New York city, was born in Plainfield, New Jersey,
in 1813. Her maiden name was Clemence S. Harned. Her father was a farmer
by occupation, and a member of the Methodist church. Her amiable and
excellent mother was a Quakeress. "Why should Mrs. Lozier, a gentle,
modest, unambitious, home-loving woman, have chosen the calling of a
physician?" asks her biographer. My answer would be, "She was a creature
of circumstances." Another, in view of the facts to be related, would say,
"_It was her destiny_."

The valuable information which Mrs. Lozier gained, as a Quakeress, amongst
that herbalistic people with which she was early associated, with study
and practical observation enabled her to "act efficiently as a nurse and
attendant upon the sick and afflicted of the neighborhood."

The elder brother of Miss Clemence, William Harned, was a physician, as
also were two of her cousins. In 1830 she was married to Mr. Lozier, and
removed to New York. Her husband's health failing, and having no other
support, Mrs. Lozier opened a select school, which she kept successfully
till after the death of Mr. Lozier, in 1837.

"During this period she read medicine with her brother. When her pupils
were sick, she would generally be called in before a physician. She also
was connected with the 'Moral Reform Society,' with Mrs. Margaret Pryor,
and visited the sick and abandoned, often prescribing for them in

Mrs. Lozier graduated at the Eclectic College, of Syracuse, in 1853,
having attended her first course of lectures at the Central College,
Rochester. From that time until her death, in 1870, she continued to
minister to the sick and afflicted in the city of New York.

At the commencement of this article we stated that Mrs. Lozier was a
modest woman. This she continued to be to the end. Those leading
physicians who often met her in consultation, with the thousands of
patients who from time to time have been under her treatment, the students
before whom she lectured during several years, the numerous friends who
thronged her parlors, and the Christian professors with whom she
mingled,--all, _all_ testify to this fact. "She denied both the expediency
and practicability of mingling the sexes" in deriving a medical education.
"Woman physician for women," was her motto. It was not always possible for
her to refuse to prescribe for male patients, as many can testify. The
efforts of some, far down in the scale of life, to connect the name of
Mrs. Lozier with those disreputable practices by which the majority of
female physicians--the parasites of the profession--subsist, yea, even
gain a competence, in this city, and, consequently,
_respectability_,--"for gold buys friends,"--have utterly failed, and her
_name_ to-day, as it ever will, stands out boldly as belonging to one who
was a self-denying, God-fearing, honorable, and successful female

Mrs. Lozier is said to have been a skilful surgeon, "having performed
upwards of one hundred and twenty capital operations." In 1867-8 Mrs. L.
visited Europe, where she was received with great marks of esteem by
eminent men, and admitted to the hospitals.

Her son, Dr. A. W. Lozier, is in practice in New York city.


The first female who received a medical diploma from any college in the
United States was Miss Elizabeth Blackwell.

This lady, who now stands only second in years of experience to Miss Hunt,
of Boston, and second to no female in medical knowledge and usefulness,
came to this country from England in 1831, when she was ten years of age.
[A lady, of whom I made some inquiries respecting the above, assured me
"it was only those females who were eligible as nurses, or prospective
widowhood, which would make them eligible, were desirous of concealing
their true age."]

Being persuaded that her "mission" was to heal the sick, Miss Elizabeth
applied, by writing, to six different physicians for advice as to the best
means to obtain an education, and received from all the reply that it was
"impracticable," utterly impossible, for a female to obtain a medical
education; "the proposition eccentric," "Utopian," etc.

It required just this sort of opposition to draw out the true character,
and arouse the hidden abilities of such women as the Misses Blackwell.

Elizabeth, while supporting herself by giving music lessons in Charleston,
S. C., received regular medical instruction from S. H. Dixon, M. D., a
gentleman and scholar, well known to the entire profession of two
continents; also from Drs. John Dixon, Allen, and Warrington, the two
latter in Philadelphia. Being considered by these gentlemen competent,
Miss Blackwell applied to the medical schools of Philadelphia and New York
for admission as a medical student, by all of which she was rejected
"because she was a female." Finally she gained admission to the College at
Geneva, N. Y., and graduated in 1848. Are the _males_ the only
"oppressors" of the gentler sex? No, no; woman is woman's own worst enemy.

Miss Blackwell was two years in Geneva, and so violent was the opposition
of _her own sex_, that no lady in Geneva would make her acquaintance while
there. "Common civilities at the table, even, were denied me." Entirely
different was the treatment which she received at the hands of the
students and professors of the college. "Here she found nothing but
friendliness and decorum, and, on the eve of her graduation, the
cordiality of the students in making way for her to receive her diploma,
and pleasantly indicating their congratulations, was marked and

The following morning her parlor was thronged with ladies.

Miss Elizabeth Blackwell visited London and Paris, and was entered as
student at St. Bartholomew's, and also at "_La Maternité_" (The

She returned to New York, and, notwithstanding "she found a blank wall of
social and professional antagonism facing the woman physician, which
formed a situation of singular loneliness, leaving her without support,
respect, or counsel," she gained a foothold, and a respectable and living
practice soon began to flow in and crown her persistent efforts.

Now her sister Emily commenced the study of medicine, first with
Elizabeth, subsequently with Dr. Davis, of Cincinnati Medical College. In
1852 she and her sister were permitted to attend upon some of the wards
(female, we presume) of Bellevue Hospital. In 1854 Emily graduated at
Cleveland College (Eclectic, I think).

Through their united efforts the "New York Infirmary for Women and
Children" was established. "Up to the present time over fifty thousand
patients have received prescriptions and personal care by this means."
Contrary to Mrs. Lozier, "they are firm in their conviction of the
expediency of mingling the sexes in _all_ scholastic training. In their
mode of practice they adopt the main features of the 'regular' system."
Nearly all other physicians are rather of the _Eclectic_ system. Like Miss
Hunt, "she was bound by no regular school, as none had indorsed her."

There are many contemporaries of Miss Hunt and the sisters Blackwell whom
we might mention, but the history of one is the history of the whole, so
far as early struggles, opposition of the profession, and neglect and
disrespect of their own sex, is concerned.

Frances S. Cooke, M. D., of the "Female Medical College," East Concord
Street, Boston, Mrs. Jackson, Lucy Sewall, M. D., recently returned from
Europe, and a half-score others of Boston, much deserve more than a
passing notice, but our limited space will not permit. Also, Hannah E.
Longshore, M. E. Zakezewska, of New York, Miss Jane E. Myers, M. D., Mrs.
Mary F. Thomas, M. D. (Camden, Ind.), Miss Ann Preston, M. D., of
Philadelphia, Mrs. Annie Bowen, of Chicago, and others, "too numerous to
mention," who, in spite of the opposition from their own sex, from the
profession, and the public in general, have gained a name and a competency
through their professional efforts.

"A woman's intellectual incapacity and her physical weakness will ever
disqualify her for the duties of the medical profession," wrote Dr. ----,
of Pennsylvania.

Edward H. Dixon, M. D., of New York, in an article published in the
"_Scalpel_" shows, by uncontroverted arguments and facts, that the male
child, at birth, "in original organic strength," holds only an equal
chance with the female; that "the chances of health for the two sexes at
the outset are equal, and so continue till the period when they first
attain the full use of their legs."

Ask the mother of a family if the labor pains show any respect of sex.

Does not the female show as strong lungs as the male in its _earliest_
disapprobation of this unceremonious world? How about the comparative
strength exhibited in the demonstrations of each when the lacteal fluid is
not forthcoming in proportion to the appetite?

Let us consult Dr. Dixon further,--and charge it to the females!

"We give the girl two years' start of the boy,--we shall see why as we
proceed. Both have endured the torture of bandaging, pinning (pricking),
and tight dressing; both have been rocked, jounced on the knee, papped,
laudanumed, paregoricked, castor oiled, suffocated with blankets over the
head, sweltered with cap and feather bed, roasted at a fire of anthracite,
dosed according to the formula of some superannuated doctor or
'experienced nurse,' or both, for these people usually hunt in couples,
and are very gracious to each other. We give the girl the start to make up
for the benefit the boy has derived from chasing the cat, rolling on the
floor, or sliding down the balustrade, and the torture _she_ had endured
from her sampler, and being compelled to 'sit up straight, and not be

[Illustration: "POH! YOU'RE A GIRL."]

"Well, they are off to school. Observe how circumspectly our little miss
must walk, chiding her brother for being 'too rude.' He, nothing daunted,
(with a '_Poh! you're a girl_'), starts full tilt after an unlucky pig or
a stray dog. If he tumbles into the mud and soils his clothes the result
is soon visible in increase of lungs and ruddy cheeks."

"In school the boy has the advantage. The girl 'mustn't loll,' must sit up
erect, the limbs hanging down, her feet probably not reaching the floor,
and the spinal column must bear the main support for three to six hours!
The boy gets relief in 'shying' an occasional paper ball across the room,
hitching about, and drawing his legs up on the seat, or sticking a pin in
his neighbor, and a good run and jump at recess, changing the monotony of
the recreation by an occasional fight after school. At dinner the girl has
had no exercise to create an appetite, and her meal is made up of pastry
and dessert. 'Remember that her muscles move the limbs, and are composed
chiefly of azote, and it is the red meat, or muscle of beef or mutton,
that she would eat if she had any appetite for it, that is to say, if her
stomach and blood-vessels would endure it. The fact is, _the child has
fever and loathes meat_.'"

While the boy, hat in hand, rushes to the common or rear yard to roll
hoop, fly his kite, or, in winter, to skate or coast down hill, the girl
is reminded that she has "one whole hour to practise at the piano," either
in a darkened room, from whence all God's sunshine is excluded, cold and
cheerless, or the other extreme--seated near a heated register, from which
the dry, poisonous fumes belch forth, destroying the pure oxygen she
requires to inflate her narrowing lungs, and increase the fibrine, the
muscle, and strength necessary to the exhausting exercise. She closes the
day by eating a bit of cake and a plate of preserves.

The hungry, "neglected" boy has returned, and, with swift coursing blood,
strength of muscle and brain, catches a glance at his neglected lesson,
comprehending it all the quicker by the change he has enjoyed, bawls
boisterously for some cold meat, or something hearty, and tumbles into his
bed, forgetting to close the door or window; whereas the girl must be
attended to her room, "she is so delicate," and, being tucked well in on a
sweltering feather bed, and bound down by heavy blankets, the doors and
windows are carefully secured, and, committed to the "care of Providence,"
she is left to swelter till to-morrow.

The period for a great change arrives, often catching the poor, uninformed
girl completely by surprise. Furthermore, the constant deprivation of her
natural requirements--pure air, wholesome, nutritious food, unrestrained
limbs and lungs--now become more apparent. In spite of the constant
drilling which she has received, she feels exceedingly _gauche_. Her face
is alternately pale and flushed; she suffers from headache,--"a rush of
blood to the head." Stays and tight-lacing have weakened the action of the
heart, cut off the circulation to the extremities, and deprived those
parts of blood which now require the nutriment necessary to their strength
and support in the time of their greatest need.

The ignorant mother sends for a physician, perhaps almost as ignorant as
herself; or, what is still worse, being a miserable time-server, seeing
the admirable opportunity for making a bill, straightway commences a
course of deception and quackery that, if it do not result in the death of
the unfortunate patient, leaves her a miserable creature for life, with
spinal curvature or consumption; or worse, by confinement and medication
destroy her chance of restoration; and should some unlucky and ignorant
young man take her as wife, and she become a mother, she surely will drag
out a wretched existence as a victim to uterine displacement and its
concomitant results.

Physically, morally, and intellectually woman is not born inferior to man.
We have briefly shown where and how she has fallen behind in the race of
life in a physical view of the matter. The intellectual sense has kept
pace only with the physical. Morally woman stands alone; by her own
strength or weakness she stands or falls. Man scarcely upholds or
encourages her. Her own sex, we have herein-before stated, is woman's own
worst enemy! "Be thou as chaste as ice, or pure as snow, thou shalt not
escape calumny," and if she fall, who shall restore her? The whole world
is against her; one half makes her what she is, the other's scorn and
neglect keeps her thus! The "ballot" will not keep woman from falling, nor
raise her when fallen. The "church" does not exempt woman from the wiles
of men, nor its adherents raise the fallen to their pristine strength,
beauty, and respectability! Though Christ, the lowly, the magnanimous,
said, "_Neither do I condemn thee_," his followers (?) cannot lay their
hands upon their hearts and repeat his gracious words. Where is the fallen
woman whom the church (not Roman Catholic) ever took in with that good
faith and spirit of sisterly love or brotherly affection, with which a
fallen man can, and is, often received into the church and into society?

Echo answers, "Where?"

O, deny this who will! It is no "attack upon the church;" merely a
lamentably truthful statement.

The church, like society, withdraws her skirts from contact with the
fallen sister. "She is a wreck, drifted upon our shore, for which God
holds some one accountable. Not a wreck that can be restored--not a wreck
that money or repentance can atone for." (What! not money? Then surely she
is lost, and forever!) "The damage is beyond earthly knowledge to
estimate, beyond human power of indemnification. If ever the erring soul
shall retrace her steps, it will be _Christ_ himself who shall lead her;
if ever peace shall brood again over her spirit, it will be the Comforter
who shall send the white-winged dove.

"But the merest lad detects the lost woman. She carries the evidences of
her guilt (or misfortune?) in the very clothes she wears, whether she is
the richly dressed courtesan of the Bowery, or the beggarly street-walker
of the village. There is a delicacy in, and a fine bloom on the nature of
woman, which impurity smites with its first breath, and she cannot conceal
the loss nor cover the shame!"

  "If there be but one spot upon thy name,
  One eye thou fearest to meet, one human voice
  Whose tones thou shrinkest from, Woman! veil thy face,
  And bow thy head and die!"

Then is there no help for woman's condition in this cold, uncharitable
world? you ask, in view of these facts related above. Yes; _but it rests
with woman_. It must begin with the first breath the female infant draws.
Educate her from the cradle. Give her the freedom of the boy, the pure air
that the boy breathes; not the romping, rude, boisterous plays, perhaps
(?), of the boy, but plenty of outdoor exercise, runs, slides, skates,
rides; let her laugh, yea _shout_, if it be in a country place, till the
woods ring again with the merry echoes, and the puzzled forest nymphs
issue from their invaded retreats, endeavoring to solve the riddle by
ocular demonstration which their ears have failed to unravel, viz., the
sex, as revealed in the strength of voice and buoyancy of spirits, or
expressed in unrestrained laughter!

"O, shocking! How hoidenish!"

Who says to laugh is "_hoidenish_?" A female invariably! And this is just
what we are explaining: women must change tactics as teachers. There is
time enough to instruct the _young_ lady, after the girl or the miss has
developed muscle, vitalized her blood, and capacitated her brain for the
sterner realities of life.

Let women learn to be true teachers of women.

Begin at the beginning. This is the only way. Stand by one another in the
reform. Never mind the ballot; don't try to wear the _breeches_. No--the
male attire I mean.

The superfluous boarding-school education must give place to something
more substantial. Mrs. Dashaway is to the point:--

"No, Pauline; home eddycation is perferable. If there is a requestred spot
on this toad-stool I detest more'n another it is a female cemetery, where
bread-and-butter girls are sent and quartered for a finished eddycation;
and it does finish most of em."

"O, no, no, aunty. You mean _sequestered_ spot, and sent _quarterly_ to a

"Well, well; you've got too many oceans in your head already of Greek and
zebra, of itchiology, and other humerous works; as for me, give me pure
blood, sound teeth, and a good constitution, and let them what's got them
sort of diseases see the good Samaritan, and ten to eleven if he don't
cure them in less than no time. Land! if Pauline ain't drummin' the

Shall women remain passively resigned to the lamentable physical condition
of her sex? or will she see where lies the main difficulty, viz., in a
_wrong start_,--in the superfluous, debilitating, _namby-pamby_ education
of the female infant, miss, young lady?

Thoreau wrote that he believed resignation a _virtue_, but he "rather not
practise it unless it became absolutely necessary."

"Resignation" is unnecessary in this case. Only let every woman arouse her
energies, and stand firmly in claiming her "rights" to rightly educate her
children, girls as well as boys, showing no respect of sex in their
_early_ training, thereby "commencing at the beginning." What is a house
without a good foundation? You may build, and rebuild, and finally it will
all topple over, overwhelming you in its ruins.

There is no "right" that woman may claim for herself and sex in general
but men must and will concede. Man is not your master. "Habit," "fashion,"
"opinion," these are your only masters. These shackle woman.

Do women dress for men? to please the opposite sex? or for each other's
eye? "You know just how it is yourself." Poh! What do men, generally
speaking, know of woman's dress? Absolutely nothing! I boldly assert that
not one man in twenty, going out to a call, party, or even a concert or
opera, knows the cut and color of the dress of his wife accompanying him.
Woman dresses for women's inspection. Whatever she does for fear or favor
of man else, woman dresses for her own sex.

"What will Mrs. Codfish say when she sees this turned dress?"

"Old Codfish," her husband, is worth at least fifty thousand dollars, and
here is Mrs. Copyman, whose husband is as poor as "Job's turkey," standing
in dread of that woman's criticism!

Not one male in a thousand can detect a well turned dress, but I defy the
most cunning dressmaker to alter, retrim, frill, and "furbelow" a dress
that the female eye won't detect at a glance!

"I rather pay the butcher's bill than the doctor's," says the father.

"O, horrors! Just see that girl swallow the meat! Why, it will make your
skin as rough as a grater and as greasy as an Indian's!" exclaims the

Miss Primrose keeps our village school; she who wears the trailing skirts,
and was seen to cut a cherry in two parts before eating it, at the party
last week. She almost went into convulsions--not of laughter, as I did--to
see Kitty Clover astride a plank, with her brother on the opposite end,
playing at "See-saw."

"Here we go up--up--uppy; and here we go down--down--downy," they were
singing in unison, when "ding, ding, ding!" went the school-bell, followed
by a scream from Miss Primrose.

With glowing cheeks--that's from the exercise--and downcast eye, from fear
of Miss Primrose's anger, Kitty came demurely into the school-room before
recess was half over.

After a long lecture about her "masculine behavior," "horrid red
countenance," and "rumpled dress," and "dishevelled hair," poor Kitty is
sent to her form to "sit up straight, and not forget that she is a young
lady hereafter."


And what of her brother who was on the other end of the plank? O, he is a
boy! "That's what's the difference!"


  "He'll never die for love, I know,
  He'll never die for love, nor wear
  Upon his brow the marks of care."

This is a true story, written for this work, but published, by permission
of the author, in the "American Union."

"So you believe me totally incapable of truly loving _any_ girl, do you?"

"I most assuredly do," was my positive answer.

My friend, George Brown, turned and walked away a few paces, looking
thoughtfully to the ground. He was a splendid looking man, about twenty
years of age; my late school-fellow, my present friend and confidant. He
was, what I did not flatter myself as being, a great favorite with the
ladies. Handsome, tall, manly, of easy address, a fine singer and dancer,
the only impediment to his physical perfection was, when the least
excited, a hesitancy of speech--almost a stammer. Finally he turned and
walked back to me, saying,--

"Now, Ad, if you will agree to a proposition I have to offer, I will
disprove your assertion, so oft repeated, that I never loved--not even
that dear girl, Jenny Kingsbury."

"First let me hear your proposition."

"You have long desired to visit Bangor?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Let us harness 'Simon' early some fine morning for that delightful city;
go by the way of B. and O., stop and see Jenny, who I have learned by
roundabout inquiry resides with her aunt in the latter place. And," he
added, triumphantly, "see for yourself if she isn't a girl to be loved."

"O, no doubt Jenny Kingsbury 'is a girl to be loved;' so was Addie, and so
was 'Ria, and a dozen others, whom you have sworn you loved so devotedly.
O George, out upon your affections."

"Will--will--you go? That's the question."

"Yes--I will go--because I wish to visit Bangor very much," was my reply;
and the time was at once set for the journey, which was to occupy two

Mrs. Brown, the mother of my friend George, was a devout Christian. She
believed in her Bible. Moreover, she was an excellent _nurse_, and next to
her Bible, believed in _thoroughwort_. Thoroughwort tea, or thoroughwort
syrup, was her panacea for all the ills, physical or moral, that ever was,
or could be, detailed upon poor humanity.

"Before you start, boys--"

"Boys! Where are your _men_?" interrupted George.

"Hear me!" continued Mrs. Brown. "Before you start for Bangor to-morrow
morning, do you take a good drink of that thoroughwort syrup in the large
jar on the first shelf in the pantry. It'll keep out the cold; for
there'll be frost to-night, I think, and at five o'clock in the morning
the air will be sharp. O, there is nothing equal to _thoroughwort_ for
keeping out the cold."

"Anything to eat in that pantry?" asked George, with a wink tipped to me.
You see I was to sleep with him that night, preparatory to an early start
for Bangor.

"Yes, some cold meat, bread, and a pie. But don't forget to first take a
dose of the thoroughwort syrup. Addison, you bear it in mind, for George
is awful forgetful, especially about taking his thoroughwort." And Mrs.
Brown detained us fully fifteen minutes, as she rehearsed the remarkable
qualities of her favorite remedy,--"particularly for keeping out cold."

"Mother thinks that condemnable stuff is meat, drink, and clothing,"
remarked George, as we sought the pantry at an early hour on the following
morning, not for the thoroughwort, but for sandwiches, pies, and the like.

"Let me take a taste of the 'stuff,'" I said, as I noticed the jar so
conveniently at hand.

"O, no; not on an empty stomach. It will make you throw up Jonah if you
do," exclaimed George, with an expression of disgust distorting his
features. "Eat something first, and then, if you want to taste the
condemned 'stuff,' do so, and the Lord be with you," he added, pitching
into the eatables.

Having made away with the pie, and much of the sandwiches, we turned our
attention for a moment to the thoroughwort syrup. I took a taste, and
George spilled a quantity on the shelf, "that mother may know we have been
to the jar," he remarked, as we left the pantry.

It was not yet five o'clock when we drove noiselessly away from the door.
If I remember rightly, we were not _noiseless_ after that. The morning was
delightful, slightly cool,--but that was no impediment to our warm blood,
owing to the thoroughwort,--and we sped on in an exuberant flow of
spirits. "Simon" was in excellent travelling order, and went without whip
or spur. We should have reached the village of B., where we were to
breakfast, and bait Simon, by eight o'clock, but George would insist on
making the acquaintance, _nolens volens_, of half the farmers on the road,
ostensibly to inquire the way to B.

"Hallo!" he shouted, reining up Simon before a small farm-house. Up flew a
window, and out popped a nightcapped head.

"What d'ye want?" called a feminine voice. It was now hardly daylight, and
the person could not distinguish us.

"Excuse me, madam, for disturbing your slumbers; but can you inform a
stranger if this is the right road to B.?" asked George, in his most
pleasing manner.

"O, yes; keep right on; take the first left hand road to the top o' the
hill; then go on till yer--"

We drove away, not waiting for the rest.

"Do you suppose that old woman is talking there now, with her nightcapped
head poked out of the window?" asked George, as we reached the hotel at B.

"For shame!" said I. "Waking up all the people on the road, to inquire the
way, with which you were perfectly familiar!"

From B. our route lay along the western bank of the beautiful Penobscot. I
need not detain you while I rehearse the delightful scenery _en route_ to
Bangor; the variegated and gorgeous splendors of the autumnal leaves; the
bending boughs, from the abundant ripened fruit, in colors of red, orange,
and yellow on one hand, and on the other the bright, glassy waters of the
broad river, dotted here and there by the white sails of boats and vessels
lying becalmed in the morning sunshine.

We reached the village of O., and George made inquiry for the residence of
Mr. Kingsbury.

"The large white house just across the bridge."

"Thank you." And we drove up to the front yard.

"Ne-ne-now, Ad, you go up and knock, and call for Miss Kingsbury;
ye-ye-you know I st-stutter when I get ex-ex-cited," said George, hitching
Simon to the horse-post.

"What shall I say to her? and how shall I know Miss Kingsbury from any
other lady?"

"O, ask for her. I'll compose myself, and follow ri-right up. You'll know
her from the description I have given you. Black eyes and hair, full
form--O, there is nobody else like her. Come, go up and call for her."

"Well, I'll go; and if I get stuck, come quickly to my rescue," I said,
turning to the house. "Is _Miss_ Kingsbury at home?" I asked of the young
lady who answered my knock. "This person is surely not Miss Jenny," I said
to myself; "cross-eyed, blue at that, and light, almost red hair." She
smiled, took a second look at me, and said,--


"Miss Jenny Kingsbury," I repeated.

"Well--yes--I guess she is. Will you walk in?"

"No, thank you. Will you please call her out?" And so saying, I beckoned
to George.

The girl closed the door, and I called to George "to make haste and change
places with me." He came up just as the door reopened, and a beautiful
dark-eyed woman appeared, whom he greeted as Miss Kingsbury.

"I'll see to the horse," I said; and having taken a hurried glance at
the young lady, I withdrew. For a full half hour I walked up and down
beneath the maples in front of the house, watched the steamer Penobscot,
as she came up the river, and from thence turned my attention to a
schooner that was endeavoring to enter the cove, not far from the house. A
light breeze had sprung up from the westward, and the channel being
narrow, there seemed much difficulty in gaining the harbor.

Finally George came to the door and beckoned me. I went in, and received
an introduction to Mrs. Kingsbury and to Jenny.

"O, but she is beautiful," I whispered to George.

He was flushed and excited, consequently stammered some, and I was
compelled to keep up a conversation, but I did not feel easy. Something
was wrong. I detected more than one sly wink between aunt and niece, and
when the cross-eyed miss came into the room, I could not tell whom she was
glancing at, as her eyes "looked forty ways for Sunday," but she leered
perceptibly towards first one, then the other of the ladies. I hinted to
George that we must not delay longer. Still he tarried. Mrs. Kingsbury
seemed interested in the movements of the schooner in the mouth of the
cove. Miss Jenny was interested in George. I was interested in getting
away from them all. Finally the schooner was moored to the wharf, and,
standing at the window, I noticed a sailor, with a bundle on a stick over
his shoulder, approaching the house. A whisper passed between aunt and
niece, and the latter asked George to accompany her into an adjoining

It was now past noon. A pleasant, savory smell came up from the kitchen,
but no one asked me to put up the horse, and stay to dinner.

The man with the bundle came familiarly into the yard. Soon George
returned alone to the room, and seizing his hat, he stammered, "C-c-come,
Ad," and rushed from the house.

Mrs. Kingsbury attended me to the door, and wished me a pleasant ride to
Bangor. George jumped into the buggy, seized the reins, and giving a cut
upon the horse, bawled, "Go on, Simon."

"Hold on. First let me unhitch him," I cried, seizing the spirited beast
by the bridle. I unfastened the halter, and jumped into the carriage; and
away flew Simon, snorting and irritated under the unnecessary cuts he had
received from the whip. At the first corner George took the back road
towards B.

"Not that way! Hold on, and turn about," I exclaimed, catching at the
reins. "Now stop and tell me all about it. Did you propose to Jenny? Has
she accepted, and are you beside yourself with ecstatic joy? Come, tell

"Ho! Simon." And laying down the reins, George drew out his wallet, and
taking therefrom a bit of silk goods, he turned upon my astonished gaze a
woe-begone look, and said,--

"Ad, she's mum-mum-married--"


"Yes, married; and there's a piece of her wedding gown. The fellow you saw
come in while there, with the bundle on a stick,--the
land-lubberish-looking fellow,--was her husband. O my God! Did you ever?"
And so relieving his mind, he caught the reins and whip, and away darted
Simon at a fearful rate of speed.

At Bangor I said to George,--

"Well, there probably is no love lost on either side. She sold out at the
first bid, and you never had the least hold on her affections."

"Ah, I have had her confidence in too many moonlight walks to believe
that," was his reply.

"And it was all moonshine,--that's evident," I said.

"No, no; I wish it was. I never shall love again," said George, with a
deep sigh, and a sorry-looking cast of countenance.

"No, I suppose not," was my non-consoling reply.

"Still, do you believe I never loved that darling girl?" he asked, almost
in a rage. "If that man--that _fellow_--should die with the autumn leaves,
I would at once marry Jenny, who loves me still," he exclaimed, pacing the
room like an enraged lion.

"He won't die, however. He looks healthy and robust, and will outlive you
and your affection for his wife," I replied, with a derisive laugh.

It rained the next afternoon, as we returned home by a shorter route than
_via_ O. and B. George talked a great deal of Jenny on the way back, and
said he never should get over this fearful disappointment.

"Only think of the lovely Jenny Kingsbury marrying that fellow with the
bundle and the stick! O, I shall be sick over it; I know I shall."

"Especially if you take a bad cold riding in this storm," I added, by way
of consolation. "However, you can take some of your mother's good

"Confound the thoroughwort," he interrupted.

       *       *       *       *       *

"Did you know that George is sick?" asked his little brother of me the
following day.

"No. Is he much sick?" I inquired, in alarm.

"O, yes; he's awful sick--or was last night; and mother fooled him on a
dose of fresh thererwort tea, which only made him sicker," replied the
little chap, turning up his nose in disgust.

"Is he better now?" I inquired.

"O, yes; ever so much _now_. I don't know what ma called the disease he's
got; but howsomever she said thererwort was good for it, and I guess it
is, 'cause he's better."

I was called away, and did not see my friend George till a week after our
return from the little trip to B. He never mentioned Jenny afterwards, nor
said a word about the thoroughwort tea. He took to horses after that,
and eventually married a poor, unpretending girl, quite unlike the
dark-eyed, beautiful, and wealthy Miss Jenny Kingsbury.

Mrs. Brown still recommends her favorite panacea for all ails, physical or
moral; but whenever she mentions it in George's presence, he exclaims,
with a look of disgust,--

"O, confound the thoroughwort!"




    I swear, 'tis better to be lowly born,
    And range with humble livers in content,
    Than to be perked up in a glistening grief
    And wear a golden sorrow."--KING HENRY VIII.


On looking over my "collection" on quacks and charlatans, I am so strongly
reminded of a little anecdote which you may have already seen in print,
but which so well illustrates painfully the facts to be adduced in this
chapter, that I _must_ appropriate the story, which story a western
engineer tells of himself.

"One day our train stopped at a new watering-place, being a small station
in Indiana, where I observed two green-looking countrymen in 'homespun'
curiously inspecting the locomotive, occasionally giving vent to
expressions of astonishment.

"Finally one of them approached and said,--

"'Stranger, are this 'ere a injine?'

"'Certainly. Did you ever see one before?'

"'No, never seen one o' the critters afore. Me an' Bill here comed down t'
the station purpose to see one. Them's the biler--ain't it?'

"'Yes, that is the boiler,' I answered.

"'What you call that place you're in?'

"'This we call a cab.'

"'An' this big wheel, what's this fur?'

"'That's the driving wheel.'

"'That big, black thing on top I s'pose is the chimley.'


"'Be you the engineer what runs the machine?'

"'I am,' I replied, with the least bit of self-complacency.

"He eyed me closely for a moment; then, turning to his companion, he

"'Bill, it don't take much of a man to be a engineer--do it?'"

The reader will perceive the distinction which we make between humbugs,
quacks, and charlatans, though one individual may comprehend the whole.

"Quacks comprehend not only those who enact the absurd impositions of
ignorant pretenders, but also of _unbecoming acts of professional men
themselves_."--_Thomas' Medical Dictionary._

This is the view we propose to take of it in this chapter, in connection
with the derivation of the word.

The word _quack_ is derived from the German "_quack salber_," or mercury,
which metal was introduced into the _Materia Medica_ by _Philippus
Aureolus Theophrastus Paracelsus Bombast ab Hohenhein_!

"So extensively was quicksilver used by Paracelsus and his followers that
they received the stigma of 'quacks.'"--See _Parr's Medical Dictionary_.

There is some controversy respecting the date of birth of Paracelsus, but
probably it was in the year 1493. He was born in Switzerland.


Professor Waterhouse (1835) says, "He was learned in Greek, Latin, and
several other languages. That he introduced quicksilver," etc., "and was a
vain, arrogant profligate, and died a confirmed sot."

"Paracelsus was a man of most dissolute habits and unprincipled character,
and his works are filled with the highest flights of unintelligible
bombastic jargon, unworthy of perusal, but such as might be expected from
one who united in his person the qualities of a fanatic and a
drunkard."--_R. D. T._

Mercury was known to the early Greek and Roman physicians, who regarded it
as a dangerous poison. They, however, used it externally in curing the
_itch_, and John de Vigo employed it to cure the plague. Paracelsus used
it internally first for _lues venerea_, which appeared in Naples the year
of his birth, though doubtless that disease reached far back, even into
the camp of Israel. The heroic doses of Paracelsus either destroyed the
disease at once, _or the patient_. Paracelsus proclaimed to the world that
there was no further need of the _Materia Medica_, especially the writings
of Galen, and burned them in public; his "Elixir Vitæ" would cure all
diseases. But in spite of his wonderful knowledge and his life-saving
elixir, he died of the diseases he professed to cure, at the early age of
forty-eight, while Galen lived to the age of seventy.

So much for the "father of quacks."

For nearly four centuries mercury has been exhibited in the _Materia
Medica_ to a greater extent than any other remedy. Doubtless it possesses
great medicinal virtues, but its abuse--the "heroic doses" used by the
ignorant and brainless quacks, both graduates of some medical college, and
_soi-disant_ physicians--has made its name a terror to the people and a
reproach to the profession. To assail it is to tread on dangerous ground;
to invade the "rights" of a numerous host of worshippers; to uncover an
ulcer, whose rottenness, though smelling to heaven, is protracted for the
pecuniary advantage of the prescriber.

Eminent physicians in every age since its introduction, and in every
enlightened country, have protested against its abuse; yea, even its use!
They have called its users "_quacks_," the most contemptible epithet ever
introduced into medical nomenclature,--the "_Samson_" of the profession,
because through the instrumentality of an ass and his adherents, "it has
slain its thousands."

I need not quote those distinguished practitioners who have recorded their
testimony against its general and indiscriminate use. Their name is
legion, and every well-informed physician is aware of the fact.

Do not "well-informed physicians" prescribe calomel?

Certainly; but cautiously, and often under protest.

It is recorded of Sir Astley Cooper that he made serious objections to its
free use in the wards of the Borough Hospitals, and forthwith the "smaller
fry" made such a breeze about his ears that he seemed called upon to
defend, and even palliate, his offence. Dr. Macilwain says that Sir Astley
is reported to have said in reply to those who demurred,--

"Why, gentlemen, was it likely that I should say anything unkind towards
those gentlemen? Is not Mr. Green (surgeon of St. Thomas) my godson, Mr.
Tusell my nephew, Mr. Travers my apprentice (surgeon of St. Thomas), Mr.
Key and Mr. Cooper (surgeons of Guy's Hospital) my nephews?"

This was very _naïve_, and as good illustration of the value of evidence
in relation to one thing (his provision for his relatives) which is stated
in relation to another.

Herein Sir Astley exposed a weakness with which the democratic opponents
of President Grant have accused him, viz., of furnishing comfortable
positions for his relatives.

Sir John Forbes, when at the head of the medical profession of England in
1846, wrote an earnest appeal to his brethren to rescue their art from the
ruin into which it was falling, saying in relation to modes of curing
diseases, "Things have become so bad that they must mend or end." This was
"dangerous ground," and some physicians of the day feared Dr. Forbes had
done an immense mischief. After his death, be it remembered, some of the
"medical magnates" of this country virtuously refused to subscribe to his
monument fund, saying, "it was a misfortune to mankind (?) that he had
ever lived."

Dr. W. A. Hammond, surgeon general of the United States, also blundered
when, by an order dated at _Washington, May 4, 1863_, he struck calomel
from the supply table of the army. This proscription was on the ground
that "it has so frequently been pushed to excess by military surgeons, as
to call for prompt steps to correct its abuse.... _This is done with the
more confidence, as modern pathology has proved the impropriety of the use
of mercury in very many of those diseases in which it was formerly
unfailingly administered._"

_The American Medical Times_ (regular) said, "The order appeared not only
expedient, but judicious and necessary, under the circumstances." _What_
circumstances? Read on further, and the _Times_ editor explains: "No evil
can result to the sick soldier from the absence of calomel, however much
he may need mercurialization, when such preparations as blue pill,
bichloride and iodide of mercury, etc., remain. But, in prescribing these
latter remedies, the practitioner generally has a very definite idea of
the object he wishes to attain, which is not always the case in the use of

By this timely order it was estimated that ten thousand soldiers were
released from a morning dose of calomel!

Was this a blow aimed at "quackery"? Was Dr. Hammond, "a member of the
medical profession highly esteemed for scientific attainments," attempting
a reform in medicine? Any way, Dr. Hammond shared the fate of all medical
reformers. He was suspended. He was disgraced.

The American Medical Association met at Chicago, and set up a strong
opposition to the "order." Certain persons brought charges against the
surgeon general. A commission was appointed. The _Times_ said, "The whole
affair has the appearance of a secret and deliberate conspiracy against
the surgeon general.... The commission is, in the first place, headed by a
person known to be hostile to the surgeon general. This fact throws
suspicion upon the _object_ of the investigation." Just so. The "object"
was to appoint some one instead of Dr. Hammond, who would repeal the
obnoxious order. No matter what _pretence_ was set up beside, this is the
fact of the case, and the people and the profession know this to be true.

But how shall we judge of the motives of Dr. Hammond but by _appearances_?
Who so well knew the value, or injury, of calomel, as he who had used it
for twenty odd years? Admitting Professor Chapman, of Philadelphia, was
within twenty years of right when he said, "He who resigns the fate of his
patient to calomel, ... if he has a tolerable practice, will, in a single
season, lay the foundation of a good business for life," did not Dr. H.
exhibit a little selfishness in attempting to deprive young practitioners
of the opportunity of laying for themselves a foundation for a prosperous

"Doubtless," said a medical journal of the day, "all _quacks_ and
_irregulars_ are congratulating themselves upon the appearance of this
'order.'" This leads us to ask, "Who are the quacks?"

The governor of Ohio, in 1861, made inquiry of the United States surgeon
general, to know if the regiments of that state could be allowed to choose
between allopathic and homeopathic surgeons.

"_No: I'll see them damned to hell first_," was the gracious reply.

The resolutions drawn up and adopted by the New York Academy of Medicine
as an offset against the appeal for admission of homeopathic surgeons into
the army (1862), contained the following:--

"3d. That it (homeopathy) is no more worthy of such introduction than
other kindred methods of practice as closely allied to _quackery_."

There were then some thirty-five hundred of that sort of "quacks"
practising under diplomas--mostly obtained from regular colleges--in the
United States. Shame!

The Royal College, Dublin, the same year, in a resolution passed, called
Mesmerism and homeopathy quackery.

In an article in the "Scalpel," from the able pen of Dr. Richmond,--about
the time that the "swarm of vampires that was the first fruits of the
tribe of rooters that swarmed the State of New York under the teachings of
T. and B." (Thompson and Beach),--he calls botanics and eclectics quacks
and Paracelsuses! Clear as--mud!

So! The calomel practitioners are quacks. The homeopathics are quacks. The
eclectics, and botanics, and Mesmerics, are all quacks! Any more,
gentlemen? This is getting things somewhat mixed, and I rush to
Dunglison's Medical Dictionary for explanation. Why, a quack is a
_charlatan_! I turn to "Charlatan." Lo, it is quack! Clear as mud, again.

In my perplexity I consult Webster. He refers me to a _goose_! So I rush
to Worcester, and he implies it is a _duck_! Perhaps the _bill_ has
something to do with the name; especially as I am reminded of a suit
brought by a Boston M. D. to recover the exorbitant sum of three hundred
dollars for reducing a dislocation.

Therefore, summing up this "uncertainty," it seems to be a convenient
word, expressive of contempt, which any professional man may hurl at any
other whom he dislikes, or with whom he is not in fellowship.

In its general use it is the _thief_ calling, "Stop thief."

It was no unusual practice for physicians of the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries to use calomel in scruple, and even drachm doses. Mazerne
"habitually administered calomel in scruple doses." Yandal gave it by the
table-spoonful. I knew a physician in Maine who usually administered it by
the tea-spoonful, and I saw a woman at Deer Isle, Me., suffering from true
anchylosis of the jaw, in consequence of thus taking his prescription. In
the same town was a man who was made completely imbecile by overdoses of
mercury. In the town of B----l, same county and state, once lived an old
quack, for convenience sake, near a large graveyard. _He "owned" it._ That
is, he is said to have more victims laid away therein than all the other
doctors who ever practised in town. "I knew him well." Once he sent to
Boston for _two ounces_ of calomel. There was no steam conveyance in those
days, and a sea captain took the order. By some mistake, _two pounds_ were
sent. It was not returned. "O, never mind," said the doctor; "I shall use
it all some time."

Every state, county, yes, every town, in the Union has its victims to this
quackery. In Rochelle, Ill., is a remarkable case, a merchant. Almost
every joint in his frame is rendered useless. He can speak, and his brain
is active. He has a large store, and he is carried to it every day, and
there, stretched upon a counter, he gives directions to his employés.
Though comparatively young, his hair is blanched like the snow-drift,
falling upon his shoulders, and he is hopelessly crippled for life. "He
does not speak in very flattering terms of the calomel doctors," said my
informant. Neither do the thousands of diseased and mutilated soldiers,
the victims to quackery while in the army.

"SPEAKING FACTS.--A little boy, ten years of age, and having a paralyzed
right leg, may be seen occasionally among his more able-bodied companions,
the newsboys, unsuccessfully striving to 'hoe his row' with his rougher
and more vigorous fellows. The limb is wholly dead, so far as its
usefulness is concerned and it was caused by giving the little fellow
overdoses of calomel, when he was an infant.

"Another victim to calomel lives in the city of Hartford, in the person of
a young lady of sixteen, who would be handsome but for deformities of face
and mouth, occasioned by calomel given to her when a little child. She
cannot open her mouth, and her food is always gruel, etc., introduced
through the teeth. But the doctors stick to calomel as the sheet anchor of
their faith."

Behold WASHINGTON, who had passed through the battles of his country
unharmed, and who in his last illness had, in the brief space of twelve
hours, ninety ounces of blood drawn from his veins, and in the same space
of time taken sixty grains of calomel!

Who wonders that he should request his physician to allow him to "_die in

Andrew Jackson was another victim to calomel, as well as to the lancet, as
the following letter shows:--

    "HERMITAGE, October 24, 1844.

    "MY DEAR MR. BLAIR: On the 12th inst., I had a return of hemorrhage,
    and two days after, a chill. With a lancet to correct the first, and
    calomel to check the second, I am _greatly debilitated_.


Was not this double quackery? First, it was the _Similia similibus
curantur_ (like cures like), of the homeopathists, which the Academy of
Medicine has termed quackery. Second, it was exhibiting calomel to the
injury (debilitating) of the patient.

President Harrison was another victim.

Are not these historical facts? Nevertheless, it is treason to mention
them. "And why should any truth be counted as treasonable?" the honest and
intelligent reader is led to inquire. "For truth is mighty, and must
prevail," eventually.

Yes, yes, truth will prevail. When bigotry and old-fogy notions are
uprooted from the profession, and all educated and benevolent physicians
strike hands and join fortunes to eradicate and discountenance all forms
of quackery amongst themselves, they will then possess the power to
suppress outside quackery. Far too many make a _trade_ of the
_profession_; and just so long as educated physicians countenance or
practise any one form of quackery, so long will they be powerless to check
the abominations of charlatans and impostors outside of the profession.

We have not introduced the foregoing facts in the interest of any
persuasion. With the bickerings of the various schools of medicine we
propose to have nothing to do, except to seize upon such truths as those
otherwise useless quarrels are continually revealing. Opposition will not
weaken a truth, nor strengthen a falsehood. You who are in the right need,
therefore, have no fear as to final results.

It is hard to kick against the pricks of custom, and custom has perverted
the word which is the text of this chapter, and it is now more commonly
applied to the ignorant, boastful _pretender_ to the science of medicine.

Now we will introduce a few facts obtained from without the profession.


In the town of P----, Conn., there resided two doctors. One, old Dr. B., a
regular, and the other, Dr. S--h, an irregular. It was in the autumn, and
a fever was prevailing at this time, of a very malignant character. From
over-exertion and exposure Dr. B. was taken sick, and in a few days fever
supervened. This news spread terror over the immediate community, and the
old doctor becoming delirious, his wife and family soon partook of the
terror. A neighboring physician was sent for, but being absent, he did not
at once respond; and the invalid becoming, as they feared, rapidly worse,
Dr. S. was reluctantly called. He was known to be an ignoramus, formerly a
peddler, a farmer, horse-jockey, a fifth-rate country lawyer, and, lastly,
a doctor. Had Dr. B. retained his senses, he would have sooner died than
have admitted his enemy, this "rooter," into his house. He came, however,
with great pomposity, examined the patient, whose delirium prevented
resistance, and ordered an immediate application of the juice of
poke-berries rubbed over the entire skin of the old doctor, as a

"But," inquired the wife, timidly, "is not this an unusual prescription,
Dr. S.?" The doctor replied that it was a new remedy, but very
efficacious. "You see," he added, with many a hem and haw, "it will
out-herod the blush of the skin, put to shame the fever, which retires in
disgust, and so relieves the patient."

"And won't he die, if we follow this strange prescription?" asked a
friend, while the doctor was proceeding to deal out a large powder.

"No, no; ahem! _You_ do the _dyeing_, to prevent the _dying_. Haw, haw!"
roared the vulgar old wretch, convulsed by his own pun, and the
anticipation of the ludicrous corpse that he expected to see within a few

There was no alternative. The prescription must be followed, and the
children were sent to the woods to gather the ripe berries. The quack next
proceeded to deal out a dose of lobelia and blood-root, which he left on
the desk where Dr. B. prepared medicines when in health, giving directions
for its administration, and in high glee took his departure. The
inspissated juice of the highly-colored berries was applied over the face,
arms, and body of the unconscious doctor, the remarkable appearance of
whom we leave the reader to imagine.

By mistake, a large dose of camphorated dover's powders which lay on the
table was substituted for the lobelia of Dr. S., which with the warm
liquid applied to the skin, checked the fever, and, contrary to the hope
and expectation of Dr. S., the following morning found his patient in a
fine perspiration, and the neighboring physician arriving, he was soon
placed in a condition of safety.

Notwithstanding Dr. S. told some friends of the joke,--for the worst have
their friends, you know,--he was known to have prescribed for Dr. B., his
sworn enemy; and as the patient was pronounced convalescent, S. received
all the credit, and forthwith his services were in great demand. Day and
night he rode, till, by the time Dr. B. got out, he was completely
exhausted! He became alarmed lest he should take the fever. Such fellows
are ever cowards when anything ails their precious selves. He actually
became feverish with fear and excitement, and took his bed--and his
emetic. He took either an overdose, or not enough, and for hours remained
in the greatest distress. Finally, as a _dernier resort_, his wife sent
for Dr. B.! Now came his turn to avenge the insult of the painting by
poke-berries, which stain was yet scarcely removed from the skin of the
old doctor.

"I'll give him a dose; I'll put my mark on him--one that milk and water,
or soap, cannot remove. O, I'll be avenged!" exclaimed Dr. B., as he
mounted his gig, and drove to Dr. S.

"O doctor, doctor! I am in fearful distress. Can you help me? Will I die?"
whined S., on beholding his opponent.

"No; not such good news. Those born to hang don't die in their beds. But
you are very sick, and must abide my directions."

"Yes, yes. Thanks, doctor. This blamed lobelia is killing me, though."

"Then take this." And Dr. B. administered a half tea-spoonful of ipecac,
to bring up the lobelia. So far was good.

"Now a basin of water and a sponge," said Dr. B., which being procured, he
seemed to examine for a moment very curiously; then ordered the face,
neck, arms, and hands of the patient bathed well with the fluid.

On the following morning Dr. B. was sent for, post haste, with the
cheering message that "mortification had set in, and his patient was

Off posted the doctor, calling several neighbors, _en route_, who thronged
the apartment of the invalid doctor in speechless astonishment.


"I'm dying, Dr. B.; O, I'm dying," groaned S., rolling to and fro on his

"No, you are not. I told you before, no such good news. Your fever is all
gone. You are scared--that's what's the matter," replied Dr. B.

"But look, just look at the color of my skin,--all mortifying," said S.

"O, no; that is merely dyed with _nitrate of silver_. It's much better
than poke-berries--much better," repeated Dr. B.

The recovered patient leaped from his bed, and, with an oath, made
straight for the doctor; but the bystanders, though convulsed with
laughter, caught the enraged victim, while, amid the cheers and laughter
of the crowd, Dr. B. made his escape, saying to himself,--

"The nitrate of silver I put in the basin worked like a charm."

The story soon circulated, and Dr. S., being unable to remove the deep
stain from his skin, and the curious rabble from his door, left for parts
unknown. Dr. B., on revisiting his patients, who now rejoiced in his
recovery, found that S. had not only dispensed lobelia and blood-root, but
had bled and mercurialized several.


The writer was acquainted with a young physician who was unceremoniously
discharged by the family of a beautiful young lady to whom he had been
called to prescribe, in a country village, his offence being the discovery
of the true source of the patient's (?) indisposition, which fact he
_dared_ to intimate to the mother. "An older and more experienced
physician" succeeded him, who reversed the diagnosis, and pronounced it "a
clear case of _dropsy_," and the young M. D. went into disrepute. During
the entire winter the old doctor made daily visits to his patient. Daily
had the old ladies of the neighborhood adjusted their "specs," smoothed
down their aprons, and, watching the doctor's return, run out to the gate
to inquire after the health of the lady, the belle of the town.

"O, she's _convalescent_," was his usual reply, with due professional
dignity; and thus the matter stood till a crisis came.

[Illustration: MARRYING A FAMILY.]

There was a ball in the village one night. About eleven o'clock a
messenger appeared in the room, who hastily summoned a certain young
gentleman, a scion of one of the "first families" in town. At the same
time the minister was called, and the young man, standing by the bed,
holding the invalid lady by the right hand, while on his left arm he
supported a beautiful babe but an hour old, was married to the
"convalescent" patient. The old doctor had run a beautiful "bill," but it
was his last in that village.


The difficulty of obtaining competent counsel in the country can only be
fully comprehended by the intelligent physician who has had experience

From Dr. Richmond's "_Scenes in Western Practice_," I have selected the
following lamentable incidents, which I have abbreviated as much as is
consistent with the facts, related by the doctor, who in this case was
called to a wealthy and influential family, two of whom, wife and child,
were prostrated by epidemic dysentery.

"As my credit was at stake, an old and very grave man was, at my
suggestion, added to the consultation, to guard our reputation from the
usual visitation of gossiping slander that always follows a fatal result
in the country. He examined the child, and gave his opinion that the
symptoms resembled those of ipecac!... But death was ahead of the doctors,
and the little sufferer passed quickly away to a better world.

"Another child had died in the vicinity, and the _neighbors_ decided on a
change of doctors for the lady. By my consent the inventor of the
'Chingvang Pill' was called, as I assured my friend his wife would now
recover without either of us!

"He came, and readily detected the fact that he was in luck. His patient
and fees were both safe, and I was floored.

"'Of course, Dr. R., you will call when _convenient_,' was a polite way of
'letting me down easily,' and I did call.

"Everything went on swimmingly for two days, when suddenly the scale
turned; two other children were taken vomiting bile and blood. The doctor
was in trouble, and on my friendly call his eye caught mine, and spoke
plainly, 'My credit, too, is gone,--the children will both die.'

"The children grew rapidly worse; the council of the _neighborhood_
decided to call further aid. Another regular was called, and, being one of
the heroes, he advised (it is solemn truth, dear reader) _one hundred
grains of calomel at a dose_! His reason was, that he had given it to a
child, and the patient recovered. His medical brother thought it a little
too steep, and they compromised the matter by giving fifty grains! Copious
quantities of fresh blood followed the operation, and the little victim of
disease and quackery slipped from his suffering into the peaceful and
quiet grave!

"One patient remained, and it was decided to call further counsel.

"A simple but shrewd old quack was curing cancers in the neighborhood, who
sent word to the afflicted family that he 'could cure the remaining child
by cleansing the bowels with pills of butternut bark, aloes, camphor, and
Cayenne pepper;' he would feed the little fellow on twist-root tea that
would at once stop the discharges. Strange as it may seem, the wily old
fool was called into the august presence of three M. D.'s, and a score of
other counsellors. He gave his pills; fresh blood followed the raking over
the inflamed and sensitive membrane; the child screamed with torture, and
was only relieved from its horrible agony by enemas of morphine. The
celebrated '_twist-root_' (an Indian remedy, whose virtues could not be
appreciated by the educated physician) followed, and death closed the

"The old cancer-killer escaped by saying the morphine given in his absence
_killed the child_."


The following brief consultation occurred in Fulton, N. Y., recently:--

Two physicians were called, of opposite schools. After shaking hands over
the sick man's bed, one said to the other,--

"I believe you are an --'opathist."

"Yes, I am; and you are a --'pathist; are you not?"

"Yes; and I can't break over the rules of my society by aiding or
counselling with you ---- for the sake of _one_ patient. Good day!"

"Sir, I mistook you for a Christian, not a barbarian! Good day!"


Before entering upon an exposition of the viler and more reprehensible
sort of quacks,--the city charlatans and impostors,--I must relate a
diverting scene, also from a country consultation that occurred in New
York State some years since, from the perusal of which, if the reader
cannot deduce a "moral," he may derive some amusement.

Mr. H. was an invalid; he was the worst kind of an invalid--a
hypochondriac. The visiting physician had made a pretty good thing of it,
the neighbors affirmed, for "H. was in easy circumstances." Finally he
took to his bed, and declared he was about to shuffle off this mortal

Two eminent physicians were summoned from a distance to consult with the
attending physician. They arrived by rail, examined the patient, looked
wise, and the learned trio withdrew to consult upon so "complicated and
important a case." A tea-table had been set in an adjoining room, and to
the abundance of eatables wherewith to refresh the distinguished
professionals who were there to enter upon an "arbitrament of life or
death," were added sundry bottles yet uncorked.

A little son and daughter of Mr. H. were amusing themselves, meantime, by
a game at "hide-and-seek," and the former, having "played out" all the
legitimate hiding-places, bethought himself of the top of a high secretary
in the "banqueting-room." Action followed thought, and, climbing upon a
chair-back, he gained the dusty elevation, where he quietly seated himself
just as the three wise Æsculapians entered the apartment. His only safety
from discovery was to keep quiet.

Corks were drawn, supper was discussed, and conversation flowed merrily
along. The weather, the news of the day, and the political crisis were
discoursed, and the little fellow perched high on the secretary wondered
when and what they would decide on his father's case. Nearly an hour had
passed, the doctors were merry, and the boy was tired; but still the
little urchin kept his position.

"Well, Dr. A., how is practice here, in general?" inquired one of the

"Dull; distressingly healthy. Why, if there don't come a windfall in shape
of an epidemic this fall, I shall _fall_ short for provender for my horse
and bread for my family. How is it with you?"

"O, quite the reverse from you. I have alive twenty daily patients now."

"Very sick, any of them?" asked the local physician.

"No, no,--a little more wine, doctor,--some old women, whom any smart man
can make think they are sick; some stout men, whom medicine will keep as
patients when once under the weather; and silly girls, whom flattery will
always bring again,--ha! ha!" and so saying he gulped down the wine.

"Why, there goes nine o'clock."

"What, so late!" exclaimed one counsellor, looking at his gold repeater.

"We must go or we'll miss the return train," remarked the other; "the
doctor here will manage the patient H., who's only got the _hypo_ badly,"
he added.

"Is that a bust of Pallas he has over his secretary yonder?" asked the
first, discovering the boy for the first time.

"I'm afraid Dr. ---- has got a little muddled over this excellent 'Old
Port,' that he can't see clearly. Why, that's a bust of _Cupid_."

"Well," exclaimed the local physician, "I have been here a hundred times,
and never before observed that statue; but," eying the statue fixedly, he
continued, "it looks neither like Pallas nor Cupid, but rather favors H.,
and I guess it is a cast he has had recently made of himself."

Through all this comment and inspection the boy sat as mute as a post; but
the moment the door closed on the retiring doctors, he clambered down and
ran into the sick room.


The old doctor had slipped the customary fee into the hands of his
brethren as he bade them good night, and entered the room of his patient.
The latter instantly inquired as to the result of the consultation. The
doctor entered into an elaborate account of the "diagnosis" and
"prognosis" of the case, which was suddenly brought to a close by the
little boy, who, climbing into a chair on the opposite side of the bed,
asked his father what a "hypo" was.

"You must ask the doctor, my son," replied the father in a feeble voice.

"Hypo," said the unsuspecting doctor, "is an _imaginary_ disease,--the
hypochondria, vapors, spleen; ha, ha, ha!"

"Well, papa, that's what the doctors said you've got, 'cause I was on top
of the book-case an' heard all they said, an' that's all."

The doctor looked blank. H. arose in his bed, trembling with rage.

"By the heavens above us, I do believe you, my son; and this fellow, this
quack, has never had the manliness to tell me so;" and leaping to the
floor in his brief single garment, he caught the dumb and astonished "M.
D." by the coat collar and another convenient portion of his wardrobe, and
running him to the open door, through the hall, he pitched him out into
the midnight darkness, saying, "There! I have demonstrated the truth of
the assertion by pitching the doctor out of doors." H. recovered his
health. The doctor recovered damages for assault and battery.




    "Every absurdity has a chance to defend itself, for error is always



A charlatan is necessarily an impostor. He is "one who prates much in his
own favor, and makes unwarrantable pretensions to skill." He is "one who
imposes on others; a person who assumes a character for the sole purpose
of deception."

Originally the charlatan was one who circulated about the country, making
false pretensions to extraordinary ability and miraculous cures; but he is
now located in the larger cities, and is the most dangerous and
insinuating of all medical impostors. You will find his name in the
cheapest daily papers.

Name, did I say? No, never.

Of all the charlatans advertising in the papers of this city there is but
one who has not advertised under an assumed name. This is _prima facie_
evidence of imposition. Take up the daily paper,--the cheapest print is
the one that the rabble patronize, a curse to any city,--and run your eye
over the "_Medical Column_." Of the scores of this class advertising
therein none dare publish his real name. There is one impudent fellow,
who, while he assumes respectability, and under his true name, has an
up-town office, and obtains something bordering on an honorable practice,
runs the vilest sort of business, under an assumed name, on a public
thoroughfare down town.

These fellows usually advertise, "Advice Free." This is not on the modest
principle, that, having no brains, they are scrupulous in not charging for
what they cannot give, however; but this is to get the unsuspecting into
their dens, for they are shrewd enough to perceive that whatever is "free"
the rabble will run after.


When once the victim is within the web, flattering, intimidations, and
extravagant promises, one or all, generally will accomplish their aim. As
they never expect to see a special victim again, they squeeze the last
dollar from the unfortunate wretch, giving therefor nothing--worse than
nothing! I sent a pretended patient to one of these charlatans not long
since, and, with crocodile tears in his eyes, he related his case to the
_soi-disant_ doctor, who with great sympathy heard his case, and assured
him it was "heart-rending, and, though very dangerous, he could cure him;"
but the knave compelled the patient (!) to turn his pockets inside out to
assure him they contained but the proffered dollar. A small vial of
diluted spirits nitre was the prescription, for which the doctor assured
the patient he usually received twenty to forty dollars!

I have visited several of these places in disguise, including those of
female doctors, and those advertising as "midwives," every one of whom
agreed to perform a criminal operation upon the mythical lady for whom I
was pretending to intercede. Their prices ranged from five to two hundred

The following painfully ludicrous scene I copy from manuscript notes which
I made some years ago, respecting a visit to one of these impostors. I
vouch for its truthfulness.

"I next bought a penny paper of a loud-mouthed urchin on the street
corner, and, reading it that evening, the words 'Medical Notice' attracted
my attention. It was all news to me, and I resolved to visit this 'very
celebrated' doctor on the following day, 'advice free.'

"Accordingly I repaired to his office, as designated in the advertisement.
There were several doors wonderfully near each other, about which were
several doctors' signs conspicuously displayed; and, since I had heard
that 'two of a trade seldom agree,' I thought it remarkable that three or
four of a profession should here be huddled together.

"'STEP IN THE ENTRY AND RING THE BELL,' I read on a sign, in big yellow
letters. I did so, when a big burly Irishman answered the summons.

"'An' who'll yeze like to see, sure?' he inquired, with a broad grin.

"'Dr. A.,' I replied, eying this Cerberus with awakening suspicion.

"'He's just in, sure. Come, follow me.'

"He led the way across a small room, and through a darkened hall, around
which I cast a suspicious glance, noticing, among other things unusual,
that the partitions did not reach the ceiling. Thence we entered another
room, which, from the roundabout way we had approached, I thought must be
opposite the outer door of Dr. B.'s or Dr. C.'s office.

"Here Pat left me, saying, 'The ixcillint doctor will be to see yeze
ferninst he gits through wid the gintleman who was before your honor.'

[Illustration: "AN' WHO'LL YEZE LIKE TO SEE, SURE?"]

"I took a look about the room. The partitions on two sides were temporary.
On one side of the apartment stood an old mahogany secretary. Through the
dingy glass doors I took a peep. The shelves contained several volumes of
'Patent Office Reports,' odd numbers of an old London magazine, and such
like useless works. On the walls were a few soiled cheap anatomical
plates, such as you will see in 'galleries' or 'museums' fitted up by
quack doctors, to intimidate the beholder. I could look no farther, as the
door opened, and a man entered, who, looking nervously around, at once
asked my business.

"'Are you Dr. A.?' I asked.

"'I am. Please be seated. You are sick--very sick,' he said hurriedly, and
in a manner intended to frighten me.

"Five minutes' conversation satisfied us both--him that I had no money,
and me that he had no skill. After vainly endeavoring to extort from me my
present address, he unceremoniously showed me out.

"As I closed the door I looked to the name and number, and, as I had
anticipated, found myself at Dr. B.'s entrance.

"Turning up my coat collar, and tying a large colored silk handkerchief
over the lower part of my face, I knocked at the third door, Dr C.'s.

"The same Irishman thrust out his uncombed head and unwashed face; the
same words in the same vernacular language followed.

"'I wish to see Dr. C.,' I replied, changing my voice slightly.

"'He's in, jist. It never rains but it pours. Himself it is that has a
bully crowd of patients the day; but coome in.'

"He did not recognize me--that was certain; so I followed, and was led
through a labyrinth of rooms and halls, as before, and ushered into a
small room, where the polite and loquacious Pat offered me a chair, and
giving the right earlock a pull and his left foot a slip back, he said,
with his broadest grin and most murderous English,--

"'I'll be shpaking the doctor to come to yeze at once intirely.'

"'But he has others with whom he is engaged, you said but a moment ago.'

"'Ah, yeze niver mind. Theyze ben't gintlemen like yerself, if yeze do
come disguised;' and with a '_whist_' he tip-toed across the room, applied
his ear to the keyhole of the door a moment, and returned in the same

"'It's all right; now I'll go for the doctor;' but still he lingered.

"'Well, why the d----l don't you go?' I said, impatiently.

"'Ah, gintlemen always come disguised to see Dr. A.--no--Dr. B., I mean.'

"''Tis Dr. C. I asked for,' I interrupted.

"'Yis, yis,' he replied, collecting his muddled senses. 'Yis, sure, you
did, an' gintlemen always swear--two signs yeze a gintleman. Could yeze
spare a quarter for a poor divil? By the howly mither, I git narry a cint,
bating what sich gintlemen as yeze gives me. I have a big family to ate at
home. There's Bridget' (counting his fingers by the way of a reminder),
'she's sick with the baby; then there's the twins,--two of thim, as I'm a
sinner,--and little lame Mike, what's got the rackabites, the doctor

"'Got the what?' I interrupted.

"'The rackabites, or some sich dumbed disease,' he replied, scratching his

"'O, you mean rickets. But how old are the twins, and Mike, and the baby?'

"'Will, let me see. The baby is tin days, and not christened yit, for
we've not got the money for Father Prince, and there's Mike is siven, and
Mary is four, and Bridget junior is five.'

"'And the twins?' I asked, not a little amused.

"'Yis, them's Mary and Bridget junior,--four and five.'

"I interrupted him by a laugh, gave him the desired quarter, and told him
to hasten the doctor, which request he proceeded to execute.

"On the heels of retiring Pat the door opened, and the same doctor I had
before seen entered.

"'I want to consult Dr. C.,' I drawled out.

"'I am Dr. C.,' he replied, measuring me from head to foot sharply.

"Fearing he would penetrate my disguise, I hastened my errand. 'Having an
ulcerated and painful tooth I wish removed, or--'

"'This ain't a dentist's office; but if you have any peculiar disease, I
am the physician of all others to relieve you.'

"I being sure now of my man, that this same villain was running three
offices under as many different _aliases_, my next object was to get
safely out of his den.

"'I have no need of any such services as you intimate. 'Tis only the

"Here he interrupted me by an impatient gesture, intimating that only a
descendant of the monosyllable animal once chastised by one Balaam would
have entered his office to have a tooth drawn. Admitting the truth of his
assertion, and offering my humblest apology, I hurriedly withdrew from
this _triplet_ doctor.

"Safely away, I reflected as follows: Here, now, is this scoundrel, by the
assistance of an equally ignorant Irishman, conducting at least three
offices on a public thoroughfare, under as many assumed names.

"'Why, the fellow is a perfect chameleon!' I exclaimed, walking away. 'He
changes his name to suit the applicants to the various rooms. You want Dr.
A.,--he is that individual. You desire to see Dr. B.,--when, _presto!_ he
is at once the identical man. And so it goes, while his amiable assistant
seems to be making a nice little thing of it on his own account. Why all
these intricate passages? and why was I each time taken around through
them, and out through a different door from that which I entered? Did a
legitimate business require such mazy windings as I had just passed
through? Did Dr. A., B., or C., or whatever his name might be, rob his
patients in one place and thrust them out at another, that they might not
be able to testify where and by whom they had been victimized? Was not the
newspaper proprietor who advertised these several offices a _particeps
criminis_ in the transaction? And with these facts and suggestions I
leave the fellow, who by no means is a solitary example of this sort of

On another street in this city is another branch from the Upas tree. I do
not wish to advertise for him, hence omit his _names_, which are legion.
Two of them begin with the letter D. The true name of this impostor
commences with an M. He is old enough to be better. I know of patients who
have been fleeced by him without receiving the least benefit, when the
knowledge necessary to prescribe for their recovery, or of so simple a
case, might be possessed by even the office boy.

You go to his first office and inquire for the first _alias_. The usher, a
boy sometimes, takes you in, and, slipping out the back door, he calls the
old doctor from the next office. They are not connected. Through a glass
door he takes a survey of you, to assure himself that you have not been
victimized by him already under his other _aliases_.

If he so recognizes you, he summons a convenient "assistant" to personate
the doctor, and thus you are robbed a second time.


The following is a brief and true history of one of the vilest charlatans
and impostors now practising in Boston. He has amassed a fortune within a
few years by the most barefaced villanies ever resorted to by man. He is
one of the most abominable charlatans, who, for the almighty dollar, would
willingly sacrifice the lives of his unfortunate victims, who, by glowing
newspaper statements and seductive promises, have been drawn into his
murderous den. By the side of such unprincipled villains, the highwaymen,
the Dick Turpins, with their "Stand and deliver!" or "Your money or your
life!" are angels of mercy, for the former rob you of your last dollar,
and either endanger your life by giving you useless drugs that check not
the disease, or hasten your demise by poisonous compounds given at
random, the virulent properties of which the vampires know but little and
care less.

Their boast that their remedies are "_purely vegetable_," "hence
uninjurious", is as false as their pretensions to skill, and is counted
for nothing when we know that vegetable poisons are more numerous, and
often more rapid and violent in their action, than minerals. Both calomel
and other minerals are often _given_ by these charlatans. I say _given_,
for few of them know enough to write a legible prescription, much less to
write the voluminous works which they put forth on "manhood," "physiology
of woman," etc., which are but so many advertisements for their vile trade
and criminal practices, and are intended to alarm and corrupt the young
and unwary into whose hands they may unfortunately fall.

This fellow, whom I am now to describe, who sometimes prefixes "professor"
to his name, was born in the State of New Hampshire, and when a young man
came to this city to seek his fortune. After various ups and downs, he
became boot-black, porter, and general lackey in the Pearl Street House,
then in full blast. He was said to be a youth of rather prepossessing,
though insinuating address, and being constantly on the alert for odd
pennies and "dimes," succeeded in keeping himself in pocket-money without
committing theft, or otherwise compromising his liberty. But the odd
change, and his meagre salary, did not long remain in pocket, for the
courtesans, who are ever on the alert for unsophisticated youth who throng
to the cities, managed to obtain the lion's share from this embryo doctor,
whose future greatness he himself never half suspected. Disease, the usual
result of intercourse with such creatures, was the consequent inheritance
of this young man.

"What, in the name of Heaven, shall I now do?" he asked himself, in his
distress and despair. "Money I have none. O God! what shall I do?"

"Drown yourself," replied the tempter.

Such fellows seldom drown. Females, their victims, drown; but who ever
heard of a natural-born villain committing suicide, unless to escape the
threatening halter?

No, he did not drown, though it had been better for humanity if he had. He
went to an old advertising charlatan, who then kept an office in a lower
street of this city, a mercenary old vampire, named Stevens. Into the
august presence of the charlatan young M. entered, and, trembling and
weeping, told his history.


"Have you got any money, young man?" growled the old doctor, wheeling
around, and for the first time condescending to notice the poor wretch.

"No," he sobbed in a pitiful voice.

"Then what do you come here for, sir?" roared the doctor, whose pity was
a thing of the past. His soul was impenetrable to the appeal of suffering
as the hide of the rhinoceros to a leaden bullet.

The young man, fortunately, did not know this fact, and persevered.

"I thought I might work for you to pay for treatment. O, I'll do
anything--sweep your office, wash up the floors and bottles, black your
boots, do anything and everything, if you'll only cure me. O, do! Say you
will, sir!" and the young man writhed in agony of suspense.

"Humph!" grunted the old doctor, contemplatingly.

Doubtless he was considering the advantages which might accrue from
accepting the proposition of this earnest applicant, for, after eying him
sharply, and beating the devil's tattoo for a few moments upon his table,
the doctor condescended to "look into his case," and finally to treat the
young man's disease upon the proposed terms.

M. began his apprenticeship by sweeping the office, and the old doctor
held him to the very letter of the agreement, keeping him at the most
menial service,--boot-blacking, bottle-washing, door-tending,
etc.,--protracting his disease as he found the young man useful, till the
old knave dared no longer delay the cure, for thereby the victim might go
elsewhere for help. When cured, M. engaged to continue work for the small
compensation that the doctor offered, especially since he and the old man
had begun to understand each other pretty well, and each was equally
unscrupulous as to the sponging of the unfortunate victims who fell into
their hands.

When the doctor was observed to prescribe from any particular bottle, M.
took a mental memorandum thereof till such time as he could take a look at
the label, thereby learning the prescription for such disease; and the
result was a decision that if this was the science of healing, "_it didn't
take much of a man to be a_"--_doctor_.

When the old doctor was absent, M. would prescribe on his own account,
charge an extra dollar or two as perquisites, and deposit the balance in
the doctor's till.

In course of time, by this process of extortion, solicitations, and the
increasing perquisites, M. was enabled to set up doctoring on his own
account. The old doctor died, and M. had it all his own way.

The young self-styled doctor saw no particular need of making effort to
acquire medical knowledge, but a diploma to hang upon his office walls,
with the few disgusting anatomical plates (appropriated from Dr. S.),
which were admirably adapted to intimidate his simple-minded dupes,--a
diploma from some medical society would give character to the
"institution," and such he would obtain.

Being cited to court as defendant in a certain case, this _soi-disant_ "M.
D." was compelled to retract a former statement that he had attended
medical lectures in Pennsylvania College, where he graduated with honors,
and come down to the truthful statement, _for once in his life_, and swear
that he had obtained his diploma by _purchase_.

His present rooms--house and office--are located in the heart of the city,
and are not exceeded for convenience and neatness by those of the
respectable practitioner. Having amassed a great fortune out of the
credulity, misfortunes, and passions of the unfortunate, he has settled
down to the plane of the more respectable advertising doctors, and the
terrifying plates no longer cover the walls of the _best_ reception-room;
but a few valuable pictures and the Philadelphia diploma are conspicuously
displayed above the elegant furniture and valuable articles of _virtu_.

The same extortions and reprehensible practices are still resorted to in
order to keep up this "institution." His earlier history is gathered from
_his own statements_, by piecemeal, by a confidential "student," the
latter portion by _personal investigation_ of the writer.

Respecting the matter of purchasing diplomas, I will state that I have
seen a "Regular Medical Diploma" advertised in the New York _Herald_ for
one hundred dollars. The name originally written therein is extracted by
oxalic acid, or other chemicals. I knew a physician who parted with his
Latin diploma for fifty dollars.

I here warn the youth, and the public in general, against those advertised
"_institutes_," though the name may be selected from that of some
benevolent individual,--to give it a look of a benevolent character,--even
though it be a "Nightengale," or a "Peabody," or a "St. Mary," and
managed, _ostensibly_, under the sanction of the church or state--beware
of it. Without, it is the whited sepulchre, within, the blood, flesh, and
bones of dead men, women, and children.

Some years since there was found, after the flight of one Dr. Jaques (?),
in a vault in the city of Boston, the bones of some half score infants.
The murderous charlatan escaped the halter he so richly deserved, and was
practising in a New England village not above six years since.

Another impostor, who has been extensively advertised in this city under
an assumed name--selected to correspond with the familiar name of a
celebrated New York (also a late Boston) physician and surgeon--who not
only cheekily claims to be an "M. D.," but assumes the titles of F. R. S.,
etc., was but a short time before a dry goods seller on Hanover Street. He
never read a standard medical work in his life. Although the villain has
gone to parts unknown to the writer, the concern he recently represented
as "consulting physician" is in full blast, and the same name and titles
are blazoned forth daily in the public prints.

Men get rich in these "institutes," take in an "assistant" for a few
weeks, then sell out to the _novus homo_, and the thing goes on under the
old name until the new man gains strength and confidence sufficient to
carry it along under his own or his assumed title.


Under the name of "female physician," "midwife," etc., the most illicit
and nefarious atrocities are daily practised by the numerous harpies who
infest all our principal cities. The mythological harpies were represented
as having the faces of women, heartless, with filthy bodies, and claws
sharp and strong for fingers, which, once fastened upon human flesh, never
relaxed till the last drop of life's blood was wrung from their
unfortunate victim.

Virgil thus expressively described them in the third book of the Æneid:--

  "When from the mountain-tops, with hideous cry
  And clattering wings, the filthy harpies fly;
  Monsters more fierce offending Heaven ne'er sent
  From hell's abyss for human punishment;
  With virgin faces, but with ---- obscene,
  With claws for hands, and looks forever lean!"

I will describe but one of the modern harpies of Boston, appealing to the
reader if our text above is too severe.

More than forty years ago, a young, fair, and promising girl came to this
city from the White Mountains of New Hampshire. From her maiden home, near
Meredith Village, from under the humble roof of Christian parents, she
wandered into the haunts of vice and the abodes of wretchedness and
disease in the lower part of Boston.

Her maiden name was Elizabeth Leach. You will find her name in the City
Directory (1871) "_Madam Ester, midwife_."

We have not space to write out her whole history, nor inclination to
spread before the refined reader the first years of the gay life of this
attractive damsel, the seductive and sinful debaucheries of the
fascinating, unprincipled woman, nor the more repulsive declination of the
diseased and malevolent _bawd_!

The writer has seen a picture of her home in New Hampshire, a
daguerreotype of her in her virginity, and a painting, taken from her
sittings, in middle life. In stature, she is tall and stout; in manner,
coarse and repulsive. If ever I saw a woman carrying, stamped in every
lineament of her countenance, a hard, heartless, soulless, murderous
expression, that woman is Madam Ester. Neither the tears, the
heart-anguishes, nor the life's blood of the fatherless infant, the
husbandless mother, the orphaned or friendless maiden, could draw a
sympathizing look or expression from the hardened features of that
wretched woman. _She is the John Allen of Boston._

For years she has carried on, under the cloak of a "midwife," the most
cruel and reprehensible occupation which ever disgraced an outraged
community. By extortionate prices she has gained no inconsiderable wealth,
and her house, though located in a narrow, darkened alley, or court, is
fitted up with an elegance equalling that of some of our best and
wealthiest merchants. From parlor to attic, it is splendidly furnished.

She assured me she hated mankind with inexpressible hatred; that man had
been her ruin, the instrument of her disease, and would eventually be the
cause of her death. She cursed both man and her Maker!

Last spring there appeared an advertisement in a city paper of a young
girl who was lost, or abducted from the home of her parents, in which the
young lady was described as being but sixteen to seventeen years of age,
of light complexion, blue eyes, of but medium height, named Mary ----; and
as she took no clothes but those she had on, never before went from home
without her parents' consent, and had no trouble at home, her absence
could not be accounted for. Any information respecting her would be
gratefully received by her distressed parents.

She was all this time at the home of Madam Ester.

The young man who completed her ruin, like the contemptible cur he was,
deserted her in her distress, leaving her in the hands of the miserable
wretch above described. The girl had one hundred and twenty dollars. A
part of it was her own money; some she borrowed, having some influential
friends, and the balance her father gave her, ostensibly for the purchase
of clothing.

The old vampire appropriated every cent of the sum, and in fourteen days
turned the weak and wretched girl into the street, without sufficient
money to pay her coach fare to her father's house. A young girl then in
the employ of the unfeeling old wretch gave her five dollars, and she
informed her kind benefactress that she should go home and say that she
had been at service in a family on Beacon Street, but being sick, could
earn no greater wages than the sum then in her possession. "The pale and
sickly countenance of the poor girl, after the abuse and torture she had
undergone," said my informant, "certainly would seem to corroborate her

Since the above was written the wicked old wretch has died--died a natural
death, sitting in her chair!

On the last day of July, 1871, she sent a girl, a well-dressed and very
lady-like appearing young woman, to my office, to know if I could be at
liberty to give her a consultation that afternoon. She sent no address;
merely a "woman with a cancer of the breast." She came. She introduced her
business, not her name. I pronounced her case hopeless, advised her to
"close up her worldly affairs, and make her peace with God and mankind, as
she could live but a short time." This was given the more plainly, since
she "demanded to know the worst," and because of her bold attempt to
browbeat me into treating her hopeless case. The cancer was immense, had
been cut once by Dr. ----, of this city. Her attendant told me that the
old woman never ceased to berate me for my truthful prognosis, and that
from that time she gave up all hope of recovery, and soon closed her
nefarious practice. I have since gathered all the information respecting
her that was possible. I knew at sight that I had a remarkable woman to
deal with, and, agreeably to her invitation, I took another physician, a
graduate of Harvard College, and went to her house, ostensibly to consult
over her case....

A woman who has known madam for many years told me that the old woman was
familiar with chemicals, and by the use of acids and alkalies could
completely destroy the flesh and bones of infants. She had never seen her
do it, but had seen the chemicals, and referred me to persons who had seen
the dead body of a female brought out from the house at midnight, and
taken away in a wagon. She said she practised great cruelty upon the
unfortunate victims who had been placed under her hands, and that their
cries had often been heard by the neighbors living in the court.

She said that madam claimed to have been the wife of a policeman who was
killed at Fort Hill, and that she was also since married to a Captain
----. The latter was untrue. Madam told me she once _thought_ she was
married, but it was a deception on her--a mock marriage. She possessed
great quantities of magnificent clothing,--rich dresses of silk, satin,
velvet, etc.,--and a beautiful wedding _trousseau_, which, but a short
time before her death, she caused to be brought out and displayed before

"O, take them away; I never shall wear them," she said. And she never did.

There is another female physician now residing in this city, who I know
has accumulated a considerable property as midwife; but if report, and
assertions of victims, are true, she has gained it by threats and
extortions. She is now out of practice, or nearly. Her _modus operandi_
was to take the unfortunate female, treat her very tenderly, get hold of
her secret, learn the gentleman's name, business, and wealth, and
then--especially if he was a family man before--make him "come down,"
through fear of exposure. Men have "come down" with thousands, little by
little, till they were ruined pecuniarily under this fearful blackmailing.
I doubt if money could hire her to perform a criminal operation. She can
make more money by keeping the unfortunate girl, and blackmailing the
seducer, _or any other individual_ who can be scared into the trap,
provided the guilty one has no money. "Blessed be nothing," said the Arab.

These people carry on their trade very quietly. Their very next door
neighbors may know nothing of the unlawful acts committed right under
their noses. It is for the interest of all concerned to keep everything
quiet. Their customers, and even their victims, come and go after

There is still another class, mostly males, practising in this city, who,
under fair pretences and great promises, get the patients' money, and give
them no equivalent therefor. Beyond the robbery,--for that is what it is;
no more nor less,--and the protracting of a disease (or giving nature more
time, as the case may be),--they do the applicant no injury. They receive
a fee, calculating it to a nicety, according to the depth of your pocket,
give some simple mixture, and bow you out.

Many an honest patient, seeing their high-flown advertisements in the
dailies, weeklies, even religious (!) papers, from month to month, is
induced to visit these impostors. Their offices may be in a less public
street, in a private residence, and have every outward appearance of

There is a class of male practitioners, not unusually having a Latin
diploma, who never appear in the prints. They are the "Nurse Gibbon"
class, who employ one or more females to drum patients for them. The
following is a truthful statement respecting a visit to one in 1850:--

"On my arrival on the steamer Penobscot at Boston, the lady met me, and,
according to arrangement, took me to see 'her physician.' His office was
on Chambers Street, left side, a few doors from Cambridge Street, Boston.
The doctor was an elderly, pompous individual, who wore gold spectacles,
an immense fob chain, and chewed Burgundy pitch. Let this suffice for his
description. Poor man! for if his own theology is true, he has gone where
Burgundy pitch will be very likely to melt. Excuse this passing tribute to
his memory, my dear reader.

"Notwithstanding my friend's lavish praise of her doctor, the first sight
of him failed to inspire me with confidence. I was introduced, and the
doctor swelled up with his own importance, and said, impressively,--

"Those physicians--amiable men, no doubt--who have treated your case-ah
have been all wrong in their diagnosis-ah." This was his prelude, as he
counted my pulse by a large gold watch, which he held conspicuously before

"Your kind friend and benefactress has saved your life-ah, by conducting
you to me before too late-ah." He stopped to watch the effect of this bid
for a high fee before proceeding.

"Ah, sir, had you but come to me first-ah, you would now be rejoicing in
perfect health-ah; whereas you have narrowly escaped death and eternal

He again took breath, looking very solemn.

"But, sir, I never heard of you before this lady wrote to me," I said.

"True-ah. I do not advertise myself. The veriest quack may advertise-ah.
Your case is very dangerous. _Hepatitis, cum nephritis_-ah," he
soliloquized, shaking his head very wisely, while my friend nodded, as if
to say, "There! I told you so. He knows all about it."

"Yes, very dangerous-ah. But take my medicines; my pills--hepatica-lobus,
and my neuropathicum-ah, and they will restore you to health and
happiness-ah, in a few weeks-ah;" and he rubbed his palms complacently, as
if in anticipation of a good fat fee for his prescription.

"Will they cure this?" I asked, turning my head, and placing a finger upon
a tumor on the right hand side of my neck.

"O-ah, let me see." And so saying, he took a brief survey of the
protuberance, and coolly remarked that it was of no material importance.
As that was, to my mind, of great consequence, I was dumbfounded by his
indifference to its importance.

Selecting a box of pills, and a vial of transparent liquid, the doctor
presented them to me with a flourish, saying, in his blandest manner,--

"All there; directions inside-ah; ten dollars-ah."

"What!" And I arose in astonishment, gazing alternately at the doctor and
my friend, but could not utter another word. I was but a country
greenhorn, you know, and quite unused to city prices.

My friend took the doctor aside, when, after a moment's conversation
between them, he returned, and said that "in consideration of the
recommendation of the lady, he would take but five dollars-ah."

I paid the bill, and, quite disgusted, took my departure.

That evening I carried the medicines to a druggist, requesting him to
inform me what they were. After examining them, he replied,--

"The liquid is simply sweet spirits of nitre, diluted," looking over his
glasses at me suspiciously, I thought. "These, I should say, are blue
pills, a mild preparation of mercury," returning me the pills. A second
druggist, to whom I applied, told me the same, and, knowing they were not
what I required for a scrofulous tumor, I threw them into the gutter.




    "I find, Dick, that you are in the habit of taking my best jokes, and
    passing them off as your own. Do you call that the conduct of a

    "To be sure, Tom. Why, a true gentleman will always take a joke from a


"There would be no difficulty in multiplying anecdotes attributed to
Abernethy (or other celebrated physicians) _ad libitum_, but there are
three objections to such a course. First, there are many told of him which
never happened; others, which may possibly have occurred, you find it
impossible to authenticate; and lastly, there is a class which, if they
happened to Dr. Abernethy, certainly happened to others before he was
born. In fact, when a man once gets a reputation of doing or saying odd
things, every story in which the chief person is unknown or unremembered,
is given to the next man whose reputation for such is
remarkable."--_Memoirs of Dr. Abernethy, by George Macilwain, F. R. C. S.,
etc., etc._

Notwithstanding the great number of authentic anecdotes of physicians
which might be collected together, Mr. Campbell, the experienced
antiquarian bookseller, of Boston, assures me there is no such book in
print. I have been many years collecting such, and for this chapter I have
selected therefrom those most chaste, amusing, instructive, and authentic.

The following original anecdote of the great English surgeon I obtained
verbally from Mr. Sladden, of Chicago:--

"My grandmother once visited Dr. Abernethy, with her eldest son, my uncle,
living in London, to consult the great physician respecting an inveterate
humor of the scalp, with which the child was afflicted.

"There were a great many patients in waiting, and when it came my
grandmother's turn, she walked up to the great man, and removing the boy's
cap, presented the case for his inspection in silence. He took a quick
glance at the humory head, turned to the old lady, and said,--

"'Madam, the best thing I can recommend for that disease is a plenty of
warm water and soap. And, by the way, if that don't remove it, the next
best thing is to apply freely soap and warm water. Five guineas, if you
please, ma'am.'

"As my grandmother was the embodiment of neatness, she never forgave the
doctor for this broad intimation of the questionableness of her neatness."

Dr. Stowe told the following story of Dr. Abernethy and a live Irishman:--

"It occurred at Bath. A crowd of pupils, myself one of them, were
following Mr. Abernethy through the crowded wards of the hospital, when
the apparition of a poor Irishman, with the scantiest shirt I ever saw,
jumped from a bed, and literally throwing himself on his knees at the
doctor's feet, presented itself. We were startled for a moment, but the
poor fellow, with all his country's eloquence, poured out such a torrent
of praise, prayers, and blessings, and illustrated it with such ludicrous
pantomimic displays of his leg, all splintered and bandaged, that we were
not long left in doubt.

"'That's the leg, your hon-nor. Glory be to God. Yer honnor's the buy what
saved it. May the heavens be yer bed. Long life to yer honnor. To the
divil with the spalpeens that wanted to cut it off!' etc.

"With some difficulty the patient was replaced in bed, and the doctor

"'I am glad your leg is doing well, but never kneel again, except to your

"The doctor took the opportunity of giving us a clinical lecture about
diseases and their constitutional treatment. Every sentence Abernethy
uttered, Pat confirmed.


"'Thrue for yer honnor; divil a lie at all, at all. His honnor's the
grathe doctor, entirely,' etc.

"At the slightest allusion to his case, off went the bed-clothes, and up
went the leg, as if taking aim at the ceiling. 'That's it, be gorra! and a
betther leg than the villain's that wanted to slice it off, entirely.'

"The students actually roared with laughter, but Abernethy retained his
usual gravity throughout the whole of the ludicrous scene."

Madam Rothschild, mother of the mighty capitalists, attained the great age
of ninety-eight. Her wits, which were of no common order, were preserved
to the end. During her last illness, when surrounded by her family and
some friends, she turned to her physician, and said, in a suppliant

"My dear doctor, I pray you try to do something for me."

"Madam, what can I do? I cannot make you young again."

"No, doctor; nor do I want to be young again. But I want to continue to
grow old."


Dr. Wood was a man of large "understanding." One day at a presidential
reception he was standing in a large crowd, when he felt two feet pressing
on his patent leathers. Looking down, he discovered that the said feet
belonged to a female. Wood was a bachelor, and at first the sensation was
delightful. It made inexpressibly delicious thrills run all up and down
his body. But as the _impression_ was all on the lady's side, the above
sensations became gradually superseded by those not quite so delightful,
and finally the pressure became very uncomfortable. Mustering courage, he
said, very gently,--

"Madam, if you please, you are standing on my feet--"

"Your feet, sir, did you say?" For the crowd was so dense that she could
not possibly see to the ground.

"Yes, madam, on my feet--this last half hour," very politely.

"O, I beg a thousand pardons, sir; I thought I was standing on a block.
_They are quite large, sir_," trying to remove.

"Yes, ma'am, quite large; but _yours covered 'em, madam_."


Many people suffer more from the anticipation of trouble than by the
actual infliction. The world is full of "trouble-borrowers." They
generally keep a stock on hand to lend to those who unfortunately are
compelled to listen to them. The following is a mitigated case:--

"Sir," said a physician visiting a patient in the suburbs of this city, to
a neighbor, "your Shanghai greatly disturbs my patient."

"Is it possible?" asked the neighbor, expressing surprise.

"Yes, the bird is a terrible nuisance, giving the patient no peace, day or
night, he informs me; but he did not want to complain."

"But," replied the sceptical owner, "I don't see how he can annoy neighbor
B. Why, he only crows twice in the night, and only two or three times at
regular intervals during the day."

"Yes; but you don't take into consideration all the times the patient is
_expecting_ him to crow."


In a country town in Maine the writer knew an elderly physician, who had
married a wife much younger than himself, whose aristocratic notions
hardly coincided with those of this democratic people, though she had now
lived here several years. Finally a young physician came into the place
and commenced practice. Among the patients that he obtained from the old
doctor's former practice was one named Higgins.

Mrs. Higgins, whose daughter had just recovered from a fever, gave a
party, to which the families of both doctors, with the two ministers, and
others, were invited.

"Will you go to Mrs. Higgins's party?" asked a neighbor of the old
doctor's wife.

"Yes, I intend to go, by all means, for I want to see old Mother Higgins
and her new doctor spread themselves."

This reminds me of the following story, which is too good to be lost:--

"'Once upon a time,' an old lady sent her grandson to set a turkey,--not
the gobbler, as did the parson in Mrs. Stowe's 'Minister's Wooing.' On his
return, the following dialogue occurred:--

"'Sammy, my dear, have you set her?'

"'Yes, grandma,' replied Hopeful.

[Illustration: "AN EXTENSIVE SET."]

"'Fixed the nest up all nice, Sammy?'

"'O, mighty fine, grandma.'

"'Did you count the eggs, Sammy, and get an odd number?'

"'Yes, grandma.'

"'How many eggs did you set her on, Sammy, dear?'

"'One hundred and twenty-one, grandma.'

"'O, goodness gracious! Why did you put so many eggs under her, Sammy?'

"'Why, grandma, I wanted to see the old thing spread herself.'"


Some editors are continually making themselves ridiculous, as well as
endangering the life of some person as ignorant in the matter as
themselves, by publishing at random "remedies" for certain complaints, of
both of which--remedy and disease--they knew nothing. The following I cut
from a paper:--

"One thing I will mention which may be useful to some one. Kerosene oil
has been found effective as a vermifuge. It is given by the mouth for
round stomach worms, and as an enema for pin worms. It is free from the
irritation which follows the use of spirits turpentine, and is equally as
effective." (No directions as to quantity at a dose.)

An Irishwoman in Hartford, Conn., spelling out the above in a newspaper,
concluded to give her child, a boy of ten, a dose, under the belief that
"wurrums ailed the child," and as it was harmless (?), she would give him
the benefit of its harmlessness, and her ignorance, and administered
accordingly a _tea-cup full_!

Frightful symptoms supervened,--colic, vomiting, etc.,--when a doctor was
sent for, who being absent, his student--who hardly understood the danger
of the case, and was a bit of a wag, by the way--sent the following

"[R]. Run a wick down the child's throat; any lamp or candle wick will do,
provided it is long enough; set fire to the end left outside, _and use him
for a lamp till the doctor arrives_." SELAH.

This may seem too ridiculous to believe, but it is the truth,


Early one summer morning, while practising in Plymouth, Conn., the writer
was startled by a loud knock at the front door, which I hastened to
answer. There stood an Irishman, well known as living in a little hut,
down on the "Meadows," whose name was Fitzgibbon. He was all out of
breath, and the great drops of sweat were rolling all down his rough face,
which he was endeavoring to mop up with a huge bandanna handkerchief. As
soon as he could possibly articulate, he exclaimed,--

"O, docther, docther! take yourself--down to that sha-anty as quick as ye
conva-niantly can, plaze."

[Illustration: "O, DOCTHER, DEAR, I'VE PIZENED ME BOY."]

"Why, what's the matter at the shanty, Fitzgibbon?"

"O, docther, dear, I've pizened my boy; what will I do intirely?"

"How did it happen? Don't be alarmed, Fitzgibbon." For his manner was

"Will, I'll till yeze. He's been sick wid the masles. Will, he's ate
nothin' for a hole wake, and in the night he wanted some bread an' sugar,
do ye see? an' I had no candle, an' I wint in the dark, an' spread him
some bread, an' he ate it intirely, an' it was saleratus I put on it,
instead of sugar; an' it's now atin' him intirely! O, dear, dear, that I
should iver give him saleratus instead o' sugar!"

"Well, Fitzgibbon, if the boy is so big a fool that he don't know the
difference between saleratus and sugar, let him die."

"O, docther, don't say so!" exclaimed the poor fellow, in agony.

Then I suddenly recollected that the sense of taste was always vitiated in
measles, and thus excused the matter, adding,--

"Now, run home, 'Gibbon, and give the little fellow a tea-spoonful of
vinegar in a little sugar and water,--not saleratus and water, mind you."

"No, by the great St. Patrick, I'll niver mistake the likes again," he
earnestly interrupted, when I went on, saying,--

"Then in half an hour give him another tea-spoonful, and that will relieve
the 'gnawing at his stomach,' and by an hour I'll drive round there and
see him, on my way to Watertown."

"I'll trust to yeze to git it out of him. God bless yeze;" and away he
darted, saying, "O, howly mother! that I should give him saleratus for


A celebrated English physician, who was also a distinguished humorist,
when about to die, requested that none of his friends be invited to his

A friend inquired the reason of this remarkable request.

"Because," sighed the dying but polite humorist, "it is a courtesy which
can never be returned."

Charles Matthews, the celebrated comedian, who died in 1837, put the above
entirely in the shade by _his_ last joke.

The attending physician had left Mr. Matthews some medicine in a vial,
which a friend was to administer during the night. By mistake, he gave the
patient some ink from a vial which stood near. On discovering the error,
his friend exclaimed, "O, gracious Heavens, Matthews, I have given you
ink, instead of medicine."

"Never--never mind, my dear boy," said the dying man faintly; "_I will
swallow a piece of blotting paper_."


Dr. Robertson, of Charleston, S. C., who attended the writer in 1852, with
the yellow fever, was as competent, benevolent, and faithful a physician
as I ever had the pleasure of meeting. His services were in great demand
during the raging of the "yellow Jack," and on one occasion he was absent
from his house and office two whole days and a night. His family became
alarmed, and a faithful old negro was sent in search of his master. It was
no uncommon occurrence to see a black man traversing the streets, ringing
a bell, and crying a "lost child;" but to see a slave searching for his
lost master, was almost a phenomenon.

[Illustration: "LOST MARSER! LOST MARSER!"]

It was quite dark, and the old negro was shuffling along King Street,
crying, "Masser Rob'son lost, Masser Rob'son lost," when suddenly he was
brought to a halt, and silenced by some one saying,--

"What's that you are crying, Neb?" His name was Nebuchadnezzar.

"O, de Lord! if Masser Dr. Rob'son hain't been an' loss hisself!"

"You old fool, Neb, I am your master--Dr. Robertson. Don't you know me
now?" exclaimed a familiar voice.

Sure enough, it was the doctor, returning from his numerous visits, tired
and dust-covered.

The whole thing solemnly impressed the old darky, who, a day or two later,
was met by a ranting Methodist, vulgarly termed a "_carpet-bagger_," who,
in a solemn voice, said,--

"My colored friend, have you yet found the Lord Jesus?"

"O, golly, masser!" exclaimed the old negro in astonishment; "hab de Lord
done gone an' loss hisself?"

(I have seen the last part of this anecdote floating about the newspapers;
but did ever any one see the former connection, or even the latter before

The writer was but a poor medical student, and an invalid, seeking here a
more salubrious climate, away from the frosts and snows of his northern
home, and though twenty years have since flown, I have not forgotten, and
never shall, the kindness and attention received at the hands of the
benevolent Dr. Robertson. While many who went out with me that fall fell
victims to the fearful endemic before Jack Frost put a stop to its
ravages, I escaped the grim monster Death; and to the superior knowledge
and efficient treatment of Dr. R., with the excellent care of the
benevolent landlady, Mrs. Butterfield, I owe my life.

Morning and evening the doctor's patter-patter was heard on the
stairs,--three flights to climb. The whole case was gone over, and then,
if the good old doctor had a moment to spare, he would retail some little
anecdote "with which to leave me in good spirits."

The following is one:--

"Mr. Bacon, of Edgefield, was once courting a lady who had frequently
refused him; but he, with commendable perseverance, had as often renewed
the suit, until at last she became so exceedingly annoyed at his
importunities that she told him that she could never marry a man whose
tastes, opinions, likes and dislikes were so completely in opposition to
her own as were his.

"'In fact, Mr. Bacon,' she is represented as having said, 'I do not think
there is one subject on earth upon which we could agree.'

"'I assure you, dear madam, that you are mistaken, which I can prove.'

"'If you will mention one, I will agree to marry you,' replied the lady.

"'Well, I will do it,' replied Mr. Bacon. 'Suppose now you and I were
travelling together; we arrive at a hotel which is crowded; there are only
two rooms not entirely occupied, in one of which there is a man, in the
other a woman: with which would you prefer to sleep?'

"The lady arose indignantly, and replied, 'With the woman, of course,

"'So would I,' replied Mr. Bacon, triumphantly."

(My room had two beds in it, which suggested the above story.)


The outline of the following ludicrous "situation" was given me by a
gentleman of Framingham:--

Old Dr. K., of F., was represented as a rough and off-handed specimen of
the genus _homo_, who liked a horse even better than a woman,--not that he
was by any means unmindful of the charms and claims of the
beautiful,--better than he loved money, though the latter passion
bordered on avariciousness.

An over-nice and sensitive spinster once was visiting the family of Mr.
T., in town, which employed a younger and more refined physician than Dr.
K.; and the spinster, being somewhat indisposed, requested Mr. T. to call
a physician. His own family doctor was suggested; but on close inquiry,
she concluded to have "the oldest and most experienced physician that the
town afforded," and old Dr. K. was called.

Mr. T. had just purchased a beautiful mare, which the doctor was desirous
of possessing; and the animal was the subject of conversation as the two
entered the house, even to the parlor, where the spinster reclined upon a
sofa. The old doctor examined the lady for a moment in silence, but his
mind was all absorbed in the reputed qualities of the mare, as he timed
the lady's pulse.

"Slightly nervous," he said to the spinster. "Tongue? Ah! coated. Throat
sore?" and turning towards T., he resumed the horse discussion, still
holding the lady's wrist. "Good wind, Mr. T.? No spavins? Nothing the
matter? Suppose you trot her out this afternoon."

The spinster, supposing the conversation alluded to her, went into the
most extreme kind of hysterics.


We give this incident for what it is worth.

A man recently entered a restaurant in Utica, N. Y., and ordered a very
elaborate dinner. He lingered long at the table, and finally wound up with
a bottle of wine. Then lighting a cigar, he sauntered up to the bar, and
remarked to the proprietor,--

"Very fine dinner, landlord. Just charge it, for I haven't a cent."

"But I don't know you," replied the proprietor, indignantly.

"No, of course you don't, or you never would have let me have the dinner."

"Pay me for the dinner, I say," shouted the landlord.

"And I say I can't," vociferated the customer.

"Then I'll see about it," exclaimed the proprietor, who snatched something
from a drawer, leaped over the counter, and grasping the man by the
collar, pointed something at his throat. "I'll see if you get away with
that dinner without paying for it, you scoundrel."

"What is that you hold in your hand?" demanded the now affrighted
customer, trying to get a sight at the article.

"That, sir, is a revolver; loaded, sir."

[Illustration: NOT A STOMACH-PUMP.]

"O, d---- that; I don't care a continental for a revolver; I've got one
myself. _I was afraid it was a stomach-pump!_"


Mrs. Bray, in her book of _Anecdotes_, relates a story illustrative of the
power of the ruling passion.

"A Devonshire physician, boasting the not untradesman-like name of Vial,
was a desperate lover of the game of whist. One evening, during his
opponent's deal, he fell to the floor in a fit. Consternation seized on
the company, who knew not if the doctor was dead or alive. Finally he
showed signs of returning life, and retaining the last cherished idea that
had possessed him on falling into the fit, he resumed his chair,
exclaiming, '_What's trumps, boys?_'"

       *       *       *       *       *

The writer was present at a similar occurrence. There were a half score of
boys seated upon some logs near the country school-house, during recess,
listening to a story, something about "an old woman who had just reached a
well, with a pitcher to obtain some water, when the old lady tripped her
toe, and fell into the well head foremost."

At this juncture one of the listeners fell forward from the log in a fit.
We were greatly frightened, but mustered sufficient courage to throw some
water in the boy's face, when he gradually came to his senses,

"_Did she break the pitcher, Johnny?_"

       *       *       *       *       *

To Mrs. Bray's book we are again indebted for the following:--

"A _bon-vivant_, brought to his death-bed by an immoderate use of wine,
was one day informed by his physician that he could not, in all human
probability, survive many hours, and that he would die before eight
o'clock the following morning, summoned all his remaining strength to call
the doctor back, and, when the physician had returned, made an ineffectual
attempt to rise in bed, saying, with the true recklessness of an innate

"'Doctor, I'll bet you some bottles that I live till _nine_!'"


A sailor was taken with the pleurisy on board a vessel that was hauling
through the "seven bridges" that span the Charles River from the Navy Yard
to Cambridgeport, and a well-known physician, rather of the Falstaffian
make-up, whom I may as well call Dr. Jones,--because that is _not_ his
name,--was summoned. He prescribed for the patient, and when the schooner
touched the pier of the bridge, he stepped ashore, as was supposed by the
captain and crew, whose whole attention was required to keep the vessel
from driving against the drawer; but "there's many a slip 'twixt cup and
lip," and the old doctor had taken the "slip," and went plump overboard,
unseen by any.

In his descent he grasped at a rope, which happened to be the jib
halliards, and as he came up, puffing and blowing the salt water from his
mouth and nose, he began to haul "hand-over-hand" at the halliards. His
corpulency overbalanced the jib, and gradually the sail began to ascend,
to the astonishment of the cook, who stood near by, and to the wrath of
the captain on the quarter-deck.

"Let go the jib halliards, there, you confounded _slush_," roared the

"I ain't h'isting the jib," replied the terrified cook, believing that the
sail was bewitched, for sailors are quite superstitious, you know.

"Let go the halliards," shouted the mate. "We shall be across the draw,
and all go to Davy Jones' locker. Hear, d---- you, Slush-bucket?"

Still the old doctor pulled for dear life, and still rose the ghost-like
sail, while the affrighted cook and all hands ran aft, looking as pale as
death. Still the sail went up, up, and the captain and mate began to be
astonished, when by this time--less time than it requires to tell it--the
old doctor had reached the rail of the vessel, and shouted lustily for

All ran forward to help the corpulent old doctor on deck, and by means of
a man at each arm, and a boat-hook fast into the doctor's unmentionables,
he was hauled safely on board, a wetter and a wiser man.

If you want to get kicked out of his office, just say in his hearing,
"_Let go them 'ere halliards_," and it is done.

  "O, mermaids, is it cold and wet
    Adown beneath the sea?
  It seems to me that rather chill
    Must Davy's locker be."


_More Mustard than Meat._--A poor, emaciated Irishman having called in a
physician as a forlorn hope, the latter spread a large mustard plaster and
applied it to the poor fellow's lean chest.

"Ah, docthor," said Pat, looking down upon the huge plaster with tearful
eyes, "it sames to me it's a dale of mustard for so little mate."

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Don't want to be an Angel._"--"I want to be an angel," which has been so
long shouted by _millions_ of darling little Sunday school children, who
hadn't the remotest idea for what they had been wishing (?), and whose
parents would not voluntarily consent to the premature transformation, if
the children did, has received a check in the following:--

A little sprite, who had been so very sick that her life was despaired of,
was told one morning by the doctor that she would now get well.

"O, I'm so glad, doctor!" she replied; "for I don't want to die and go to
heaben, and be an angel, and wear fedders, like a hen."


A snobbish-appearing individual accosted a countryman in homespun with the
following interrogation:--

"I say, ah, my fraand, are you sufficiently conversant with the topography
of _this_ neighborhood to direct me to the nearest disciple of Æsculapius,

"What?" exclaimed the astonished rustic.

"Can you familiarize me with the most direct course to a physician?"


"Can you tell me where a doctor lives?"

"O, a doctor's house. Why didn't you say so before?"

       *       *       *       *       *

The next is after the same sort.

A sailor chap entered a dentist's office to have a tooth extracted.

[Illustration: "LOWER TIER, LARBOARD SIDE."]

_Doctor (with great professional dignity, speaking very slowly)._ "Well,
mariner, what tooth do you require extracted? Is it an incisor, bicuspid,
or a molar?"

_Jack (brusque and loud)._ "It's here in the lower tier, larboard side.
Bear a hand, lively, you dumb'd swab, for it's nippin' my jaw like a

       *       *       *       *       *

_The most astonished boy_ I ever beheld was a little country lad who came
to have a tooth drawn. "He thought it must be fun," his mother said; "but
he never had one drawn, and knows nothing of it."

"O!" with a great, round mouth, was all he had time to say, but the
expression of astonishment depicted on that striking countenance, glaring
eyes, and by the expressive, spasmodic "O!" I never can forget or
describe; and he caught his hat and ran home, a distance of two miles,
without stopping, while his mother followed in the carriage by which they
came. The boy's idea was summed up as follows:--

"The doctor hitched tight onto the tooth with his pinchers, then he pulled
his first best, and just before it killed me, the tooth came out, and so I
run home."

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Taking it out in trade_" is all very well when the arrangement is
mutual; but there are occasions when the advantages are imperceptible, at
least to one party, as thus:--

"What's the matter, Jerry?" asked old Mr. ----, as Jeremiah was jogging
by, growling most furiously.

"Matter 'nough," replied old Jerry. "There I've been luggin' water all the
morning for the doctor's wife to wash with, and what do you s'pose she
give me for it?"

"About ninepence."

"Ninepence? No! She told me the doctor would pull a tooth for me some
time, when he got leisure."

       *       *       *       *       *

Apothecaries sometimes "come down" from the dignity of the professional
man, and crack a joke. For instance,--

A humorous druggist on Washington Street recently exposed some cakes of
soap in his window with the pertinent inscription, "Cheaper than dirt."

In the country, you know, they keep almost everything in the apothecaries'
shops. We mentioned the fact in our chapter on Apothecaries. A wag once
entered one of these apotheco-groco-dry-goods-meat-and-fish-market-stores,
and asked the keeper,--

"Do you keep matches, sir?"

"O, yes, all kinds," was the reply.

"Well, I'll take a trotting match," said the wag.

The equally humorous druggist handed down a box of pills, saying,--

"Here, take 'em and trot."

       *       *       *       *       *

_A sure Cure._--Henry Ward Beecher is currently reported as having once
written to Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes as to the knowledge of the latter
respecting a certain difficulty. The reply was characteristic, and

"Gravel," wrote the doctor, "gravel is an effectual cure. It should be
taken about four feet deep."

The "remedy" was not, however, so remarkable as the following:--

       *       *       *       *       *

"_Time and Cure._"--A good-looking and gentlemanly-dressed fellow was
arraigned on the charge of stealing a watch, which watch was found on his
person. It was his first offence, and he pleaded, "Guilty." The magistrate
was struck with the calm deportment of the prisoner, and asked him what
had induced him to take the watch.

"Having been out of health for some time," replied the young man,
sorrowfully, "the doctor advised me to take something, which I accordingly

The magistrate was rather amused with the humor of the explanation, and
further inquired why he had been led to select so remarkable a remedy as a

"Why," replied the prisoner, "I thought if I only had the _time_, Nature
might work the _cure_."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Dye-stuff._--During the cholera time of 1864, in Hartford, Conn., a
little girl was sent to a drug store to purchase some dye-stuff, and
forgetting the name of the article, she said to the clerk, "John, what do
folks dye with?"

"Die with? Why, the cholera, mostly, nowadays."

"Well, I guess that's the name of what I want. I'll take three cents'

       *       *       *       *       *

The Hartford Courant told this story in 1869:--

"_Cholera fenced in._--You have noticed the flaming handbills setting
forth the virtues of a cholera remedy, that are posted by the hundreds on
the board fence enclosing the ground on Main Street, where Roberts' opera
house is being erected. Well, there was a timid countryman, the other day,
who had so far recovered from the 'cholera scare' as to venture into the
city with a horse and wagon load of vegetables; and thereby hangs a tale.
He drove moderately along the street, when he suddenly spied the word
'Cholera,' in big letters on the new fence, and he staid to see no more.
Laying the lash on to his quadruped, he went past the handbills like a
streak of lightning, went--'nor stood on the order of his going'--up past
the tunnel, planting the vegetables along the entire route,--for the
tail-board had loosened,--hardly taking breath, or allowing his beast to
breathe, till he reached home at W.

"Safely there, he rushed wildly into the midst of his household,

"'O, wife, wife, they _have_ got the cholera in Hartford, _and have fenced
it in_.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

_A Joke that's not a Joke._--A funny limb of the law had an office, a few
years since, on ---- Street, next door to a doctor's shop. One day, an
elderly gentleman, of the fogy school, blundered into the lawyer's office,
and asked,--

"Is the doctor in?"


"Don't live here," replied the lawyer, scribbling over some legal

"O, I thought this was the doctor's office."

"Next door, sir;" short, and still writing.

"I beg pardon, but can you tell me if the doctor has many patients?"

"_Not living_," was the brief reply.

The old gentleman repeated the story in the vicinity, and the doctor
threatened the lawyer with a libel. The latter apologized, saying, "it was
only a joke, and that no man could sustain a libel against a lawyer," when
the doctor acknowledged the joke, and satisfaction, saying he would send
up a bottle of wine, in token of reconciliation.

The wine came, and the lawyer invited in a few friends to laugh over the
joke, and _smile_ over the doctor's wine. The seal was broken, the dust
and cobwebs being removed, and the doctor's health drunk right cordially.
The excellence of the doctor's wine was but half discussed, when the
lawyer begged to be excused a moment, caught his hat, and rushed from the
room. Soon one of the guests repeated the request, and followed; then
another, and another, till they had all gone out.

The wine had been nicely "doctored" with _tartar emetic_, the seal
replaced and well dusted over, before being sent to the lawyer. The doctor
was now threatened with prosecution; but after some consideration, the
following brief correspondence passed between the belligerents:--

"Nolle prosequi." Lawyer to doctor.

"Quits." Doctor to lawyer.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Parboiling an Old Lady._--In Rockland, Me., then called East Thomaston,
several years ago, there resided an old Thomsonian doctor, who had erected
in one room of his dwelling a new steam bath. An old lady from the
"Meadows," concluding to try the virtues of the medicated steam, went
down, was duly arrayed in a loose robe by the doctor's wife, and with much
trepidation and many warnings not to keep her too long, she entered the
bath--a sort of closet, with a door buttoned outside. The steam was kept
up by a large boiler, fixed in the fireplace which the doctor was to
regulate. The old lady took a book into the bath, "to occupy her mind, and
keep her from getting too nervous."

"Now it's going all right," said the doctor, when ding, ding, ding! went
the front door bell. The doctor stepped noiselessly out, and learned that
a woman required his immediate attention at South Thomaston, three miles
away. He forgot all about the old lady fastened into the bath, and leaping
into the carriage in waiting, he was whisked off to South Thomaston.

Meantime the steam increased, and the old lady began to get anxious. The
moisture gathered on her book; the leaves began to wilt. The dampness
increased, and soon the book fell to pieces in her lap. Great drops of
sweat and steam rolled down over her face and body, and she arose, and
tapping very gently at the door, said,--

"Hadn't I better come out now, doctor?"

[Illustration: TOO MUCH VAPOR.]

No reply. She waited a moment longer, and repeated the knock louder.

"Let me come out, doctor. I am just melting in here."

Still the doctor, to her astonishment, did not reply, or open the door.

"For God's sake, doctor, let me out." Listening a few seconds, she
screamed, "O, I believe he's gone, and left me here to parboil! Open,
open!" And she knocked louder and louder at the door, while the now almost
scalding waters literally poured from her body. "O, I shall suffocate
here." And giving a desperate kick, she set her foot through the panelled
door, and, getting down on all fours, she crawled through the opening.
Just then the doctor's wife, hearing the thumping, hastened to the room,
and with many apologies and excuses, rubbed down and dried the old lady,
and begged her not to mention the affair.

But never, to the day of her death, did the old lady again enter a "steam
bath," or cease to tell how "_the doctor went off to attend a 'birth'
leaving her in the bath to parboil_!"

       *       *       *       *       *

_A Dry Shower Bath._--When shower baths were all the rage, a few years
ago, all sorts of plans were suggested to avoid getting wet. The following
is to the point:--

_Doctor._ Well, deacon, how did your wife manage her new shower bath?

[Illustration: A DRY SHOWER BATH.]

_Deacon._ O, she had real good luck. Madam Mooney told how she managed
with hern. She had made a large oiled silk hood, with a large cape to it,
like a fisherman's in a storm, that came all down over her shoulders.

_Doctor_ (impatiently). She's a fool for her pains. That's not the way.

_Deacon._ So my wife thought.

_Doctor._ And your wife did nothing of the kind, I hope.

_Deacon._ O, no, no. My wife, she used an umbrilly.




    _1st Witch._ By the pricking of my thumbs,
                 Something wicked this way comes.

      _Macbeth._ How now, you secret, black and midnight hags,
                 What is't ye do?

          _All._ A deed without a name.--MACBETH, Act IV. Sc. 1.


Under the guise of fortune-telling and clairvoyance the most nefarious
atrocities are daily enacted, not only in the larger cities, but in the
villages and towns even, throughout the country. In this chapter I propose
to ventilate them in a manner never before attempted, and the _exposé_ may
be relied upon as correct in every particular.

"Why," exclaimed a friend, "I thought fortune-telling one of the follies
of the past, and that there was little or none of it practised at the

Far from it. Very few, comparatively, who practise the black art come out
under the ancient name of fortune-tellers; but there are thousands of
ignorant, characterless wretches, in our enlightened day and generation,
who pretend to tell fortunes, if not under the open title above, as
astrologers, seers, clairvoyants, or spiritualists, etc. There are some
clairvoyants of whom we shall treat under the head of "Mind and Matter."

The Bible fortune-tellers practised their lesser deceptions under the
various titles of "wise men," "soothsayers," the former being acknowledged
as the more legitimate by the Jews, and the latter mere heathenish
prognosticators, without divine authority, as thus: Is. ii. 6. "Therefore
thou hast forsaken thy people, the house of Jacob, because they be
replenished from the east, and are _soothsayers, like the Philistines_."

8. "Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own
hands, that which their own fingers have made."

There were also wizards, astrologers, "star-gazers" (Is. xlvii. 13),
spiritualists (1 Sam. xxviii. 3), magicians, sorcerers, and "the
well-favored harlot, the mistress of witchcrafts, that _selleth nations
through her whoredoms, and families through her witchcrafts_." Nahum iii.

All of these exist at the present day, carrying on the same sort of vile
deceptions and heinous crimes, to the "selling of families and nations,"
and souls, in spite of law or gospel. Even as those of nearly six thousand
years ago were patronized by the great, the kings, and queens, and nobles
of the earth, so are the fortune-tellers, under the more refined titles,
visited by governors, representatives, and ladies and gentlemen of rank,
of modern times.

In visiting these pretenders, in order "to worm out the secrets of their
trade," the writer has not only been assured by them in confidence that
the above is true, but he has met distinguished characters there, face to
face,--the minister of the gospel, the lawyer, the judge, the doctor, and
what _ought_ to have been the representative intelligence of the
land,--consulting and fellowshiping with ignorant fortune-tellers.
"Ignorant?" Yes, out of the scores whom I have seen, there has not been
one, male or female, possessing an intelligence above ordinary people in
the unprofessional walks of life, while the majority of them were in
comparison far below the mediocrity.

If ignorance alone patronized ignorance, like a family intermarrying, the
stock would eventually dwindle into nothingness, and entirely die out.

Before the "captivity" the Jews had their wise men, and on their exodus
they reported the existence of the magicians or magi of Egypt.

It seems that nearly everybody, and particularly the Egyptians, regarded
Moses and Aaron as but magicians in those days; and the magi of Pharaoh's
household--for all kings and rulers of ancient times and countries had
their fortune-tellers about them--had a little "tilt" with Moses and
Aaron, commencing with the changing of the rods into snakes. The Egyptian
magicians did very well at the snake "trick," as the modern magician calls
it, also at producing frogs, and such like reptiles; but they were puzzled
in the vermin business, and the boils troubled them, and they then gave
up, and acknowledged that there _was_ a power beyond theirs, and that
power was with God.

Well, that is not fortune-telling; but this was the class who professed
the power of foretelling; and we find them, with women of the familiar
spirits, made mention of all through the scriptural writing. Isaiah
testifies (chapter xix.) that the charmers, familiar spirits, and wizards
ruined Egypt as a nation. What advantage were they ever to King Saul, the
grass-eating king with the long name, or any other individuals, in their

They rather stood in the light of individuals, nations, and the cause of
Heaven. Then Jesus and the apostles had them to meet and overcome--for
their power had become very great, even to the publication of books to
promulgate their doctrines; for we read in Acts xix. 19, that there were
brought forth at Ephesus, at one time, these books, to the amount of
fifty thousand pieces of silver, or about twenty-six thousand five hundred
dollars' worth, and burned in the public square or synagogue.

There are some instances recorded in the Bible, and by Josephus, where the
Jews professed to foretell events. The curious case of Barjesus, at
Paphos, who, for a time, hindered Sergius, the deputy of the country, from
embracing Christianity, is cited in illustration of the injury that false
prophets are to all advancement. Paul testifies to that fact in the
following words: "O, full of all subtlety, and all mischief, child of the
devil, enemy to all righteousness," etc.


The Arabians, from time immemorial, have been implicit believers in
fortune-telling, as well as believers in the efficacy of charms and all
other mystic arts. "No species of knowledge is more highly venerated by
them than that of the occult sciences, which affords maintenance to a vast
number of quacks and impudent pretenders." The science of "Isen Allah"
enables the possessor to discern what is passing in his absence, to expel
evil spirits, and cure malignant diseases. Others claim to control the
winds and the weather, calm tempests, and to say their prayers in person
at Mecca, without stirring from their own abodes hundreds of miles away!

The "Sinia" is what is better known to us as jugglery and feats of

The "Ramle" is the more proper fortune-telling, and is believed in and
practised by people of all ranks, male and female, and by the physicians.


Fortune-telling is practised in all Eastern countries, to a great extent,
to the present day. Some pretend to foretell events by the stars and
planets, some by charms, cards, the palm of the hand, or a lock of hair;
the latter is the most vulgar mode, and commonly followed by the gypsies.

When the fortress of Ismail was besieged, in 1790, by the Russians, Prince
Potemkin, the commanding officer, began to grow impatient, after nearly
two months' resistance, though he was surrounded by all the comforts and
luxuries of an Eastern prince--by courtiers and beautiful women, who
employed the most exciting and voluptuous means to engage his attention.
Madame De Witt, one of the females, pretended to read the decrees of fate
by cards, and foretold that the prince would only take the place at the
expiration of three more weeks.

"Ah," exclaimed the prince, with a smile, "I have a method of divination
far more infallible, as you shall see;" and he immediately despatched
orders to Suwarof _to take Ismail within three days_. The brave but
barbarous hero obeyed the order to the very letter.


When Richmond, afterwards Henry VII., landed at Milford-Haven, on his
memorable march to his successful encounter with Richard III., then at
Bosworth Field, he consulted a celebrated Welsh seer, who dwelt in
magnificent style at a place called Matha Farm. To the duke's question as
to whether he should succeed or not, the wily seer, whose name was Davyd
Lloyd, requested a little time in which to consider so important a query.

As Richmond lodged that night with his friend Davyd, he gave him till the
following morning to make up his decision, when the seer assured Richmond
that he "would succeed gloriously."

For this wonderful and timely information Lloyd received immense rewards
at the hand of his grateful prince when he became King Henry VII.

Now for the secret of his success: During the time granted for the answer,
Davyd, in great perplexity and trepidation, consulted his wife, instead of
the heavens, for an answer. See the wisdom of the reply.

"There can be no difficulty about an answer. Tell him he will certainly
succeed. Then, if he does, you will receive honors and rewards; and if he
fails, depend on't he will never come here to punish you."


One of the most remarkable and successful fortune-tellers known to English
history was John Dee, who was born in London, 1527, and died in 1608. A
biographer says, "He was an English divine and astrologer of great
learning, celebrated in the history and science of necromancy, chancellor
of St. Paul's, and warden of Manchester College, in the reign of Queen
Elizabeth. He was also author of several published works on the subject of
astrology, revelations of spirits, etc., which books are preserved in the
Cottonian library and elsewhere."

Dee enjoyed for a long time the confidence and patronage of Elizabeth. He
then resided in an elegant house at Mortlake, which was still standing in
1830, and was used for a female boarding school. "In two hundred years it
necessarily had undergone some repairs and alterations; yet portions of it
still exhibited the architecture of the sixteenth century.

"From the front windows might be seen the doctor's garden, still attached
to the house, down the central path of which the queen used to walk from
her carriage from the Shan road to consult the wily conjurer on affairs of
love and war.

"He was one of the few men of science who made use of his knowledge to
induce the vulgar to believe him a conjurer, and one possessing the power
to converse with spirits. Lilly's memoirs recorded many of his impostures,
and at one time the public mind was much agitated by his extravagances.
The mob more than once destroyed his house (before residing at Mortlake)
for being too familiar with their devil. He pretended to see spirits in a
stone, which is still preserved with his books and papers.... In his
spiritual visions Dee had a confederate in one Kelley, who, of course,
confirmed all his master's oracles. Both, however, in spite of their
spiritual friends, died miserably--Kelley by leaping from a window and
breaking his neck, and Dee in great poverty and wretchedness. The remains
of the impostor lie in Mortlake Church, without any memorial."

He unfortunately had survived his royal patroness.

Queen Mary had had Dee imprisoned for practising by enchantment against
her life; but her successor released him, and required him to name a lucky
day for her coronation.

"In view of this fact," asks the author of 'A Morning's Walk from London
to Kew,' "is it to be wondered at that a mere man, like tens of thousands
of other fanatics, persuaded himself that he was possessed of supernatural


William Lilly followed in the wake of, and was even a more successful
impostor than the Reverend Dee. He was first known in London as a
book-keeper, whose master, dying, gave him the opportunity of marrying his
widow and her snug little fortune of one thousand pounds. The wife died in
a few years, and Lilly set up as an astrologer and fortune-teller.

His first great attempt at a public demonstration of his art was about
1630, which was to discover certain treasures which he claimed were buried
in the cloister of Westminster Abbey. Lilly had studied astronomy with a
Welsh clergyman, and doubtless may have been sufficiently "weather-wise"
to anticipate a storm; but however that might have been, on the night of
the attempt, there came up a most terrific storm of wind, rain, thunder
and lightning, which threatened to bury the actors beneath the ruins of
the abbey, and his companions fled, leaving Lilly master of the situation.
He unblushingly declared that he himself allayed the "storm spirit," and
"attributed the failure to the lack of faith and want of better knowledge
in his companions."

"In 1634 Lilly ventured a second marriage, with another woman of property,
which was unfortunate as a commercial speculation, for the bride proved
extravagant beyond her dowry and Lilly's income. In 1644 he published his
first almanac, which he continued thirty-six years. In 1648 he therein
predicted the "great fire" of London, which immortalized his name. While
Lilly was known as a cheat, and was ridiculed for his absurdities, he
received the credit for as lucky a guess as ever blessed the fortunes of a
cunning rogue.

"In the year 1656," said his prediction, "the aphelium of Mars, the
signification of England, will be in Virgo, which is assuredly the
ascendant of the English monarchy, but Aries of the kingdom. When this
absis, therefore, of Mars shall appear in Virgo, who shall expect less
than a strange _catastrophe_ of human affairs in the commonwealth,
monarchy, and kingdom of England?"

He then further stated that it would be "_ominous to London, unto her
merchants at sea, to her traffique_ at land, to her poor, to her rich, to
all _sorts of people inhabiting her or her liberties, by reason of fire
and plague_!" These he predicted would occur within ten years of that

The great plague did occur in London in 1665, and the great fire in 1666!
The fire originated by incendiarism in a bakery on Pudding Lane, near the
Tower, in a section of the city where the buildings were all constructed
of wood with pitched roofs, and also a section near the storehouses for
shipping materials, and those of a highly combustible nature. It occurred
also at a time when the water-pipes were empty.

This fearful visitation destroyed nearly two thirds of the metropolis.
Four hundred and thirty-three acres were burned over. Thirteen thousand
houses, eighty-nine churches, and scores of public buildings were laid in
ashes and ruins. There was no estimating the amount of property destroyed,
nor the many souls who perished in the relentless, devouring flames.

If this great fire originated at the instigation of Lilly, in order to
demonstrate his claims as a foreteller of events, as is believed to be the
case by nearly all who were not themselves believers in the occult
science, what punishment could be meted out to such a villain commensurate
to his heinous crime? Curran says, "There are two kinds of prophets, those
who are inspired, and those who prophesy events which they themselves
intend to bring about. Upon this occasion, Lilly had the ill luck to be
deemed of the latter class." Elihu Rich says in his biography of Lilly,
"It is certain that he was a man of no character. He was a double-dealer
and a liar, by his own showing, ... and perhaps as decent a man as a
_trading_ prophet could well be, under the circumstances." Lilly was cited
before a committee of the House of Commons, not, as was supposed by many,
"that he might discover by the same planetary signs _who_ were the authors
of the great fire," but because of the suspicion that he was already
acquainted with them, and privy to the supposed machinations which brought
about the catastrophe. At one time, 1648-9, Parliament gave him one
hundred pounds a year, and he was courted by royalty and nobility, at home
and abroad, from whom he received an immense revenue. He died a natural
death, in 1681, "leaving some works of interest in the history of
astrology," which, in connection with the important personages with whom
he was associated, and the remarkable events above recorded, have
immortalized his name.

Respecting the prediction of the plague, I presume that if any prominent
personage should, at any time, predict a great calamity to a great
metropolis, to take place "_within ten years, more or less_," there
necessarily would be something during that time, of a calamitous nature,
that might seem to verify their prediction. Besides, we should take into
consideration how many predictions are never verified. Dr. Lamb, Dee,
Bell, and others prophesied earthquakes to shake up London at various
times in 1203, 1598, 1760, etc., which never occurred, to any great

Supposing a great tidal wave should devastate our coast, within ten years
even, would not Professor Agassiz be immortalized thereby, although he
never predicted it, except in the imaginative and mulish brains of certain
individuals, who will have it that he did so predict?


In London, at the present day, it is estimated that nearly two thousand
persons, male and female, gain a livelihood under the guise of
fortune-telling. Some of them are "seers," or "astrologers," "seventh
sons," clairvoyants, etc.

From the London Telegraph of the year 1871 we gather the following
description of a few of the most prominent of these, with their arrest and
trial, as fortune-telling is there, as elsewhere, proscribed by law:--

"First was arraigned 'Professor Zendavesta,' otherwise John Dean Bryant,
aged fifty, and described as a 'botanist.' He was charged with having told
a woman's fortune, for the not very extravagant sum of thirteen cents. Two
married women, it seems, instructed by the police, went to No. 3 Homer
Street, Marylebone, and paid sixpence each to a woman, who gave them a
bone ticket in return. One might have imagined that it was a
spiritualist's _seance_, but for the fact that the fee for admittance was
sixpence, and not one guinea. Professor Zendavesta shook hands with one of
the women, and warmly inquired after her health. She told him she was in
trouble about her husband, which was false, and he bade her be of good
cheer, and made an appointment to meet her on another day. Subsequently,
two constables went to Bryant's house, and on going into a room on the
ground floor, found thirty or forty young women seated there. The ladies
began to scream, and there was a rush for the door; while the police, who
seemed to labor under the impression that to attend an astrological
lecture was as illegal an act as that of being present at a cock-fight or
a common gambling-house, stopped several of the women, and made them give
their names and addresses. The walls of the apartment were covered with
pictures of Life and Death, with the 'nativities of several royal and
illustrious personages, and of Constance Kent.' It is a wonder that the
horoscopes of Heliogabalus and Jack the Painter should have been lacking.
Then there was a medicine chest containing bottles and memoranda of
nativities; also a 'magic mirror, with a revolving cylinder,' showing the
figures of men and women, old and young. Of course the collection included
a 'book of fate.' This was the case against Bryant.

"One Shepherd, alias 'Professor Cicero,' was next charged, and it was
shown that the same 'instructed' women went to his house, paying sixpence
for the usual bone ticket. They saw Shepherd separately. When one of them
said that she wanted her fortune told, 'Professor Cicero' took a yard tape
and measured her hand. He gabbled the usual nonsense to her about love,
marriage, and good luck, hinting that the price of a complete nativity
would be half a crown, and before they left the place he gave them a
circular, with their phrenological organs marked. Indeed, the man's
defence was, that he was a professor of phrenology, and not of the black
art. A 'magic mirror' and a 'lawyer's gown' were, however, found at his
house, and the last named item has certainly a very black look. The
evidence against the next defendant, William Henry, alias 'Professor
Thalaby,' and against the fourth and last, Frederick Shipton, alias
'Professor Baretta,' did not differ to any great extent from the testimony
given against Zendavesta. The solicitor retained for this sage contended
that if he had infringed the law, it was likewise violated at the Crystal
Palace, where the 'magic mirror' was to be seen every day. Mr. Mansfield,
however, had only to deal with the case and the culprits before him, and,
convicting all the four fortune-tellers, he sent them to the house of
correction, there to be kept, each and every one of them, to hard labor
for three months."


Before entering upon the _exposé_ of the viler practices of this vile
art,--the "selling of families," and of virginity, and the abominable
practices of the procuresses, who carry on their damnable treacheries,
particularly in our large cities, at the present day,--I wish to enliven
this chapter by one or more amusing instances relative to country

_Filliky Milliky._--During the summer of 185-, the writer was one of a
large party of excursionists to Weymouth's Point, in Union Bay. There was
a large barge full of people, old and young, male and female, besides
several sailboat loads, who, on the return in the afternoon, decided to
stop at the hut of a fortune-teller called "Filliky Milliky." This old
man, with his equally ignorant wife, professed to tell fortunes by means
of a tea-cup. He claimed that he knew of our intended visit, and had set
his house in order; but if that house was "in order" that day, deliver us
from seeing it when out of order.

There were some one hundred or more of us, and whilst but two could occupy
the attention of the "Millikies" at once, we sought other means of whiling
away the time. The old man lived near the river side, and at his leisure
had picked up a large pile of lath edgings which had floated down from a
lath mill on the river.

One Captain Joy took it upon himself to form "all the gentlemen who would
enlist in so noble a cause" into a "home guard," and forthwith arming
themselves with the aforesaid lath edgings, a company of volunteers was
quickly raised, and drawn up in battle array.

I do not recollect the glorious and patriotic speech by which our noble
captain fired our "sluggish souls with due enthusiasm for the great cause
in which we were about to embark," but we were put through a course of
military tactics, "according to Hardee," and took up our line of march.

[Illustration: CHARGE, INFANTRY!]

There was no Bunker Hill on which to display our valor, but there was
another hill, just in rear of the barn nearly, which had not been used in
farming purposes that spring, and for this hill we charged at
"double-quick." In this charge--the danger lay in the _swamping_ part of
the hill--we unambushed a large flock of hens, chickens, and ducks, from
the opposite side.

"_Charge bayonet!_" shouted our noble captain, with great presence of

We charged! The ducks quacked and fled. The hens cackled and ran. The
noise was deafening, the chase enthusiastic, and above the dust and din of
battle arose the stentorian cry, "Charge bayonet!" The Donnybrook Fair
advice of "Wherever there's a head, hit it," was followed to the letter,
until the last enemy lay dead on the gory field, or had hid so far under
the barn that the small boys could not bring them forth. Then orders came
to withdraw, and gather up the dead and wounded.

[Illustration: AFTER THE BATTLE.]

There was an interesting string of hens, chickens, and ducks brought in
and laid at the feet of our great commander, to represent the fowl
products of that campaign. The captain's congratulatory speech was
characteristic also of the _fowl proceedings_, at the close of which
harangue he appointed the "orderly a committee of three to wait on the
fortune-teller, and present him with the spoils of war," of which his
"cups" had given him no previous intimation.

What next? The captain informed us that "as the company was 'mutual,' it
became necessary, in consideration of the losses, to draw on the
_stock-holders_ (_gun-stock_), as he could see no other 'policy' under
which to assess those 'damages.'"

"Filliky Milliky" never carried fowl to a better market.

The "fortunate" ones entertained us, on the barge, with the marvellous
revelations that had transpired within the hut. One married lady was
assured that she was yet single, but would marry in a six-month. A
double-and-twisted old maid was told that her husband was in California.
But the most absurd revelation was to a well-known respectable middle-aged
lady, who was inclined to believe in the foreseeing powers of old Mother
Milliky until now, who was told that she was "soon to receive a letter
from her absent husband, also in California for the last five years; that
he had become rich, and was soon to return; but that her youngest child, a
year old, was inclined to worms, and might not live to see its father
return!" All this wonderful information for a ninepence.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Secret of finding lost Property._--In Hopkinton, Mass., there lived a man
named Sheffield, who professed to tell fortunes. The postmaster of that
town told my informant that old Sheffield received from seven to ten
letters per day from the fools who believed in his foreseeing powers. Once
the surveyor, with a large gang of men, was working on the highway, and
while they were at dinner an ox chain was stolen. The overseer, happening
along before the rest of the men, saw some one unhook the chain, and steal
away to a field adjoining, pull up a fence post, and deposit the chain in
the hole, replace the post, and return. He "lay low," and as the thief
passed he discovered him to be old Sheffield, the fortune-teller. He kept
his own counsel, and, the chain being missed, a committee of three was
appointed to visit the seer, to discover by his art where the stolen
property was secreted.

Mr. ----, the overseer, and others, called on Sheffield, who got out his
mysterious book, and figured away in an impressive manner, and finally
chalked out a rough plan of the ground on the floor, and again consulting
his book, he solemnly declared that he had discovered the property.

"You follow this line from the spot where the chain was unhooked from the
plough, so many rods to this line fence, go along the fence to the seventh
post, draw it up, and the chain will be found beneath, in the post-hole."

The two men were struck dumb with astonishment, for they believed in the
mysterious powers of old Sheffield; but the overseer exclaimed, in words
more impressive than elegant,--

"Yes, you infernal scoundrel, and you put it there, for I saw you with my
own eyes."


Not long ago the body of a once beautiful young woman was taken from the
Merrimack River, below the factories at L----. She was unknown at the
time, and this was all there was given to the public. To the world she was

  "One more unfortunate,
    Weary of breath,
  Rashly importunate,
    Gone to her death."

Now, these are the whole facts of the case. She was the daughter of
respectable, Christian parents, in a New England village, where she was
highly esteemed as an amiable and virtuous young lady. But the tempter
came. Not in the form of a "serpent"--very harmless animals,
comparatively!--nor that other old fellow, commonly descried as having
clattering hoofs and forked tail, etc.--but in the flesh and semblance of
a handsome young man! I think preachers and book-makers paint their devils
too hideous and too far off! Leave off the d, and look for your evils
nearer home, and rather pleasant to look at, on the sly, and not (at
first) very unpleasant to the senses in general. These are the dangerous
(d)evils; escape _them_, and you avoid all!

In the village there were two young men, rivals for the affections of this
amiable young lady, and I know not but there were a dozen besides. One
held the only advantage over the other of having been a native of the
town, while the other was, comparatively, but little known.

Both were sober, industrious, and moral young men.

One day Miss ---- was going to the great city, and, for the "sport of the
thing," agreed to visit a celebrated fortune-teller--a clairvoyant!--at
the instigation of the young man, who, though least known to her, had
recently distanced his rival by his assiduity in pressing his suit before
the young lady.

He assured her there could be no impropriety in a young lady's visiting a
fortune-teller. It was only for fun; nobody believed in them, and she
could keep her own secret if she chose!

She went in broad daylight. The lady clairvoyant greeted her cordially,
begged her to feel quite at her ease, as there was great fortune in store
for her. She described her two lovers very minutely, and informed the girl
that the one who was to marry her would come to her in a vision, if she
would but look into a mirror hanging on the wall before her.

"I see nothing but my own face," replied the young lady, when she had
arisen and looked into the glass.

The woman then turned it half around on the hinges, swung out the frame
upon which the mirror was also hung, and, disclosing a plain black glass
behind, fastened to the wall, said,--

"Now, if you will step behind the glass, back to the wall, and again look
into the mirror, you _may_ possibly see one of the two gentlemen--I cannot
_say_ which."

More amused than alarmed, the lady complied.


"Still I see nothing but myself and a dark glass behind me," she said.

"Look steadfastly into the glass. _Now!_" exclaimed the woman.

"O, what--what do I see?" cried the girl. "'Tis he! 'tis Mr. ----"

"Don't be alarmed; 'tis your future husband. No power can prevent it. It
is fate--fate! But it will be a happy consummation," said the woman,
closing the mirror.

"Why, I left him at home, surely; and I came by steam. That is a solid
wall! Ah, my fate is decreed, I believe!"

Can the reader suppose any sensible person would believe this to be magic?
There are thousands who believe it. Miss ---- was one. She had seen the
spiritual representation of her future husband, and, finding him at home
on her return, the same afternoon, she accepted him as her betrothed, and
the other was dismissed.

Her ruin followed. In the flight of her lover, her hopes were forever
blasted. To hide her shame, she went secretly from home; and to earn her
daily bread, she labored in a cotton factory. When she could no longer
cover her shame in the world, she went without--into outer darkness! Her
parents went down in sorrow to their untimely graves.

Now about the magic mirror. The young man went to the city by the same
train with the girl he proposed to ruin. He had previously arranged with
the fortune-teller--no unusual thing--to appear in person behind the
darkened glass in the next room, and had returned in disguise by the same
train with his victim.

The fortune-teller died miserably, and was buried in the Potter's Field at
the expense of the city of Hartford, Conn.

  "The thorns which I have reaped are of the tree
  I planted; they have torn me,--and I bleed:
  I should have known what fruit would spring from such a seed."

Such is one of the results of patronizing fortune-tellers. I have seen
this kind of mirror, and the first effect, even on a strong-minded person,
seeing but faintly through the darkened glass, over your shoulder, the
outlines of a face, and finally, as your eyes get familiar with the
darkness, the very features of a person reflected therein, is truly
impressive, if not startling.

Young ladies, for your own sakes, for the sake of your friends, and more
for Heaven's sake, keep away from fortune-tellers! _You cannot possibly
see into futurity_, neither can any one, much less the ignorant wretches
who profess the dark mysteries, tell for you what joys or sorrows are in
store for the future!


An able reporter to the Boston Daily Post, who devoted a considerable time
in May, 1869, to visiting and writing up the fortune-tellers of Boston,
which he reported in full in the above paper, and from which I shall copy
more fully hereafter, says in conclusion,--

"From what we are able to learn in this direction, we have arrived at the
conclusion that there are not _less than two hundred men and women_ in
Boston and vicinity who get a good livelihood by this profession, while
many do a large and profitable business.

"One lady, who has reduced her charges to the very lowest figure (fifty
cents for an interview), candidly informed us that her receipts for the
past year had not been less than twelve hundred dollars. Another reported
her receipts from ten to fifty dollars a day.

"Of course no reliable estimate, without better statistics, can be made of
the magnitude of the business; but it seems not extravagant to estimate
their receipts, on an average, at fifteen hundred dollars per annum! or an
annual cost to the people of Boston (and vicinity?) for fortune-telling,
of the snug little sum of three hundred thousand dollars!"

The price advertised for a sitting in 1870 was from twenty-five cents to
one dollar. The Post reporter says of "Mrs. Nellie Richards" (_alias_ Mrs.
Nelson), "Not unfrequently her receipts are fifty dollars per day." Again
of one, "She has received fifty dollars for one sitting." The writer has
visited the most celebrated fortune-tellers here, and been told by them
that they have received five, ten, and twenty dollars for one sitting.
What for? What was the value received? Not from _females_ do they receive
these liberal sums; but from middle-aged or old gentlemen and "married
men," as one assured me. It is quite possible for a few sharp
fortune-tellers to make fifteen hundred dollars per year at merely telling
fools what they may expect from the future. "Middle-aged, old, and married
men" do not consult them, as a general rule, for that purpose.

Here is a true history illustrative of my meaning. I gathered the facts
from the lady.

On Saturday, the 9th of December, 1871, a young woman, residing with her
parents on ---- Street, went to the afternoon performance at the Boston
Museum. A young man made three unsuccessful attempts to "flirt" with her.
The third time she slightly shook her head. Some one, seated immediately
behind her, touched her on the shoulder, and said, "Right, young lady; you
did right not to notice him."

"I turned my head," said my informant, "and just made the least bit of
acknowledgment to a fine-looking, elderly gentleman, who, perhaps, was
rising fifty. He was an utter stranger to me, and I did not observe him
afterwards. On the following week I received a note--a very pretty,
delicate letter--from the very gentleman. He explained that he saw me at
the performance of "Elfie," and was much struck by my lady-like
appearance, and the rest, begging the privilege of calling on me
privately. Now, how could he have obtained my address?"

"Did the other party, the young 'flirt,' know it?" I asked.

"No--not probable. I was not so astonished in receiving a letter from a
stranger, as I was on learning that the nice-looking old gent at the
theatre should have sent it, and that he possessed my address."

"Why not surprised by receiving the letter from a stranger?" I asked.

"Because I visited a fortune-teller, a day or two before, who told me I
should receive a letter from a middle-aged man, and that it would be to my
interest to cultivate his friendship, as he was a nice old covey, and was
rich and liberal."

"The secret is out! Did the fortune-teller know your address?"

"O, yes; she was an old friend of my mother's, _and asked me nothing for a
sitting_. And would _she_ possibly betray the daughter of her old friend?"

I have since learned that the young woman was married at the time, which
fact the fortune-teller must have known when she advised her to "cultivate
the friendship" of an old _roué_, "as he was rich and liberal."

Rich and liberal! No doubt! The light was astounding which broke in upon
the young lady's mind from my intimating that the old viper, the
fortune-teller (clairvoyant she calls herself), had betrayed her, and
doubtless had received ocular demonstration of the "nice old gentleman's"
liberality. Doubtless there was a five, ten, or twenty dollar sitting! and
the "friend of her mother" could well afford to give her sittings free!

Reader, if you doubt that such villanies are daily practised in this city,
such "betrayals of confidence," and "selling of families," put up "five or
ten dollars for a sitting," almost anywhere, and you can have proof. None
of your fifty cents or dollar affairs--those are for the females; but
"come down" with the V.'s and X.'s; those bring the "great information."

Let us "parable" a case.

"A nice, middle-aged gentleman" calls on Madam Blank.

"Here, now, my good woman, take this fee. Tell me a good future. Let her
have dark hair and eyes. If it is satisfactory, I double the fee."

"Call again next week, or in three or four days," is all the conversation
necessary to pass for the first "sitting."

Before the expiration of the time, just such a young lady calls. The wily
old fortune-teller--too old to sell herself any longer--sells out this,
perhaps, unsuspecting lady with black hair and eyes, by mysteriously
informing her of a certain nice gentleman whom she will meet at a
designated place, at a specified hour, on a particular day! She is _very_
courteous to the girl, asks her nothing for a sitting, has taken a liking
to her, worms from her the secrets of her birth, poverty, weaknesses,
etc., and, with many smiles and fair promises, bows her out.

She next proceeds to inform the "nice gentleman" that the job is cooked,
and the victim is unsuspecting, states where he is to meet her, the signal
by which he is to know her; takes the "double fee," and leaves the rest to
the "nice middle-aged (and shrewd) gentleman" to manage for himself.

How many young women in Boston can avouch for the truth of this statement?
I doubt not there are very many.

_Cui Bono?_ While I know and confess that there are a few ladies who
_profess_ to tell fortunes, find lost property, etc., and who do no
greater deception, still, what positive advantage has ever been derived


I have, by purchase and otherwise, obtained the secret of the compounds of
the celebrated "Spanish," _alias_ "Turkish, Love Powders." I had
previously considered them very harmless preparations. They are quite the
reverse. The powder and drops are _Spanish flies_ and _blood-root_!
Sometimes the former are mixed (pulverized) with fine sugar; but the
Spanish flies (cantharides), either in powder or liquid, is a very
dangerous irritant, a very small dose sometimes producing painful and
dangerous strangury. It is far more certain to produce this distressing
complaint than to cause any sexual excitement. There may be some harmless
powders sold as "love powders," but I have never seen any. I have a
quantity of the former. Any physician or chemist may see it, who is
interested. A few drops of it will produce burning and excoriation of the
mouth and stomach, and inflammation of the stomach, liver, and kidneys.
And this dangerous stuff is sold by ignorant fortune-tellers to any
equally ignorant, credulous creature who may send fifty cents therefor.

_The French Secret_ is only for fools. Reader, _you_ have no occasion for
it. It would be of no positive earthly benefit, provided I could so
construe language as to explain to you what it is, in this connection. Be
assured that you cannot circumvent Nature, except at the expense of
health. _Qui n'a sante n'a rien._

Druggists' clerks sometimes sell to boys _tincture cantharis_ for evil

_Hasheesh_ is another dangerous article, sometimes sold at random, and
purchased for no good purpose. A few years since, a great excitement was
produced by the young ladies of P---- Female Seminary obtaining and using
a quantity of _hasheesh_. "One girl took five grains, another _ten_
grains. The latter was rendered insensible, and with difficulty restored
to consciousness, while the former was rushing around under the peculiar
hallucinating effect of the drug, and in a manner bordering on indecency."
I obtained this statement, with more that I cannot publish, from a
physician who witnessed the scene.


Young girls and children are seduced into visiting fortune-tellers. A
Boston fortune-teller, in 1871, took a summer tour through Eastern
Massachusetts and New Hampshire. At Manchester, one evening, some one
knocked lightly at her reception-room door, when, on her answering the
summons, there stood three little girls, of ten or twelve summers.

"Well," said the lady, "what do you children want?"

"We came to have our fortunes told," replied the youngest, drawing her
little form up to represent every half inch of her diminutive dimensions.
With a smile of incredulity, the lady said, "It costs fifty cents.
Besides, you are too small to have a fortune told."

"We've got the money," replied the little speaker; "and we're not too
little. Why, I am ten, and Jenny, here, is twelve."


"Well, come in," replied the fortune-teller. There was a lady present, who
also asked what those children came there for.

The girls sat up in some chairs proffered. The younger one was so small
that her little feet could not reach the floor, and sitting back in her
chair, her little limbs stuck out straight, as such awkward little folks'

The woman told them something, to seem to cover the money paid. It was not
satisfactory, however, and the ten-year-old one put the following

"Do you think, ma'am, that the young man who is keeping company with me
loves me?"

This was a poser, and the woman laughed outright.

"What did she reply?" I asked, shocked, though amused, by the
ridiculousness of the whole affair.

"O, Gad, if I know! I was too busy then to listen."

The next question was more strange than the first:--

"Will the young gentleman marry me, eventually?"

"Doubtless he will when you become older," was the reply; "and I advise
you to think no more about it till you are much older."

I obtained this item from the third party present, the husband of the




    _Lord Say._      Why, Heaven ne'er made the universe a level.
                     Some trees are loftier than the rest, some mountains
                     O'erpeak their fellows, and some planets shine
                     With brighter ray above the skyey route
                     Than others. Nay, even at our feet, the rose
                     Outscents the lily; and the humblest flower
                     Is noble still o'er meaner plants. And thus
                     Some men are nobler than the mass, and should,
                     By nature's order, shine above their brethren.
    _Lord Clifford._ 'Tis true the noble should; but who is noble?
                     Heaven, and not heraldry, makes noble men.


It is amusing, as well as instructive, to compare notes on the various
circumstances which have led different young men to adopt the science of
medicine as their profession.

The advantages of birth and "noble blood" weigh lightly, when thrown into
the balance, against circumstances of after life, and its necessities, in
ourselves or fellow-creatures. In searching through biographies of famous
people, of all ages and countries (to collect a chapter on "Origin of
Great Men"), I am peculiarly convinced of the correctness of this

The earlier histories and traits of character--no matter which way they
point--of all great men are interesting to review; and yet it is a
lamentable fact that the accounts of boyhood days, aspirations, hopes, and
struggles, with the many little interesting items and episodes of the
youth of most great men are very meagre, and, in many cases, entirely lost
to the world.

In the published biographies of physicians this is particularly the case.
You read the biography of one, and it will suffice for the whole. It
begins something like this:--

"Dr. A. was born in Blanktown, about the year 18--; entered the office of
Dr. Bolus, where he studied physic; attended college at Spoon Haven, where
he graduated with honors; arrived at eminence in his profession;" and, if
defunct, ends, "he died at Mortgrass, and sleeps with his fathers.
_Requiescat in pace._"

In presenting to the public the following little sketches of physicians, I
may only say that doctors, of all men, are considered public property, and
have suffered more of the public's kicks and cuffs than any other class of
men, from the time when Hercules amused himself by setting up old Dr.
Chiron, and shooting poisoned arrows at his vulnerable heel, to the little
divertisement of the lovely St. Calvin and his consistory in cooking
Michael Servetus, the Spanish physician; to the imprisonment of our army
surgeons by their "brethren" of the South, that they might not be
instrumental in restoring Union soldiers to the ranks; or the more recent
imprisonment of a physician without cause, and the wholesale slaughter of
students, in the Isle of Cuba.


Dr. Valentine Mott gave no intimation, in his boyhood days, of the great
ability that for a time seemed to lie dormant within the after-developed,
massive, and well-balanced brain of the celebrated surgeon. Except from
the fact of his being the son of a country doctor, his schoolmates would
as soon have expected to see him turn out a second-rate
oyster-man,--suggested by the ominous name of the Bay, at Glen Cove, where
Valentine was born,--as to believe that a boy of no more promise would
develop into the greatest physician and surgeon of the age! He was reared
amongst doctors,--his father, and Dr. Valentine Searnen, and others.

A "plough-boy" is as likely to become an eminent surgeon as is the son of
a practising physician. Dr. Willard Parker, one of the most prominent
physicians and surgeons of New York city, was born in New Hampshire, in
1802, of humble though most respectable parents. When Willard was but a
few years old, his family removed to Middlesex County, Mass., evidently
with a hope of bettering their circumstances. Here Mr. Parker entered more
fully upon the practical duties of an agricultural life, instructing his
son Willard, when not attending the village school, in the mysteries of
"Haw, Buck, and gee up, Dobbin."

Until he was sixteen years old, young Parker was brought up a "plough-boy"
and a tiller of the soil. From a "plough-boy" he became the "master" of a
village school, "teaching the young idea how to shoot," which honest
pursuit he continued for several years, until he had accumulated
sufficient means to enter Harvard. He was a hard-working student, and his
books were not thrown aside when he had obtained a diploma, in 1830.... As
a lecturer and operator, Dr. Parker has been most successful.... Since the
death of Dr. Valentine Mott, in April, 1865, Professor Parker has been
elected president of the New York Inebriate Asylum (Binghamton).


Imagine, dear reader, looking back over the space of nearly forty years,
that you see an uncouth young man, twenty years of age, clad in the coarse
clothes and cowhide boots of an Onondaga farmer, who, straightening up
from his laborious task of potato hoeing, stops for a moment, leaning with
one hand upon his hoe, while he wipes the sweat from his handsome,
intelligent, though sun-burned brow with a cotton handkerchief in the
other. Here is a picture for a painter! Now he seems studiously observing
the old village doctor, who, seated in his crazy old gig, drawn by his
ancient sorrel mare, is leisurely jogging by on the main turnpike.


"Good evening, Stephen; p'taters doin' well?" says the doctor.

Receiving an affirmative answer, the doctor drives past, and is gone from
the sight, but not from the memory, of the young farmer.

"And _that_ is a representative of the science of medicine!"

So saying, the young man "hoed out his row,"--which was his last,--picked
up his coat, and returned to the parental mansion, but a few rods distant.
This was the turning-point in his life.

We pass over twenty years or more.

It is operating-day at Bellevue Hospital, in New York city. A very serious
and important operation is about to be performed. Three hundred students
and physicians are seated in a semicircle under the great dome of the
hospital, in profound silence and intense interest, while the professor
and attending surgeon is delivering a brief but comprehensive lecture
relative to the forthcoming operation.

The speaker is a man of middle age, medium height, deep, expressive eyes,
well-developed brow, with that excellent quality of muscle and nerve that
is only the result of earlier out-door exercise and development, with calm
deportment and modest speech. "His conciseness of expression and quiet
self-possession are evident to every beholder, and comprehensive and
congenial to every listener."

Who is this splendid man before whom students and physicians bow in such
profound respect and veneration, and to whom even Professors Mott, Parker,
Elliott, Clark, etc., give especial attention?

It is Stephen Smith, M. D., once the Onondaga farmer boy!

Says Dr. Francis, of New York, "When a youthful farmer is seen studying
the works of learned authors during that portion of the day which is
generally set aside for relaxation and pleasing pastime, one may easily
predict for him ultimate success in the branch of life that he may choose,
provided he follows out the higher instincts of his nature. The same zeal
that caused Stephen Smith, farmer, to study at the risk of ease, and meet
the fatigue of body with the energies of mind, has ever marked his course
in after years."


From that excellent work, "Scenes in the Practice of a New York Surgeon,"
by Dr. E. H. Dixon, I copy, with some abbreviation, the following, which
the author terms "Leaves from the Log-book of an Unfledged Æsculapian:"--

"In the year 1830 I was sent forth, like our long-suffering and
much-abused prototype,--old father Noah's crow,--from the ark of safety,
the old St. Duane Street College. I pitched my tent, and set up my trap,
in what was then a fashionable up-town street.

"I hired a modest house, and had my arm-chair, my midnight couch, and my
few books in my melancholy little office, and I confess that I now and
then left an amputating-knife, or some other awful-looking instrument, on
the table, to impress the poor women who came to me for advice.

"These little matters, although the 'Academy' would frown upon them, I
considered quite pardonable. God knows I would willingly have adopted
their most approved method of a splendid residence, and silver-mounted
harnesses for my bays; but they were yet in dream-land, eating moonbeams,
and my vicious little nag had nearly all this time to eat his oats and
nurse his bad temper in his comfortable stable.

"In this miserable way I read over my old books, watered my
rose-bushes,--sometimes with tears,--drank my tea and ate my toast, and
occasionally listened to the complaint of an unfortunate Irish damsel,
with her customary account of 'a pain in me side an' a flutterin' about me
heart.' At rare intervals I ministered to some of her countrywomen in
their fulfilment of the great command when placed in the Garden of Eden.
(What a dirty place it would have been if inhabited by Irish women!)

"And thus I spent nearly a year without a single call to any person of
character. I think I should have left in despair if it had not been for a
lovely creature up the street. She was the wife of a distinguished fish
merchant down town.

"This lovely woman was Mrs. Mackerel. I will explain how it was that I
was summoned to her ladyship's mansion, and had the pleasure of seeing Mr.
Mackerel, of the firm of 'Mackerel, Haddock & Dun.'

"One bitter cold night in January, just as I was about to retire, a
furious ring at the front door made me feel particularly amiable! A
servant announced the sudden and alarming illness of Mrs. Mackerel, with
the assurance that as the family physician was out of town, Mrs. M. would
be obliged if I would immediately visit her. Accordingly, I soon found
myself in the presence of the accomplished lady, having--I confess
it--given my hair an extra touch as I entered the beautiful chamber.

"Mrs. Mackerel was not a bad-tempered lady; she was only a beautiful
fool--nothing less, dear reader, or she would have never married old
Mackerel. Her charms would have procured her a husband of at least a
tolerable exterior. His physiognomy presented a remarkable resemblance to
his namesake. Besides, he chewed and smoked, and the combination of the
aroma of his favorite luxuries with the articles of his merchandise must
have been most uncongenial to the curve of such lips and such nostrils as
Mrs. Mackerel's.

"I was received by Mr. Mackerel in a manner that increased observation has
since taught me is sufficiently indicative of the hysterical _finale_ of a
domestic dialogue. He was not so obtuse as to let me directly into the
true cause of his wife's nervous attack and his own collectedness, and yet
he felt it would not answer to make too light of it before me.

"Mr. and Mrs. M. had just returned from a party. (The party must be the
'scape-goat'!) He assured me that as the lady was in the full enjoyment of
health previously, he felt obliged to attribute the cause of her attack
and speechless condition--for she spoke not one word, or gave a sign--to
the dancing, heated room, and the supper.

"I was fully prepared to realize the powers of ice-cream, cake, oranges,
chicken-salad, oysters, sugar-plums, punch, and champagne, and at one
moment almost concluded to despatch a servant for an emetic of ipecac;
but--I prudently avoided it. Aside from the improbability of excess of
appetite through the portal of such a mouth, the lovely color of the
cheeks and lips utterly forbade a conclusion favorable to Mr. Mackerel's
solution of the cause.

"I placed my finger on her delicate and jewelled wrist. All seemed calm as
the thought of an angel's breast!

"I was nonplussed. 'Could any tumultuous passion ever have agitated that
bosom so gently swelling in repose?'

"Mackerel's curious questions touching my sagacity as to his wife's
condition received about as satisfactory a solution as do most questions
put to me on the cause and treatment of diseases; and having tolerably
befogged him with opinions, and lulled his suspicions to rest, by the
apparent innocent answers to his leading questions, he arrived at the
conclusion most desirable to him, viz., that I was a fool--a conviction
quite necessary in some nervous cases....

"So pleased was Mr. M. with the soothing influences of my brief visit that
he very courteously waited on me to the outside door, instead of ordering
a servant to show me out, and astonished me by desiring me to call on the
patient again in the morning.

"After my usual diversion of investigating 'a pain an' a flutterin' about
me heart,' and an 'O, I'm kilt intirely,' I visited Mrs. Mackerel, and had
the extreme pleasure of finding her quite composed, and in conversation
with her fashionable friend, Mrs. Tiptape. The latter was the daughter of
a 'retired milliner,' and had formed a desirable union with Tiptape, the
eminent dry goods merchant. Fortunately--for she was a woman of
influence--I passed the critical examination of Mrs. T. unscathed by her
sharp black eyes, and, as the sequel will show, was considered by her
'quite an agreeable person.'

"Poor Mrs. Mackerel, notwithstanding her efforts to conceal it, had
evidently received some cruel and stunning communication from her husband
on the night of my summons; her agitated circulation during the fortnight
of my attendance showed to my conviction some persistent and secret cause
for her nervousness.

"One evening she assured me that she felt she should now rapidly recover,
as Mr. Mackerel had concluded to take her to Saratoga. I, of course,
acquiesced in the decision, though my previous opinion had not been asked.
I took a final leave of the lovely woman, and the poor child soon departed
for Saratoga.

"The ensuing week there was a sheriff's sale at Mackerel's residence. The
day following the Mackerels' departure, Mr. Tiptape did me the honor to
inquire after the health of my family; and a week later, Master Tiptape
having fallen and bumped his dear nose on the floor, I had the felicity of
soothing the anguish of his mamma in her magnificent _boudoir_, and
holding to her lovely nose the smelling salts, and offering such
consolation as her trying position required!"

Thus was commenced the practice of one of the first physicians of New
York. The facts are avouched for. The names, of course, are manufactured,
to cover the occupation of the parties. The doctor still lives, in the
enjoyment of a lucrative and respectable practice, and the love and
confidence of his numerous friends and patrons.

Quite as ludicrous scenes could be revealed by most physicians, if they
would but take the time to think over their earlier efforts, and the
various circumstances which were mainly instrumental in getting them into
a respectable practice.


The young man who has just squeezed through a medical college, and come
out with his "sheepskin," who thinks all he then has to do is to put up
his sign, and forthwith he will have a crowd of respectable patients, is
to be pitied for his verdancy. The great Professor John Eberle "blessed
his stars" when, after graduating as "Doctor of Medicine" in the
University of Pennsylvania, and making several unsuccessful attempts at
practice in Lancaster County, he received the appointment as physician of
the "out-door poor" of Philadelphia. After that, his writings, attracting
public attention, were mostly contributive to his success and advancement.

Energy and determination are better property than even scholastic lore and
a medical diploma, for unless you possess the former, talent and education
fall to the earth.

Dr. William P. Dewees, formerly Professor of Obstetrics in the University
of Pennsylvania, the celebrated author, physician, and surgeon, practised
seventeen years before he obtained a diploma. He was of Swedish descent on
his father's side, and Irish on his mother's. His father died in very
limited circumstances, when William was a boy; hence he received no
collegiate education until such time as he could earn means, by his own
efforts, to pay for that coveted desideratum. We find him, with an
ordinary school education, serving as an apothecary's clerk, a student of
medicine, and at the early age of twenty-one years trying to practise
medicine in a country town fourteen miles from Philadelphia. Young Dewees
possessed great talent and energy, but his personal appearance was
scarcely such, at that early age, as to inspire the stoical country folks
with the requisite confidence to speedily intrust him with their precious
lives and more cherished coppers!

"He was scarcely of medium stature, florid complexion, brown hair, and was
remarkably youthful in his appearance," says Professor Hodge, M. D.

I have before me an excellent likeness "of the embryo professor," which
admirably corresponds with the description given above; but though
"youthful," yea, bordering on "greenness," I can read in that frank,
intelligent countenance the lines of deep thought, and a soul burning with
desire for greater knowledge. The too florid countenance and narrow
nostrils are sure indications of a consumptive predisposition. Dr. Dewees
died May 30, 1841. He was well read in French and Latin, and also various


_Sketch of Western Practice._--The following interesting sketch is from
the able pen of Dr. Richmond, of Ohio, now a wealthy and eminent M. D. It
was originally contributed, if I mistake not, to the "Scalpel."

"I set myself down with my household goods in a land of strangers. How I
was to procure bread, or what I was to do, were shrouded in the mysterious
future. Memory came to my consolation; for, in spite of myself, the 'Diary
of a London Physician,' read in other days, came, with its racy pictures,
flitting before my mind's eye; and I knew not but I, too, might yet wish
myself, my Mary, and my child sleeping in the cold grave, to hide me from
the persecution that seemed to follow me with such sleepless vigilance....

"My store of old watches now came into play. A gentleman wishing to sell
out his land, I invested all the wealth I possessed in the purchase of a
ten-acre lot, shouldered my axe, and by the aid of a brother I soon
prepared logs for the mill sufficient to erect me a small dwelling. I
never was happier than when preparing the ground and splitting the blocks
of sandstone for the foundation of my house. One customer, whose wife I
had carried through a lingering fever, furnished me a frame for a
dwelling, and I fell in his debt for a pair of boots. Another furnished
nails and glass, and in the course of eight months I moved into my new

"For two years I fed my cow, and raised my own provender to feed my
gallant nag, which shared my toil and its profits. My first two years'
labor barely returned sufficient profit to pay for my home and feed my
little family.

"My nag had died, and the terrible drought of 1846 forced me to relinquish
the horse I had hired, and for five months I performed all my visits on
foot, often travelling from six to ten miles to see one patient....

"These were trying times; but what if the elements were unpropitious? I
had food and shelter for myself and family,--blessings about which I had
often been in doubt,--and I was fully prepared to let 'the heathen rage,
and the people imagine' what they chose!... The first winter was one of
great severity; the weather was very changeable, and the most awful
snow-storms were often succeeded by heavy rains, and the roads so horrid
as to be impassable on horseback or in carriages. I had a patient five
miles distant, sick with lung fever, and, in an attendance of forty days I
made thirty journeys on foot (three hundred miles to attend one patient!)
His recovery added much to my reputation, and I received for my services a
new cloak and coat, which I much needed, and a hive of honey bees!...

"An old horse which I again hired of a friend had a polite way of limping,
and was a source of much merriment among my patrons. I persistently
attributed what they deemed a fault entirely to the politeness of the
quadruped; and this nag, with my plain and rustic appearance, endeared me
to the laboring population, and thus my calamities became my greatest
friends. My fortune changed, and the experience and name I had acquired
now came in as capital in trade, and a flood of 'luck' soon followed."


Seated upon the outside of an ancient London stage-coach, to which were
attached four raw-boned, old horses, just ready to start for Wolverhaven
one pleasant afternoon, you may easily imagine, kind reader,--for it is a
fact,--a chubby-faced, commonplace little boy, some ten years old, with
another like youthful companion,--"two Londoners,"--while comfortably
ensconced within, in one corner of the vehicle, is a large, stern-looking
old gentleman, in "immense wig and ruffled shirt."


The stage-horn is sounded, the driver cracks his whip, the sleepy old nags
wake up, the coach rocks from side to side, and in a moment more the team
is off for its destination.

Why! the reader is readily reminded of the scene of "_Old Squeers_,"
taking the wretched little boys down to his "Academy," in Yorkshire,
"where youth were boarded, clothed, furnished with pocket-money," and
taught everything, from "writing to trigonometry," "arithmetic to
astronomy," languages of the "_living_ and _dead_" and "diet
unparalleled!" Nevertheless it is another case, far before "Old Squeers"

The elderly gentleman, in top-wig and immense ruffles, was Dr. Robertson,
teacher of Wolverhampton Grammar School, and the chubby little boy was
Master John Abernethy. Who the "other boy" was is not known, as he never
made his mark in after life. Says Dr. Macilwain,--

"We can quite imagine a little boy, careless in his dress, not slovenly,
however, with both hands in his trousers pockets, some morning about the
year 1774, standing under the sunny side of the wall at Wolverhampton
School; his pockets containing, perhaps, a few shillings, some ha'pence, a
knife with the point broken, a pencil, together with a tolerably accurate
sketch of 'Old Robertson's wig,'--which article, shown in an accredited
portrait now before us, was one of those enormous by-gone bushes, which
represented a sort of impenetrable fence around the cranium, as if to
guard the precious material within; the said boy just finishing a story to
his laughing companions, though no sign of mirth appeared in him, save the
least curl of the lip, and a smile that would creep out of the corner of
his eye in spite of himself."

[Illustration: YOUNG ABERNETHY.]

"The doctor" was represented as being a passionate man. Squeers again!
One day young Abernethy had to do some Greek Testament, when his glib
translation aroused the suspicion of the watchful old doctor, who
discovered the 'crib' in a Greek-Latin version, partially secreted under
the boy's desk. No sooner did the doctor make this discovery than with his
doubled fist he felled the culprit with one blow to the earth. Squeers

"'Why, what an old plagiarist Mr. Dickens must have been!' you exclaim.

"But the case in 'Nicholas Nickleby' is worse, far worse, for 'the little
boy sitting on the trunk only sneezed.'

"'Hallo, sir,' growled the schoolmaster (Squeers), 'what's that?'

"'Nothing, sir,' replied the little boy.

"'Nothing, sir!' exclaimed Squeers.

"'Please, sir, I sneezed!' rejoined the boy, trembling till the little
trunk shook under him.

"'O, sneezed, did you?' retorted Mr. Squeers. 'Then what did you say
"Nothing" for, sir?'

"In default of a better answer to this question, the little boy screwed a
couple of knuckles into his eyes, and began to cry; wherefore Mr. Squeers
knocked him off the trunk with a blow on one side of the head, and knocked
him on again with a blow on the other."

Robertson was a fact; Squeers was a fable. That's the difference.

As Dr. Robertson taught neither arithmetic nor writing in his school, the
pupils went to King Street, to a Miss Ready, to receive instruction in
those branches. This lady, if report is true, wielded the quill and
cowhide with equal grace and mercy, and when the case came to hand, did
not accept the modern advice, to "spare the boy and spoil the rod."

When the great surgeon was at the height of his fame, in London, many
years afterwards, Miss Ready, still rejoicing in "single blessedness,"
called on her former pupil. In introducing his respected and venerable
teacher to his wife, Abernethy laconically remarked, "I beg to introduce
you to a lady who has boxed my ears many a time."

An old schoolmate, when eighty-five years old, wrote to the author of
"Memoirs of Abernethy," saying, among other things, "In sports he took the
first place, and usually made a strong side; was quick and active, and
soon learned a new game."

It was contrary to his own desire that John Abernethy became a physician.
"Had my father let me be a lawyer, I should have known by heart every act
of Parliament," he repeatedly affirmed.

This was not bragging, as the following anecdote will illustrate:--

On a birthday anniversary of Mrs. Abernethy, mother of John, a gentleman
recited a long copy of verses, which he had composed for the occasion.

"Ah," said young Abernethy, "that is a good joke, pretending you have
written these verses in honor of my mother. Why, sir, I know those lines
well, and can say them by heart."

"It is quite impossible, as no one has seen the copy but myself," rejoined
the gentleman, the least annoyed by the accusation of plagiarism.

Upon this Abernethy arose, and repeated them throughout, correctly, to the
no small discomfiture of the author. Abernethy had remembered them by
hearing the gentleman recite them but once!

"A boy thwarted in his choice of a profession is generally somewhat
indifferent as to the course next presented to him." Residing next door
neighbor to Abernethy's father was Dr. Charles Blicke, a surgeon in
extensive practice. This was very convenient. Sir Charles is represented
as having been quick-sighted enough to discover that "the Abernethy boy"
was clever, a good scholar, and withal a "sharp fellow." Thus, between the
indifference of the parent, and the selfishness of the surgeon, the
would-be lawyer, John Abernethy, was apprenticed to the "barber-surgeon"
for five years. He was then but fifteen years of age.

"All that young Abernethy probably knew of Sir Charles was, that he rode
about in a fine carriage, saw a great many people, and took a great many
fees; all of which, though presenting no further attractions for
Abernethy, made a _prima facie_ case not altogether repulsive."

We must not forget to mention that young Abernethy was of a very inquiring
mind. "When I was a boy," he said in after years, "I half ruined myself in
buying oranges and sweetmeats, in order to ascertain the effects of
different kinds of diet on diseases."

Whether he tried said "oranges and other things" on himself or some
unfortunate victim, my informant saith not; but I leave the reader to
decide by his own earlier appetites and experiences. "When I was a boy," I
think is significant of the probabilities that it was his own digestive
organs that were "half ruined."

Be it as it may, it reminds me of the case of a little country boy, who,
on his first advent to the city on a holiday, was chaperoned by his
somewhat older and sharper city cousin,--"one of the b'hoy's,"--who
exercised a sort of vigilance over the uninitiated rustic, that the little
fellow might not surfeit himself by too great a rapacity for peanuts,
gingerbread, candies, and oranges, often generously sharing the danger by
partaking largely of the small boy's purchases in order to spare his more
delicate stomach.

Finding the ignorant little rustic about to devour a nice-looking orange,
his cousin pounced upon him just in time to prevent the rash act.

"Here, Sammy; don't you know that is one of the nastiest and most
indigestiblest things you could put into your stomach? Give it here!"

Rustic, whose faith in the wisdom of his maturer cousin, though very
great, was yet quite counterbalanced by the sweets in the orange, slightly
held back, when the other continued,--

"Leastwise, Sammy, let's have a hold of it, and suck the abominable juice
out for you."

(For this digression I beg the pardon of the reader; for the idea I thank
Frank Leslie.)

George Macilwain, M. D., F. R. C. S., etc., in prefacing the life of the
great London surgeon, gives a brief and interesting sketch of his own
boyhood, also his early impressions of Abernethy, and his first attendance
on his lectures.

"My father practised on the border of a forest, and when he was called at
night to visit a distant patient, it was the greatest treat to me, when a
little boy, to be allowed to saddle my pony and accompany him. I used to
wonder what he could find so 'disagreeable' in that which was to me the
greatest possible pleasure; for whether we were skirting a bog on the
darkest night, or cantering over the heather by moonlight, I certainly
thought there could be nobody happier than I and my pony. It was on one of
these occasions that I first heard the name of 'Abernethy.' The next
distinct impression I have of him was derived from hearing father say that
a lady patient of his had gone up to London to have an operation performed
by Dr. Abernethy, though my father did not think the operation necessary
to a cure, and that Abernethy entirely agreed with him; that the operation
was not performed; that he sent the lady back, and she was recovering.
This gave me a notion that Dr. Abernethy must be a good man, as well as a
great physician.

"As long as surgery meant riding across the forest with my father, holding
his horse, or, if he stopped in too long, seeing if his horse rode as well
as my pony, I thought it a very agreeable occupation; but when I found
that it included many other things not so agreeable, I soon discovered
that there was a profession I liked much better....

"Disappointed in being allowed to follow the pursuit I had chosen, I
looked on the one I was about to adopt with something approximating to
repulsion; and thus one afternoon, about the year 1816, and somewhat to my
own surprise, I found myself walking down Holborn Hill on my way to Dr.
Abernethy's lecture at St. Bartholomew's.

"When Dr. Abernethy entered, I was pleased with the expression of his
countenance. I almost fancied he sympathized with the melancholy with
which I felt oppressed. At first I listened with some attention; as he
proceeded, I began even to feel pleasure; as he progressed, I found myself
entertained; and before he concluded, I was delighted. What an agreeable,
happy man he seems! What a fine profession! What wouldn't I give to know
as much as he does! Well, I will see what I can do. In short, I was

All who ever heard him lecture agree that Dr. Abernethy had a most happy
way of addressing students. Notwithstanding he has often been represented
as rough in his every-day intercourse with men, he was easy, mild, and
agreeable in the lecture-hall, and kind and compassionate in the

After having carefully studied all that has been written respecting his
style and manner as a lecturer and delineator, and also studiously
listened to and watched the ways and peculiarities of our most excellent
lecturer on anatomy at Harvard, I find many striking resemblances between
Dr. Abernethy and Professor Oliver Wendell Holmes.

"The position of Abernethy was always easy and natural, sometimes almost
homely. In the anatomical lecture he always stood, and either leaned
against the wall, with his arms folded before him, or rested one hand on
the table; sometimes one hand in his pocket. In his surgical lecture he
usually sat. He was particularly happy in a kind of cosiness, or
friendliness of manner, which seemed to identify him with his audience, as
if we were about to investigate something interesting together, and not
as though we were going to be 'lectured at,' at all. His voice seldom rose
above what we term the conversational, and was always pleasing in quality,
and enlivened by a sort of archness of expression."

He always kept his eye on the audience, except slightly turning to one
side to explain a diagram or subject, "turning his back on no man."

"He had no offensive habits. We have known lecturers who never began
without making faces;" we might add, "and with many a hem and haw, or

"Not long ago we heard a very sensible lecturer, and a very estimable man,
produce a most ludicrous effect by the above. He had been stating very
clearly some important facts, and he then observed,--

"'The great importance of these I will now proceed to show--' when he
immediately began to apply his pocket-handkerchief most vigorously to his
nose, still facing his audience."

The ludicrousness of this "illustration" may well be imagined. Of course
the students lost their gravity, and laughed and cheered vigorously.

Going in to hear Dr. Holmes lecture, at one o'clock one afternoon,
recently, the writer was both shocked and astonished, on the occasion of
the professor slipping in a pleasing innuendo, by hearing the students
cheer with their hands, and stamp with their thick boots on the seats.

I shall have occasion to refer to this splendid man, the pleasing
lecturer, the skilful operator, the able author, the ripe scholar, the
pride of Harvard and the state,--Dr. O. W. Holmes,--in another chapter.


(Scene from the EARLY LIFE OF A BOSTON PHYSICIAN. By permission.)

Standing on the steps of the Astor House, New York, one cheerless forenoon
in early June, with my carpet-bag in one hand and my fresh medical diploma
in the other, with a heavy weight of sorrow at my heart, and only sixteen
cents in my pocket, I presented, to myself at least, a picture of such
utter despair as words are inadequate to express.[4]

My home--no; I had none--the home, rather, of my kind old father-in-law,
where dwelt, for the time being, my wife and child, was many hundred miles
away. And how was I to reach it? I could not walk that distance, and
sixteen cents would not carry me there. I looked up Broadway, and I looked
down towards the Battery. I was alone amid an immense sea of humans, which
ebbed and flowed continually past me. O, how wistfully I looked to see if
there might be one face amongst the throng which I might recognize! but
there was none. Strange, passing strange, not one of that host did I ever
gaze upon before! Where--how--should I raise the money necessary to take
me from this land of strangers?

"Pinny, sir? Just one pinny. Me father is broken up, and me mither is sick
at home. For God's sake give me jist one pinny to buy me some bread."

I turned my gaze upon the picture of squalor and wretchedness just by my
side. I need not describe her; she was just like a thousand others in that
great Babel.

"Here is doubtless a case of distress, but it is not of the heart, like
mine. Such poor have no heart. Skin, muscle, head, stomach! heart, none!"

"Where is your father, did you say?" I asked, mechanically.

"In the Slarter-house; broken up from a fall from a stagin' in
Twenty-sixth Street, sir," replied the beggar-girl, still extending her
hand for a penny.

"What is he doing in a slaughter-house, sis?" I inquired.

"The Slarter-house is Bellyvew horse-pittle, sir; that's what we Irish
call it, sir. Will ye give me the pinny, sir?"

[Illustration: "PINNY, SIR? JUST ONE PINNY."]

"O, yes, to be sure. Here are pennies for you. Go!"

I knew of a poor Irishman who was brought in there at the hospital a few
days before badly "broken up" from a fall on Twenty-sixth Street. His name
was John Murphy; they are all named Murphy, or something similar; so it
was useless to ask the child her father's name--probably it would have
been Murphy.

The conversation had the good effect of arousing me from my lethargy to
action. I must not stay in this metropolis and starve. I could not remain
and beg, like the Irish girl.

I went to Professor ----, the dean, and requested him to take back my
diploma, and let me have sufficient money to carry me home. He
complied--God bless him!--and I took the Sound steamer that afternoon for
the land of my nativity. What cared I if I was a second-class passenger; I
would in two days see my wife and my child!

       *       *       *       *       *

I had reached home, and was in the bosom of my family once more, and
amongst my friends, in a Christian land; for which I "thanked God, and
took courage."

  "Then pledged me the wine-cup, and fondly I swore
    Ne'er from my home and my weeping friends to part;
  My children kissed me a thousand times o'er;
    My wife sobbed aloud in her fullness of heart."

I had a "call" to practise in a country town twenty-five miles from E----,
where my family was to remain a few days till I had secured a house to
cover their heads amongst the good friends who were to become my future
patrons, as a few of them had been previous to my going to college. The
stage, a one-horse affair, called for my trunk, medicine-case, etc., and,
having no money with which to pay my fare, I told the driver that "I would
walk along," while he picked up another passenger in an opposite
direction, "and if he overtook me on the road before I got a ride with
some one going to S----, he could take me in."

I walked bravely along a mile or more, and, hearing the stage coming, I
stepped from the road-side, secreting myself beneath a friendly tree till
he drove past. Issuing from my hiding-place, I trudged along till noon. My
darling little wife had taken the precaution to place in my oversack
pocket some doughnuts and cheese, and, when I had reached a clear, running
brook, I sat myself down upon a log, under the shade of the woods, and
partook of my very frugal meal, quenching my thirst from the waters of the
brook, which, like Diogenes, I raised in the hollow of my hand.

Thus refreshed, I picked up my overcoat, and again walked along. Before
dark I reached S----, pretty tired and foot-sore from such a long walk.


The people, who were expecting me, were much surprised at my non-arrival
in the mail; but the unsophisticated driver assured them I had probably
secured a ride ahead of him, and I would put in an appearance before

About midnight the door-bell rang,--I stopped at the hotel that
night,--and a young gentleman asked for Dr. C. I answered the call at
once, which was to the daughter of one of the most influential citizens of
the place. The young man who called me was her intended. They had been to
a party, and she had partaken freely of oysters, milk, and pickles.

Never did fifteen grains of ipecac prove a greater friend to me than it
did on that occasion; and in an hour I was back to bed again.

The news of the new doctor's arrival, fresh from a New York college, and
his first "remarkable cure of the post-master's daughter" that same night,
spread like wildfire, and my reputation was nearly established.




    "Save and defend us from our _ghostly_ enemies."--COMMON PRAYER.


Is it not quite time--I appeal to the sensible reader--that such folly was
expunged from our literature? What is a ghost? Who ever saw, heard, felt,
tasted, or smelled one? Must a person possess some miraculous quality of
perception beyond the five senses commonly allotted to man in order to
become cognizant of a ghostly presence?

[Illustration: BELIEVERS IN GHOSTS.]

What stupid folly is ghost belief! Yet there are very many individuals in
this enlightened day and generation, who, from perverted spirituality, or
great credulousness, will accept a ghost story, or a "spiritual
revelation," without wincing.

It would seem that many great men of the past, as Calvin, Bacon, Milton,
Dante, Lords Byron and Nelson, Sir Walter Scott, Wordsworth, and others,
believed in the existence of ghosts and spirits on this mundane sphere.

There are but two classes who believe in ghosts, viz., the ignorant as one
class, and persons with large or perverted spirituality--phrenologically
speaking--as the other. These are the believers in dreams, in ghosts, in
spirits, and fortune-telling. These, too, are the religious (?) fanatics,


is curious.

"The first significance of the word, as well as 'spirit,' is breath, or
wind." It is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is from _gust_, the wind. Hence, a
_gust_ of _wind_. The Irish word _goath_, wind, comes nearer to the modern
English pronunciation, and shows how easily it could have been corrupted
to _ghost_.

It is easy to imagine the good old Saxon ladies, sitting around the
evening fireside, and just as one of them has finished some marvellous
story of that superstitious age, they are startled by a sudden blast of
wind, sweeping around the gabled cottage, and her listeners exclaim, in
suppressed breath,--

"Hark! There's a fearful gust!"

The transit from _gust_ to _ghost_ is easily done. The clothes spread upon
the bushes without, or pinned to the lines, flapping in the night air, are
seen through the shutterless windows, and they become the object of
attraction. The _effect_ supersedes the _cause_, and the clothes become
the gust, goath, or ghost! The clothes, necessarily, must be white, or
they _could not be seen in the night time_! Hence a ghost is always
clothed in white. Therefore the wind (gust) is no longer the ghost, but
any white object seen moving in the night air.

[Illustration: "HARK! THERE'S A FEARFUL GUST!"]

  "But I am a wandering ghost--
    I am an idle breath,
  That the sweets of the things now lost
    Are haunting unto death.
  Pity me out in the cold,
    Never to rest any more,
  Because of my share in the purple and gold,
    Lost from the world's great store.

  "I whirl through empty space,
    A hapless, hurried ghost;
  For me there is no place--
    I'm weary, wandering, lost.
  Safe from the night and cold,
    All else is sheltered--all,
  From the sheep at rest in the fold,
    To the black wasp on the wall."

Moffat says that a tribe of Caffres formerly employed the word _Morino_ to
designate the Supreme Being; but as they sank into savagery, losing the
idea of God, it came to mean only a fabulous ghost, of which they had
great terror.

Having briefly shown the folly of the existence of the word in our
vocabulary, I will proceed to explode a few of the best authenticated--so
called--"ghost stories;" and if I leave anything unexplained in
ghostology, let the reader attribute it to either my want of space in
which to write so much, or the neglect of my early education in the _dead


I obtained the following story from one of the sentries:--

At Portsmouth, R. I., there was a camp established during the late war,
186-. There was a graveyard in one corner of the enclosed grounds, where
several soldier-boys had been buried from the hospital, and here a guard
was nightly stationed.

Of course there were many stories told around the campfires, of ghosts and
spirits that flitted about the mounds at the dead hours of the night,
circulated particularly to frighten those stationed at that point on
picket duty.

The body of a soldier had recently been exhumed and placed in a new and
more respectable coffin than the pine box coffin furnished by Uncle Sam,
in which he had been buried, and the old one was left on the ground.

Partly to protect himself from the inclemency of the weather, and quite as
much to show his utter disregard of all ghostly visitors, my informant
secured the old pine coffin, "washed it out, though it was impossible to
remove all the stains," and, driving a stake firmly into the ground, he
stood the coffin on one end, and, removing the lid, used to stand therein
on rainy nights.

"When it did not rain, I turned it down, and my companion and myself used
to sit on the bottom.

"One day a soldier-boy had died in the hospital, and his friends came to
take the body home for Christian burial. It was necessary to remove him in
a sheet to the place where they had an elegant casket, bought by his
wealthy friends, to receive the remains.

"That very night I was on duty with my friend Charley S., when, near
midnight, seated upon the empty coffin, with my gun resting against the
side, and my head resting in the palms of my hands, I fell into a drowse.

[Illustration: A GRAVE SENTRY.]

"Waking up suddenly, I saw something white through the darkness before me;
for it was a fearfully dark night, I assure you. I rubbed my sleepy eyes
to make sure of my sight, and took another look. I discerned a form,
higher than a man, moving about over the mounds but a few yards distant.
It had wide side-wings, but they did not seem to assist in the motion of
the body part, which did not reach to the ground. I thought I must be
asleep, and actually pinched my legs to awake myself before I took a final
look at his ghostship. There he stood, stock still. I listened for my
companion, without removing my eyes from the white object before me. Still
I was not scared, but meant to see it out. I knew I could not see a man
far through that impenetrable darkness, for there were no stars nor
moon to reveal him. I would not call for help, for if it was a farce to
scare me, I should become the laughing-stock of the whole camp.

[Illustration: A GHOST IN CAMP.]

"Just then I heard the grass crackle, and I knew Charley was approaching
in the rear. Still there hung the apparition. I arose from the coffin, my
eyes fixed on the object before me, picked up my musket, took deliberate
aim at the centre of the thing, and just as I cocked my rifle, I heard
Charley set back the hammer of his 'death-dealer.' He, too, had discovered
the very remarkable appearance, whatever it was; and now the guns of two
'unfailing shots' covered the object. In another second it had suddenly
disappeared! I then spoke, and we ran forward, but found nothing! Where
had it gone so very suddenly? It had vanished without sight or sound. We
gave up the search; but still I did not believe we had seen anything

"There was no little discussion in camp on the following day on the
subject. Charley said but little. I could not explain the remarkable
phenomenon, and a splendid ghost story was about established, in spite of
me, before the mystery became unravelled.

"A tall fellow, who worked about the hospital, and who assisted in taking
away the corpse, was returning with the sheet, when he thought he would
give the sentry a scare from his coffin by throwing the sheet over his
head and stretching out his arms like wings. His clothes being black, his
legs did not show; hence the appearance of a white object floating in the
air. Hearing the guns cocked, he instantly jerked the sheet from his head;
winding it up, he turned and ran away. This accounted for it becoming so
instantaneously invisible.

"'Yes,' said the sentry, 'and in a second more you would have been made a


_The Nagles Family._--The following remarkable and ridiculous affair
transpired in a village where the writer once resided. The Nagleses were
Irish. The family consisted of old Nagles, his wife,--who did washing for
my mother,--John Tom and Tom John, besides Mary. The reason of having the
boys named as above was, that in case either died, the sainted names would
still be in the family. This was old Mrs. Nagles' explanation of the

The old man worked about the wharves, wheeled wood and carried coal, and
did such like jobs during summer, and chopped wood in the winter. I well
remember of hearing stories of his greenness when he first came to town.
He was early employed to wheel wood on board a coaster lying at the dock.
The captain told him to wheel a load down the plank, cry "Under!" to the
men in the hold, and tip down the barrow of wood. All went well till old
Nagles got to the stopping-place, over the hold, when he dumped down the
load, and cried out, "Stand ferninst, there, down cellar!" to the imminent
peril of breaking the heads of the wood-stevedores below.

[Illustration: OLD NAGLES.]

I well remember also the first appearance of the two boys at the village
school one winter.

"What is your name?" inquired the master of the eldest.

"Me name, is it? John Tom Nagles, sir, is me name, and who comes after is
the same."

He always was called by us boys "John Tom Nagles, sir," thenceforward. He
certainly was the rawest specimen I ever met.

One day the old man was wheeling wood on board a vessel. It was at low
water, and there was a distance of sixteen feet from the plank to the
bottom of the vessel's hold. The poor old fellow, by some mishap or
neglect, let go the barrow, when he called, "Stand ferninst, there,
below!" when wood, barrow, and old Mr. Nagles, all went down together. By
the fall he broke his neck. I never shall forget the awful lamentation set
up by the combined voices of the poor old woman, John Tom, Tom John, and
Mary, as they followed the corpse, borne on a wagon, past our house, on
the way from the vessel to the Nagles' residence.

[Illustration: THE NAGLES BOYS.]

On the following day great preparations were made to "wake" the old
gentleman according to the most approved fashion in the old country. There
were many Irish living--_staying_, at least--in that town, and large
quantities of pipes, tobacco, and whiskey were bought up, and the whole
town knew that a "powerful time" was anticipated by the Irish who were
invited to old Nagles' wake. It was an unusual occurrence, and several
boys and young men of the village went to the locality of the Nagles'
house to get a look upon the scene when it got under full pressure. I
certainly should have been there had not my parents forbidden me to go,
and I regret the inability to give my personal testimony to the truth of
the statement of what followed, as I do to what preceded, as related

[Illustration: CHIEF MOURNERS.]

"When the wake was at its height, the room full of tobacco smoke, and the
jovial mourners full of Irish whiskey,--strychnine and fusel oil,--there
was an alarm of fire in the neighborhood. There was a grand rush from the
room, as well as from the windows where stood the listeners, and only one
old and drunken woman remained to watch the corpse. The door was left
open, and some of the young men outside, thinking it a good opportunity to
play a joke on the drunken party, ran into the room, and, seeing only the
old woman, who was too drunk to offer any objections, they removed the
body from the board, depositing it behind the boxes on which the board was
laid, and one of their number took the place of the corpse, barely having
time to draw the sheet over his face, when the 'wakers' returned.

"The candles burned dimly through the hazy atmosphere of the old room, and
no one noticed the change. The pipes were relighted, the whiskey freely
passed, and finally one fellow proposed to offer the corpse a lighted pipe
and a glass of whiskey, 'for company's sake, through purgatory.'

"Suiting the action to the word, he approached, attempted to raise the
head of the 'lively corpse,' and thrust the nasty pipe between his teeth.

"The young man 'playing corpse' was no smoker, and in infinite disgust he
motioned the fellow away, who, too drunk to notice it, stuck the pipe in
his face, saying, 'Here, ould man, take a shmoke for your ghost's sake.'

"'Bah! Git away wid the div'lish nasty thing,' exclaimed the young man,
rising and sitting up in the coffin.

"There was an instantaneous stampede from the room of every waker who was
capable of rising to his legs, followed by the fellow in the sheet, who,
dropping the ghostly covering at the door, mingled with the rabble, and
was not recognized. The priest and the doctor were speedily summoned. The
former arrived, heard, outside the house, the wonderful story, and then
proceeded to lay the spirit by sprinkling holy water on the door-stone,
thence into the room. By this time the smoke had sufficiently subsided to
allow a view of the room, when the stiff, frigid body of old Nagles was
discovered on the floor, where 'it had fallen,' as they supposed, 'in
attempting to walk.' Of course the doctor ridiculed the idea of a stark,
cold body rising and speaking; but the Irish, to this day, believe old
Nagles, for that once, refused a pipe and a glass of whiskey. The few
young men dared not divulge the secret, and it never leaked out till the
entire family of Nagles had gone to parts unknown."


       *       *       *       *       *

I find a great many ghost stories in books, which are not explained; but
since the writer knows nothing of their authenticity, nor the persons with
whom they were connected, they are unworthy of notice here.


Dr. Robert Macnish, of Glasgow, in his "Philosophy of Sleep," says, "No
doubt the apparition of Cæsar which appeared to Brutus, and declared it
would meet him at Philippi, was either a dream or a spectral
illusion--probably the latter. Brutus, in all likelihood, had some idea
that the great battle which was to decide his fate would be fought at
Philippi. Probably it was a good military position, which he had in his
mind fixed upon as a fit place to make a final stand; and he had done
enough to Cæsar to account for his mind being painfully and constantly
engrossed with the image of the assassinated dictator. Hence the
verification of this supposed warning; hence the easy explanation of a
supposed supernatural event."

       *       *       *       *       *

"The ghost of Byron" may help to verify the above. Sir Walter Scott was
engaged in his study at Abbotsford, not long after the death of Lord
Byron, at about the twilight hour, in reading a sketch of the deceased
poet. The room was quiet, his thoughts were intensely centred upon the
person of his departed friend, when, as he laid down the volume, as he
could see to read no longer, and passed into the hall, he saw before him
the _eidolon_ of the deceased poet. He remained for some time impressed by
the intensity of the illusion, which had thus created a phantom out of
some clothes hanging on a screen at the farther end of the hall.

This is not the first time that Byron had appeared to his friends, as the
following, from his own pen, will show:--

Byron wrote to his friend, Alexander Murray, less than two years before
the death of the latter, as follows:--

"In 1811, my old schoolmate and form-fellow, Robert Peel, the Irish
secretary, told me that he saw me in St. James Street. I was then in
Turkey. A day or two afterwards, he pointed out to his brother a person
across the street, and said, 'There is the man I took for Byron.' His
brother answered, 'Why, it is Byron, and no one else.' I was at this time
_seen_ (by them?) to write my name in the Palace Book! I was then ill of a
malaria fever. If I had died," adds Byron, "here would have been a ghost
story established."

Dr. Johnson says, "An honest old printer named Edward Cave had seen a
ghost at St. John's Gate." Of course, the old man succumbed to the


I have yet to find the record of a good man seeing what he believed to be
a ghostly manifestation. It is only the guilty in conscience who conjure
up "horrible shadows," as pictured in Shakspeare's ghost of Banquo, as it
appeared to Macbeth. What deserving scorn, what scathing contempt, were
conveyed in the language of Lady Macbeth to her cowardly,
conscience-stricken lord, as she thus rebuked him!--

                "O, proper stuff!
  This is the very painting of your fear;
  This is the air-drawn dagger which you said
  Led you to Duncan! O, these flaws and starts
  (Impostors to true fear) would well become
  A woman's story at a winter's fire,[5]
  Authorized by her grandam. Shame itself!
                  ... When all's done,
  You look but on a stool!"

There is a great truth embodied in a portion of the king's reply, that--

  "If charnel-houses and our graves must send
  Those that we bury, back, our monuments
  Shall be the maws of kites."

The gay and dissipated Thomas Lyttleton, son of Lord George Lyttleton, and
his successor in the peerage, has been the subject of "a
well-authenticated ghost story, which relates that he was warned of his
death three days before it happened, in 1779, while he was in a state of
perfect health, and only thirty-five years of age." This is what says a
biographer. Now let us present the truth of the matter.

He was a dissipated man. He was subject to fits. A gentleman present at
the time of his seeing a vision, says "that he had been attacked several
times by suffocative fits the month before." Here, then, was a _body
diseased_. The same authority says, "It happened that he dreamed, three
days before his death, that he saw a _fluttering bird_; and afterwards,
that he saw (dreamed) a woman in white apparel, who said to him, 'Prepare
to die; you will not exist three days.'

[Illustration: PREPARE TO DIE!]

"His lordship was much alarmed, and called his servant, who slept in an
adjoining closet, who found his master in a state of great agitation, and
in a profuse perspiration."

Fear blanches the cheek; perspiration is rather a symptom of bodily
weakness, and the result of a laborious dream, or even a fit. He had no
fear, for, on the third day, while his lordship was at breakfast with "the
two Misses Amphlett, Lord Fortescue," and the narrator, he said,

"'If I live over to-night, _I shall have jockeyed the ghost_, for this is
the third day.' That day he had another fit. He dined at five, and retired
at eleven, when his servant was about to give him some prescribed rhubarb
and mint-water, but his lordship, seeing him about to stir the mixture
with a toothpick, exclaimed,--

"'You slovenly dog, go and fetch a teaspoon.'

"On the servant's return, he found his master in another fit, and, the
pillow being high, his chin bore on his windpipe, when the servant,
instead of relieving his lordship from his perilous position, ran away for
help; but on his return, found his master dead."

He had strangled. Is it anything strange that a dissipated, weakened man
should die after having a score of suffocative fits? It had been more
surprising if he had survived them. Then, as respecting the dream, it was
the result of a "mind diseased."

There was evidence that his lordship had seduced the Misses Amphlett, and
prevailed upon them to leave their mother; and he is said to have
admitted, before his death, that the woman seen in his dream was the
mother of the unfortunate girls, and that she died of grief, through the
disgrace and desertion of her children, about the time that the guilty
seducer saw her in the vision. How could his dreams but have been
disturbed, with the load of guilt and remorse that he ought to have had
resting upon his conscience? The "fluttering bird" was the first form that
the wretched mother assumed in his vision, as a bird might flutter about
the prison bars that confined her darling offspring. The more natural form
of the mother finally appeared to the guilty seducer, and to dream that he
heard a voice is no unusual occurrence in the life of any person. The
peculiar words amount to nothing. Lyttleton gave them no serious thoughts,
and it was an accident of bodily position that caused his sudden death.
The whole thing seems to be too flimsy for even a respectable "ghost


An amusing as well as instructive ghost story is related by Horace
Walpole, the indolent, luxurious satirist of fashionable and political
contemporaries, whose twenty thousand a year enabled him to live at his
ease, "coquetting haughtily with literature and literary men, at his tasty
Gothic toy-house at Strawberry Hill."


He relates that the good old Bishop of Chichester was awakened in his
palace at an early hour in the morning by his chamber door opening, when a
female figure, clothed in white, softly entered the apartment, and quietly
took a seat near him. The prelate, who, with "his household, was a
disbeliever in ghosts" and spirits, said he was not at all frightened,
but, rising in his bed, said, in a tone of authority,--

"Who are you?"

"The presence in the room" made no reply. The bishop repeated the

"Who are you?"

The ghost only heaved a deep sigh, and, while the bishop rang the bell, to
call his slumbering servant, her ghostship quietly drew some old "papers
from its ghost of a pocket," and commenced reading them to herself.

After the bishop had kept on ringing for the stupid servant, the form
arose, thrust the papers out of sight, and left as noiselessly and
sedately as she had arrived.

"Well, what have you seen?" asked the bishop, when the servants were

"Seen, my lord?"

"Ay, seen! or who--what was the woman who has been here?"

"Woman, my lord?"

(It is said one of the fellows smiled, that a woman should have been in
the aged bishop's bed-chamber in the night.)

When the bishop had related what he had seen, the domestics apprehended
that his lordship had been dreaming, against which the good man protested,
and only told what his eyes had beheld. The story that the bishop had been
visited by a ghost soon got well circulated, which greatly "diverted the
ungodly, at the good prelate's expense, till finally it reached the ears
of the keeper of a mad-house in the diocese, who came and deposed that a
female lunatic had escaped from his custody on that night" (in light
apparel), who, finding the gates and doors of the palace open, had marched
directly to his lordship's chamber. The deponent further stated that the
lunatic was _always reading a bundle of papers_.

"There are known," says Walpole, "stories of ghosts, solemnly
authenticated, less credible; and I hope you will believe this, attested
by the father of our own church."


We occasionally _hear_ of this kind, but seldom, if ever, _see_ them. An
old lady of Adams, Mass., came to the writer in a state bordering on
monomania. She stated that at about _three o'clock_ in the night she would
awake and distinctly hear bells ringing at a distance. She would awake her
husband, and often compel him to arise and listen "till the poor man was
almost out of patience with the annoyance;" not of the bells, for he heard
none, but of being continually "wakened because of her whim," as he
stated. A brief medical treatment for the disease which caused the
vibration of the tympanum dispelled the illusion of bells.


A family residing, three years since, but a few miles out of Boston, used
to occasionally, during summer only, hear a note or two of the piano
strike at the dead hour of the night. A Catholic servant girl and an
excellent cook left their situations in consequence of the ghostly music.
In vain the family removed the instrument to another position in the room.
The musical sounds would startle them from their midnight slumbers.

One thing very remarkable occurred after changing the piano: the sound,
which only transpired occasionally, with no regularity as to time, would
always begin with the high notes, and end with the lower. Finally, the
family--I cannot say why--removed to the city, and the house was sold. The
deed of conveyance did not include the ghost, but he remained with the
premises, nevertheless. The writer has seen him!

"O, what a pretty cat!" exclaimed a child of the new occupant of the
haunted house, on discovering the domestic animal which the late possessor
had left.

"Yes; and she looks so very domestic and knowing, she may stay, if no one
comes for her, and you'll have her for a playfellow," replied the mother.

A few nights after their settlement, the new family were startled by
hearing the piano sound! No particular tune, but it was surely the piano
notes that had been distinctly and repeatedly heard. A search revealed
nothing. The piano was kept closed thereafter, and no further annoyance
occurred, until one night when the company had lingered till nearly
midnight, and the instrument had been left open, the sound again occurred.
The gentleman quickly lighted a lamp, ran down stairs, and closing the
door leading to the connecting room, he found the cat secreted beneath the
piano. The instrument was purposely left open the following night, and a
watch set, when, no sooner was all quiet, than the cat entered, and leaped
upon the piano keys. After touching them a few times with her fore paws,
she jumped down, and hid beneath the instrument. "The cat was out." Only
one thing remained for explanation, viz., why the change of sound occurred
after removing the piano by the first occupants of the house. It occurred
in summer. They removed the piano so that the cat, entering a side window,
usually left a little raised, had necessarily jumped upon the high keys.

If anybody has got a good ghost, spirit, or witch about his premises, the
writer would like to investigate it.

The following silly item is just going the rounds of the press:--


"The first floor of Mrs. Roundy's house, at Lynn, in which the recent
murder occurred, is occupied by an apparently intelligent family bearing
the name of Conway, who assert that they have heard supernatural noises
every night since the tragedy; and they are so sincere in their belief
that they are preparing to vacate in favor of their 'uncanny' visitors."

There's nothing to it to investigate.


My colored boy, Dennis, assures me that an old woman in Norfolk, Va.,
having some spite against him, "did something to him that sort o'
bewitched him; got some animal into him, like." The symptoms are those of
_ascarides_, but I could not persuade him to take medicine therefor.

"'Tain't no use, sir," he replied, solemnly; "I knowed she done it; I
feels it kinder workin' in yer (placing his hand on his stomach); what
med'cine neber'll reach."

Neither reason nor ridicule will "budge" him. He knows he's bewitched!

[Illustration: THE MUSICAL PUSS.]

[Illustration: A DARKEY BEWITCHED.]


  Through all the long, long winter's day,
    And half the dreary night,
  We churned, and yet no butter came:
    The cream looked thin and white.

  Next morning, with our hopes renewed,
    The task began again;
  We churned, and churned, till back and arms
    And head did ache with pain.

  The cream rose up, then sulking fell,
    Grew thick, and then grew thin;
  It splashed and spattered in our eyes,
    On clothes, and nose, and chin.

  We churned it fast, and churned it slow,
    And stirred it round and round;
  Yet all the livelong, weary day,
    Was heard the dasher's sound.

  The sun sank in the gloomy west,
    The moon rose ghastly pale;
  And still we churned, with courage low,
    And hopes about to fail,--

  When in walked Granny Dean, who heard,
    With wonder and amaze,
  Our troubles, as she crossed herself,
    And in the fire did gaze.

  "Lord, help us all!" she quickly said,
    And covered up her face;
  "Lord, help us all! for, as you live,
    There's witches in the place!

  "There's witches here within this churn,
    That have possessed the cream.
  Go, bring the horse-shoe that I saw
    Hang on the cellar-beam."

  The shoe was brought, when, round and round,
    She twirled it o'er her head;
  "Go, drive the witches from that cream!"
    In solemn voice she said;--

  Then tossed it in the fire, till red
    With heat it soon did turn,
  And dropped among the witches dread,
    That hid within the churn.

  Once more the dasher's sound was heard,--
    Have patience with my rhyme,--
  For, sure enough, the butter came
    In twenty minutes' time.

  Some say the temperature was changed
    With horse-shoe glowing red;
  But when we ask old Granny Dean,
    She only shakes her head.--_Hearth and Home._


One would suppose the folly of putting horse-shoes into cream, "fish-skins
into coffee, to settle it," and forcing filthy molasses and water down the
throats of new-born babes, were amongst the follies of the past; but they
are not yet, with many other superstitious, and even cruel and dangerous
notions, done away with. For some prominent instances of this course of
proceedings the reader may consult next chapter.

Riding through the rural districts of almost any portion of the Union, one
will sometimes find the horse-shoe nailed over the stable, porch, or even
house front door, to keep away the witches. As in Gay's fable of "The Old
Woman and her Cats:"--

  "Straws laid across my path retard,
  The horse-shoes nailed each threshold guard,"

In Aubrey's time, he tells us that "most houses of the west end of London
have the horse-shoe at the threshold."

The nice little old gentleman who keeps the depot at Boylston Station is a
dry joker, in his way. Over each door of the station he has an old
horse-shoe nailed.

"What have you got these nailed up over the door for?" a stranger asks.

[Illustration: BOYLSTON STATION.]

"To keep away witches. I sleep here nights," solemnly replies the
station-master; and one must be familiar with that ever agreeable face to
detect the sly, enjoyable humor with which he is so often led to repeat
this assertion.

In numerous towns within more than half of the states,--I state from
personal inquiry,--there are at this day old women, who children, at
least, are taught to believe have the power of bewitching! My first
fright, when a little boy on my way to school, was from being told that an
old woman, whose house we were passing, was a witch.

These modern witches may not have arrived at the dignity of floating
through the air on a broomstick, or crossing the water in a cockle-shell,
as they were said to in ancient times; but the belief in their existence
at this enlightened period of the world is more disgraceful than in the
darker ages, and the frightening of children and the naturally
superstitious is far more reprehensible.

There is no such thing as a ghost. There are no witches.

"The Bible teaches that there were witches," has often been wrongly
asserted. That "choice young man and goodly," whose abilities his doting
parent over-estimated when he sent him out _in search of the three stray
asses_, and whose idleness prompted him to consult the seer Samuel, and by
whose indolence and procrastination the asses got home first, was a very
suitable personage to consult a "_woman of a familiar spirit_" (or any
other woman, save his own wife), from which arose the great modern
misnomer of the "_Witch of Endor_."

"To the Jewish writers, trained to seek counsel only of Jehovah (not even
from Christ), the 'Woman of Endor' was a dealer with spirits of evil. With
us, who have imbibed truth through a thousand channels made turbid by
prejudice and error, she is become a distorted being, allied to the hags
of a wild and fatal delusion. We confound her with the (fabled) witches of
Macbeth, the victims of Salem, and the modern Moll Pitchers.

"The Woman of Endor! That is a strange perversion of taste that would
represent her in hideous aspect. To me she seemeth all that is genial and
lovely in womanhood."

"Hearken thou unto the voice of thine handmaid, and let me set a morsel of
bread before thee, and eat, that thou mayest have strength when thou goest
on thy way."

Then she made and baked the bread, killed and cooked the meat,--all she
had in the house,--and Saul did eat, and his servants.

I see nought in this but an exhibition of rare domestic ability and
commendable hospitality; in the previous act (revelation), nothing more
than a manifestation of the power of mind over mind (possibly the power of
God, manifested through her mind?), wherein she divined the object of
Saul's visit, and, through the same channel, surmised who he was that
consulted her.


Witches are said to be "light weight." But a little above a hundred
years ago, a woman was accused in Wingrove, England, by another, of
"bewitching her spinning-wheel, so it would turn _neither the one way nor
the other_." To this she took oath, and the magistrate, with pomp and
dignity, "followed by a great concourse of people, took the woman to the
parish church, her husband also being present, and having stripped the
accused to her nether garment, put her into the great scales brought for
that purpose, with the Bible in the opposite balance, which was the lawful
test of a witch, when, to the no small astonishment and mortification of
her maligner, she actually outweighed the book, and was honorably
acquitted of the charge!"

Just imagine the picture. In an enlightened age, a Christian people, in
possession of the Bible, that gives no intimation of such things as
witches, stripping and weighing a female in public, to ascertain if she
really was heavier than a common Bible!




    "When cats run home, and light is come,
      And dew is cold upon the ground,
    And the far-off stream is dumb,
      And the whirling sail goes round,
      And the whirling sail goes round;
    Alone and warming his five wits
    The white owl in the belfry sits."--TENNYSON.


Medicine, above all the other sciences, was founded upon superstition.
Medicine, more than all the other arts, has been practised by
superstitions. Stretching far back through the vista of time to the
remotest antiquity, reaching forward into the more enlightened present, it
has partaken of all that was superstitious in barbarism, in heathenism, in
mythology, and in religion.

In showing the Alpha I am compelled to reveal the Omega.

Let us begin with Jupiter. I know that some wise Æsculapian--no
Jupiterite--will turn up his nose at this page, while to-morrow, if he
gets a patient, he will demonstrate what I am saying, and further, help
to perpetuate the ignorant absurdities which originated with the old
mythologists, by placing "[R]"--the ill-drawn sign of Jupiter--before his

[Illustration: THE GOD OF RECIPES.]

De Paris tells us that the physician of the present day continues to
prefix to his prescriptions the letter "[R]," which is generally supposed
to mean "recipe," but which is, in truth, a relic of the astrological
symbol of Jupiter, formerly used as a species of superstitious invocation,
or to propitiate the king of the gods that the compound might act

There are still in use many other things which present _prima facie_
evidence of having been introduced when the users placed more faith in
mythological or planetary influence than in any innate virtue of the
article itself. For instance, at a very early period all diseases were
regarded as the effects of certain planetary actions; and not only
diseases, but our lives, fortunes, conduct, and the various qualities that
constitute one's character, were the consequences of certain planetary
control under which we existed. Are there not many who now believe this?

"In ancient medicine pharmacy was at one period only the application of
the dreams of astrology to the vegetable world. The herb which put an ague
or madness to flight did so by reason of a mystic power imparted to it by
a particular constellation, the outward signs of which quality were to be
found in its color or shape." Red objects had a mysterious influence on
inflammatory diseases, and yellow ones on persons discolored by jaundice.
Corals were introduced as a medicine, also to wear about the neck on the
same principle.

These notions are not yet obsolete. Certain diseases are still attributed
to the action of the moon. Certain yellow herbs are used for the
jaundice and other diseases. The _hepatica triloba_ (three-lobed) is
recommended for diseases of the lungs as well as liver (as its first name,
_hepatica_, indicates), and some other medicines for other complaints,
without the least regard to their innate qualities. Corals are still worn
for nose-bleed, red articles kept about the bed and apartments of the
small-pox patient, and the red flag hung out at the door of the house,
though few may know why a _red_ flag is so hung, or that it originated in

The announcement of an approaching comet strikes terror to the hearts of
thousands; the invalid has the sash raised that he may avoid first seeing
the new moon through the glass, and the traveller is rejoiced to catch his
first glimpse of the young queen of the night over his right shoulder,
"for there is misfortune in seeing it over the left."

But we are not yet done with ancient symbols.

"The stick came down from heaven," says the Egyptian proverb.

"The physician's cane is a very ancient part of his insignia. It has
nearly gone into disuse; but until very recently no doctor of medicine
would have presumed to pay a visit, or even be seen in public, without
this mystic wand. Long as a footman's stick, smooth, and varnished, with a
heavy gold head, or a cross-bar, it was an instrument with which, down to
the present century, every prudent aspirant to medical practice was
provided. The celebrated gold-headed cane which Radcliffe, Mead, Askew,
Pitcairn, and Baillie successively bore, is preserved in the College of
Physicians, London. It has a cross-bar, almost like a crook, in place of a
knob. The knob in olden times was hollow, and contained a vinaigrette,
which the man of science held to his nose when he approached a sick
person, so that its fumes might protect him from the disease."

The cane, doubtless, came from the wand or caduceus of Mercurius, and was
a "relic of the conjuring paraphernalia with which the healer, in
ignorant and superstitious times, always worked upon the imagination of
the credulous." The present barber's pole originated with surgeons. The
red stripe represented the arterial blood; the blue, the venous blood; the
white, the bandages.

The superstitious ancients showed more wisdom in their selections of
names, as well as in emblems, than we do in retaining them. Heathen
worship and mythological signs are mixed and interwoven with all our arts,
sciences, and literature. Our days of the week were named by the old
Saxons, who worshipped idols--the sun, moon, stars, earth, etc., and to
their god's, perpetual honor gave to each day a name from some principal
deity. Thus we are idolaters, daily, though unconsciously.

I think not one person in a thousand is aware of this fact; therefore I
give a sketch of each.


The name of our first day of the week, Sunday, is derived from the Saxon
_Sunna-dæg_, which they named for the sun. It was also called _Sun's-dæg_.

[Illustration: SUN--Sunday.]

As the glorious sunlight brought day and warmth, and caused vegetation to
spring forth in its season, warmed the blood, and made the heart of man to
rejoice, they made that dazzling orb the primary object of their worship.
When its absence brought night and darkness, and the storm-clouds
shrouded its face in gloom, or the occasional eclipse suddenly cut off its
shining, which they superstitiously attributed to the wrath of their chief
deity, it then became the object of their supplication. With them, and all
superstitious people, all passions, themes, and worships must be
embodied--must assume form and dimensions, and as they could not gaze upon
the dazzling sun, they personified it in the figure of a man--as being
superior to woman with them--arrayed in a primitive garment, holding in
his hand a flaming wheel. One day was specially devoted to sun worship.

The modern Sunday is the day, according to historical accounts of the
early Christians, on which Christ rose from the dead. It does not appear
to have been the same day as, or to have superseded, the Jewish Sabbath,
although the Christians early celebrated the day, devoting it to religious
services. With the Christians, labor was suspended on this "first day of
the week," and Constantine, about the year 320, established an edict which
suspended all labor, except agricultural, and forbade also all court
proceedings. In 538 A. D. the third Council of Orleans published a decree
forbidding all labor on Sunday.

The Sabbath (Hebrew _Shabbath_) of the Jews, meaning a day of rest,
originated as far back as Moses--probably farther. It was merely a day of
rest, which was commanded by Jehovah; and if considered only on
physiological grounds, it evinces the wisdom and economy of God in setting
apart one day in seven to be observed by man as a season of rest and
recuperation. As such it only seems to have been regarded till after the
forty years of exile, when it changed to a day of religious rites and
ceremonies, which is continued till the present day by "that peculiar
people." That particular day, given in the "law of Moses," corresponds--it
is believed by the Jews--to our Saturday. Christ seemed to teach that the
Jewish Sabbath was no more sacred than any other day, and he accused the
Pharisees with hypocrisy in their too formal observance thereof. He
attended their service on the Sabbath, on the seeming principle that he
did other meetings, and as he paid the accustomed tax, because it was best
to adapt one's self to the laws and customs of the country.

We do not purpose to enter into any theological discussion as to which of
the two days should be observed for rest and religious observances; for
who shall decide? Physiologically considered, it makes no difference.
There should be one day set apart for rest in seven at the most, and all
men should respect it.

Without a Sabbath (day of rest) we should soon relapse into a state of
barbarism, and also wear out before our allotted time. "In the hurry and
bustle of every-day life and labor, we allow ourselves too little
relaxation, too little scope for moral, social, and religious sentiments;
therefore it is well to set apart times and seasons when all cares and
labors may be laid aside, and communion held with nature and nature's
God." And it were better if we all could agree upon one day for our
Sabbath; and let us call it "Sabbath," and not help to perpetuate any
heathen dogmas and worship by calling God's holy day after the idolatrous
customs of the ancient Saxons.


The second day of the week the Saxons called _Monandæg_, or Moon's day;
hence our Monday.

This day was set apart by that idolatrous people for the worship of their
second god in power. In their business pursuits, as well as devotional
exercises, they devoted themselves to the moon worship. The name
_Monandæg_ was written at the top of all communications, and remembrance
had to their god in all transactions of the day. Each _monath_ (new moon
or month) religious (?) exercises were celebrated.

The idol Monandæg had the semblance of a female, crowned or capped with a
hood-like covering, surmounted by two horns, while a basque and long robe
covered the remainder of her person. In her right hand she held the image
of the moon.

[Illustration: MOON--Monday.]

[Illustration: TUISCO--Tuesday.]


The third object of their worship was Tuisco--corresponding with German
_Tuisto_--the son of _Terra_ (earth), the deified founder of the
Teutonic race. He seems to have been the deity who presided over combats
and litigations; "hence Tuesday is now, as then, court-day, or the day for
commencing litigations." In some dialects it was called _Dings-dag_, or
Things-day--to plead, attempt, cheapen: hence it is often selected as
market-day, as well as a time for opening assizes. Hence the god _Tuisco_
was worshipped in the semblance of a venerable sage, with uncovered head,
clothed in skins of fierce animals, touching the earth, while he held in
his right hand a sceptre, the appropriate ensign of his authority.

Thus originated the name of our third day of the week, and some of its

[Illustration: WODEN--Wednesday.]


This day was named for _Woden_,--the same as _Odin_,--and was sacred to
the divinity of the Northern and Eastern nations. He was the Anglo-Saxons'
god of war, "who came to them from the East in a very mysterious manner,
and enacted more wonderful and brilliant exploits of prowess and valor
than the Greek mythologists ascribed to their powerful god Hercules." As
_Odin_, this deity was said to have been a monarch (in the flesh) of
ancient Germany, Denmark, Scandinavia, etc., and a mighty conqueror. All
those tribes, in going into battle, invoked his aid and blessing upon
their arms. He was idolized as a fierce and powerful man, with helmet,
shield, a drawn sword, a _gyrdan_ about his loins, and feet and legs
protected by sandals and knee-high fastenings of iron, ornamented with a
death's head.

[Illustration: THOR--Thursday.]

[Illustration: FRIGA--Friday.]


From the deity _Thor_ our Thursday is derived. This Saxon god was the son
of Woden, or Odin, and his wife Friga. He was the god of thunder, the
bravest and most powerful, after his father, of the Danish and Saxon

Thor is represented as sitting in majestic grandeur upon a golden throne,
his head surmounted by a golden crown, richly ornamented by a circle in
front, in which were set twelve brilliant stars. In his right hand he
grasped the regal sceptre.


The sixth day of the week was named in honor of _Friga_, or Frigga, the
wife of Woden and the mother of Thor. In most ancient times she was the
same as Venus, the goddess of Hertha, or Earth. She was the most revered
of the female divinities of the Danes and Saxons. Friga is represented
draped in a light robe suspended from the shoulder, low neck and bare
arms. She held in her right hand a drawn sword, and a long bow in the
left. Her hair is long and flowing, while a golden band, adorned by
ostrich feathers, encircle her snowy brow.

There is nothing in the name or attributes to indicate the ill luck which
superstition has attached to the day.

[Illustration: SEATER--Saturday.]


The god _Seater_, for whom the last day of the week is named, is the same
as Saturn, which is from Greek--_Time_.

He is pictured, unlike Saturn, with long, flowing hair and beard, thin
features, clothed in person with one entire garment to his ankles and
wrists, with his waist girded by a linen scarf. In his right hand he
carries a wheel, to represent rolling time. In his left hand he holds a
pail of fruit and flowers, to indicate young time as well as old. The fish
which is his pedestal represents his power over the abundance of even the


Amongst the very pleasant and harmless customs which have been handed down
to us from the idolatrous rites and superstitions of the ancient Saxons,
Scandinavians, etc., are those connected with our Christmas festivities.
The whole observance and connections form a strange mixture of Christian
and heathen ceremonies, illustrative of the unwillingness with which a
people abandon pagan rites to the adoption of those more consistent with
the spirit of a Christianized and enlightened faith.

Now, little folks and big, I am not going to ridicule or deny your right
to Christmas and St. Nicholas enjoyments; I will merely hint at their
origin, for your own benefit. The day brings more happiness--and folks--to
the homes and firesides of the people of the _whole world_ than any other
holiday we celebrate.[6] Thanksgiving, you know, is mostly a New England
custom. The 25th of December is just as good as any other day on which to
have a good time. Ancient people used to celebrate the first and sixth
of January. The first three months of the year are named after heathen

The _name_ of the day we celebrate is derived from a Christian source: the
rest from pagan. A good feeling was always engendered amongst the most
ancient people at the commencement of the lengthening of days in winter,
and the approach of a new year. The hanging up of the mistletoe, with the
ceremony of gathering it, the kindling of the Yule log, and giving of
presents, we trace to the Druids, who were the priests, doctors, and
judges of the ancient Celts, Gauls, Britons, and Germans. Our modern
stoves and furnaces have shut out the pleasant old log fires, and the
candles only remain. The gifts originated in the giving away of pieces of
the mistletoe by the grizzly old priests.

Who St. Nicholas was, is only conjectured, _not known_, any more than who
St. Patrick was. It makes no difference where he sprang from; he is a
good, jolly, benevolent fellow, who brings lots of presents, and, with the
little folks, we are bound to defend him.

It is supposed that the original St. Nicholas lived in Lycia, in Asia
Minor, during the fourth century, and was early adopted as a saint of the
Catholic church, and also by the Russians and ancient Germans, Celts, and

"He has ever been regarded as a very charitable personage, and as the
particular guardian of children. Great stories are told of his charity and
benevolence. One of these, and that, perhaps, which attaches him to the
peculiar festivities of Christmas, is to the effect that a certain
nobleman had three lovely daughters, but was so reduced to poverty that he
was unable to give them a marriage portion, as was the indispensable
custom, and was about to give them over to a life of shame. St. Nicholas
was aware of this, and determined in a secret way to assist the nobleman.

"He wended his way towards the nobleman's house, thinking how he could
best do this, when he espied an open window, into which he threw a purse
of gold, which dropped at the nobleman's feet, and he was enabled to give
his daughter a marriage portion. This was repeated upon the second
daughter and the third daughter; but the nobleman, being upon the watch,
detected his generous benefactor, and thus the affair was made public.
From this rose the custom upon St. Nicholas Day, December 6, for parents
and friends to secretly put little presents into the stockings of the
children. Doubtless this custom, so near the festivities of Christmas,
gradually approximated to that day, and become identical with Christmas
festivities throughout the world. St. Nicholas is often represented
bearing three purses, or golden balls, and these form the pawn-broker's
well-known sign, which is traced to this source as its origin--not, we
should judge, from their resemblance to the charity of St. Nicholas, but
emblematic of his lending in time of need."


There was a superstition in Scotland against spinning or ploughing on
Christmas; but the Calvinistic clergy, in contempt for all such
superstitions, compelled their wives and daughters to spin, and their
tenants to plough, on that day.

It is a popular notion to the present time in Devonshire that if the sun
shines bright at noon on Christmas day, there will be a plentiful crop of
apples the following year.

Bees were thought to sing in their hives on Christmas eve, and it was
believed that bread baked then would never mould.

So prevalent was the idea that all nature unites in celebrating the great
event of Christ's birth, that it was a well received opinion in some
sections of the old world that the cattle fell on their knees at midnight
on Christmas eve.


  "Merlin! Merlin! turn again;
    Leave the oak-branch where it grew.
  Seek no more the cress to gain,
    Nor the herb of golden hue."

Merlin, the reputed great enchanter, flourished in Britain about the fifth
century. He is said to have resided in great pomp at the court of "Good
King Arthur." You all know the beautiful rhyme about the latter, if not
about "Merlin! Merlin!" etc.

  "When good King Arthur ruled the land,--
    He was a goodly king,--
  He stole three pecks of barley-meal
    To make a bag pudding."

Sublime poetry! Easy mode of obtaining the barley-meal (or Scotch
territory). Merlin attached many superstitious beliefs to some of our
medicinal plants. The "cress" is supposed to be the mistletoe. "The herb
of gold"--golden herb--was a rare plant, held in great esteem by the
peasant women of Brittany, who affirmed that it shone like gold at a
distance. It must be gathered by or before daybreak.

The most ridiculous part of the affair was in the searching for the "herb
of golden hue." None but devout females, blessed by the priests for the
occasion, were permitted the great privilege of gathering it. In order to
be successful in the search, the privileged person started before
daylight, barefooted, bareheaded, and _en chemise_. (Of course the priest
knew the individual, and when she was going.) The root must not be cut or
broken, but pulled up entire. If any one trod upon the plant, he or she
would fall into a trance, when they could understand the language of fowls
and animals--a belief not half as ridiculous as that of the present day,
that a person may fall into a trance, and understand the language of the
dead; yes, dead and decayed, the organs of speech gone! Yet thousands
believe such stuff to-day.

_The Mandrake._--Great superstition was formerly attached to this root,
and even now is, in some rural districts. The root often resembles the
lower half of a human being, and it was credulously believed it would
shriek and groan when pulled from its mother earth. This notion is
expressed in Romeo and Juliet:--

  "Mandrakes, torn out of the earth,
  That mortals, hearing them, run mad."

Again, in Henry VI.:--

  "Would curses kill, as doth the bitter mandrake's groans."


A favorite mode of uprooting this coveted plant--because of its defensive
properties, when once gained--was to fasten cords to a dog's neck, thence
to the base of the stem of the plant, and sealing their own ears with wax
to prevent hearing the groans, which was death or madness, they whipped
the unfortunate dog till he drew out the roots, or was killed in the
attempt; for the dog usually died then or soon after the cruel beating,
and the shrieks of the mandrake were supposed to have caused his death.

The Scabious, or "Devil's bit," was regarded with great superstition. "The
old fantastic charmers," said the quaint Gerarde, "say that the Devil bit
away the greater part of this root for envy, because of its many virtues
and benefits to mankind." Dr. James Smith (1799) as quaintly observes,
"The malice of the Devil has unfortunately been so successful, that no
virtue can now be found in the remainder of the root or herb."

_House Crickets._--The superstition respecting these cheerful and harmless
little _chirpers_ is remarkable. Some consider their presence a lucky
sign, others their absence more fortunate. To kill one, with some persons,
is a sign of death in the house. Very strange! They, blind fools, do not
see that the saying originated in the death of the poor little cricket.

The following very remarkable occurrence was related to the writer, as
having actually taken place at Providence, R. I., a few years since. Mrs.
D., a respectable lady, residing in the city, was reported to have been
followed about the house and up stairs by a "cricket,"--a wooden one, used
for a foot-stool. People called at her residence to inquire into the truth
of the matter; others even requested to see the remarkable phenomenon of a
cricket or stool walking off on all fours, until the lady became so
annoyed by the continual stream of credulous callers, that she inserted a
notice in the city journals denying the truth of the strange rumor. It was
supposed to have started from some neighbor's seeing or hearing a house
cricket when on a visit at the lady's house.

_The Bowing Images._--A still more amusing story is related respecting the
two images surmounting the wall each side of the gate at the residence of
Professor Gammel, of Providence. A report became current among the
school-boys of the city, that when the images _heard_ the clock strike
nine in the forenoon they bowed their heads. My informant said it was no
unusual thing to see a dozen boys waiting, with books and slates, in front
of the professor's gate, to see the images bow at nine. Being late at
school, the teacher would inquire,--

"Where have you been lingering, that you are behind time at school?"


"Been down to Professor Gammel's, waitin' to see the images bow."

Then the teacher drew his ferule or rod, and made them "bow" in submission
to a smart whipping--a sequel anticipated by the older scholars who
instituted the story.

_House Spiders._--Was there ever a child who was not taught, directly or
indirectly, that house spiders were poisonous,--that their bite was
instantaneous death? Was there ever a greater mistake? Many people have a
superstitious terror of these harmless creatures. The bite of spiders is
only poisonous to those insects which the divine economy seems to have
created for them to destroy. It is possible, as by a fly, sometimes for a
slight skin inflammation, less than a mosquito's bite, to follow the sting
of a spider on a very small child.

Let me hereby disabuse the public mind of the repugnance or horror with
which these little creatures are regarded. The Creator has evidently
placed them here for the destruction of flies and other insects, which
otherwise would completely overrun us. The fly is such a domestic
creature, that he soon deserts a house where the family is long absent.
The spider then removes also. (I have watched this proceeding, with no
little interest, in the absence of my own family.) Therefore the spider
was created to suppress a superabundance of insect life. When I have
before stated this fact, the listener has been led to inquire why the
flies were then made. We will not answer the suggestion of this "riddle"
as the Irishman did (you know that he said, "To feed the spiders, to be
sure"), but reply, that if this question is to arise in this connection,
we may as well keep on our inquiry till we arrive at the greater riddle,
"Why are _we_ created?"--to which we have no space for reply.

It is said that manufacturers of quill pens in London, being greatly
annoyed by a species of moth which infests their quills and devours the
feathers, and the common spider being endowed with an inordinate appetite
for those same moths, the penmakers and spiders are on the best of terms,
and an army of these much-maligned and persecuted insects encamp in each
pen factory, and do good service to the cause of literature as well as
trade, by protecting the quills. We may yet find that even mosquitos and
bedbugs have their uses in the wise economy of nature.

Now, when tidy housewifery requires that brush and broom should ruthlessly
demolish the webs,--the wonderful work and mechanism of the one species of
house spider,--let it be done as a necessity, not with a feeling of
repugnance to the harmless little insect; and let children be taught the
truthful lesson that nothing is made in vain.

_The House Cat_, with many, is regarded with unaccountable superstition.
It goes with the witch, particularly the black cat. No witch ever could
exist without one. This is usually the species that haunts naughty boys in
their dreams after they have eaten too heartily of cake, and other
indigestible stuff, at evening.

Cats are as old as time. At least their existence dates back as far as
man's in history, and they were formerly regarded as a sacred animal.

In ancient Egypt we find that Master Tomas, with his round face and rugged
whiskers, symbolized the sun. Preserved in the British Museum are abundant
proofs of the reverence and superstition with which the feline race was
regarded by the Egyptians. Here several of these revered Grimalkins are
mummied in spices, and perfumes, and balsams, in which they have survived
the unknown centuries of the past, "to contrast the value of a dead cat in
the land of the Pharaohs with the fate of such relics in modern times,
ignominiously consigned to the scavenger's cart, or feloniously hanging
upon a tree, the scarecrow of the orchard."

Diodorus, the Greek writer, 1st century B. C., informs us that such was
the superstitious veneration with which the Egyptians regarded cats, that
no one could ruffle the fur of Tom or Tabby with impunity, and that any
man killing a cat was put to death. (O, what a country it must have been
to sleep in!) In Ptolemy's time, while the Roman army was established in
Egypt, one of the Romans killed a cat, when the people flew to his house,
and dragged him forth, and neither the fear of the soldiers nor the
influence of the prince could deliver the unfortunate cat-slayer from the
wrath of the infuriated mob.

Mohammed had a superstition for cats, and was said to have been constantly
attended by one. A cat hospital was founded at Damascus in respect to the
prophet's predilection, which Baumgarten, the German professor (1714 to
1762) found filled with feline inmates. Turkey maintained several public
establishments of this kind.

Howell the Good, king of Wales, 10th century, legislated for the cat
propagation, and it would seem that the race was limited, since a week old
kitten sold for a penny,--a great deal of money in those days,--and
fourpence for one old enough to catch a mouse. The following ludicrous
penalty was attached to a cat-stealer:--

"If any person stole a cat that guarded the prince's granaries he was to
forfeit a milch ewe, fleece, and lamb; or, in lieu of these, as much wheat
as, when poured upon the cat, suspended by the tail, her head touching the
floor, would form a heap high enough to bury her to the tail tip."

This would seem rather hard on poor pussy, even to threatening her

Huc, in his "Chinese Empire," tells us that the Chinese peasantry are
accustomed to tell the noon hour from the narrowing and dilation of the
pupils of pussy's eyes; they are said to be drawn down to a hair's-breadth
precisely at twelve o'clock. This horological utility, however, by no
means gives her a fixed tenure in a Chinese home. There she enters into
the category of edible animals, and, having served the purpose of a
cat-clock, is seen hanging side by side with the carcasses of dogs, rats,
and mice in the shambles of every city and town of the celestial empire.

Descending to the middle ages, a mal-odor of magic taints the fair fame of
our _protégés_, more especially attaching itself to black or brindled
cats, which were commonly found to be the "familiars" of witches; or,
rather, their "familiars" were supposed to take the form of these animals;
and hence, in nearly all judicial records of these unhappy delusionists,
demons in the shape of cats are sure to figure. The witches in "Macbeth"
(for what impression of the times he lived in has Shakspeare lost?)
awaited the triple mewing of the brindled cat to begin their incantations;
and more scientific pretenders to a knowledge of the occult arts are
usually represented as attended in their laboratories by a feline

Fragments of a superstitious faith in the magical, or what was till
comparatively recent times so nearly allied with it, the medicinal
attributes of the animal, still surviving in certain rustic and remote
districts of England, where the brains of a cat of the proper color
(black, of course) are esteemed a cure for epilepsy; and where, within our
memory, such a faith induced a wretched being, in the shape of woman, mad
with despair and rage, to tear the living heart from one of these animals,
that, by sticking it full of pins and roasting it, she might bring back
the regard of a man, brutal and perfidious as herself. Such formulæ are
frequently to be met with in the works of ancient naturalists and
physicians, and were, doubtlessly, handed down from generation to
generation, and locally acted upon in desperate cases.

It is on evidence that more than one old woman has been condemned by our
wise ancestors to pay the penalty of her presumed league with Satan in a
fiery death, upon no better testimony than the fact that Harper,
Rutterkin, or Robin had been seen entering her dwelling in the shape of a
black cat. But if, in ancient times, old women, and young ones, too, have
been brought to grief through the cats they fostered, certain it is that
these creatures have suffered horrible reprisal at the hands of certain
vagrants of the sex in our own.

Our _Felis domestica_ has, for a long time, labored under the serious
disadvantage of a traditional character. Buffon sums her up as a
"faithless friend, brought in to oppose a still more insidious enemy;" and
Goldsmith--who, it is well known, became a writer of natural history "upon
compulsion," and had neither time nor opportunity for personal observation
of the habits and instincts of the creatures he so charmingly
describes--followed in the track of the great naturalist, and echoes this
ungracious definition.

Boys have a natural contempt for cats, and picking them up by the tail,
tossing them over the wall, or tying old tin pots to their caudal end, to
see how fast they can run, are among their most trifling sports at the
expense of Tom and Tabby. I have known a cruel boy to roll a cat in
turpentine, and set fire to her. Few men have any feeling but repugnance
towards the feline race. The exceptions are in the past.

Cardinal Wolsey's cat sat on the arm of his chair of state, or took up her
position at the back of his throne when he held audiences; and the cat of
the poet Petrarch, after death, occupied, embalmed, a niche in his studio;
indeed, poets appear to be more susceptible of pussy's virtues and graces
than other persons; and she has, on many occasions, been made the subject
of their verse, the sentiment of which fully expresses a sense of the
maligned animal's faithfulness and affection.

Tasso, reduced to such a strait of poverty as to be obliged to borrow a
crown from a friend to subsist on through a week, turns for mute sympathy
to his faithful cat, and disburdens his case in a charming sonnet, in
which he entreats her to assist him through the night with the lustre of
her moon-like eyes, having no candles by which he could see to write his


An editor facetiously says, "We have here among us at this time an
addition to the M. D.'s in the shape of two cat doctors, who have the
terrible idea that they were put upon this earth for the sole object of
doctoring cats, and now the mortality list shows, at the least
calculation, that no less than eighteen cats and two kittens have
travelled to that bourn from which no passengers have ever yet returned,
and all because they were the unlucky sons and daughters of ye night
prowlers who had been sacrificed for the good of the future cat


I think some reason for the present errors and superstitions attached to
cats, may be attributed to the _cat_-adioptric qualities of their eyes and
fur. At night their eyes often shine with phosphoric light, and rubbing
their fur with the human hand causes it to emit electric sparks,
particularly in very cold weather. They are supposed to partake of
ghostly, or witch-like qualities, because they can see in the night time.
Fish scales, as well as the flesh of fish, contain a phosphoric
principle--there is no witchery about such--which can be seen best through
the dark. The fur of other animals besides the cat contain electric
qualities. Humans possess it to a greater or lesser extent. The eye of the
cat--as also the owl--is made, in the divine economy, expressly for night
prowling. The back, or reflecting coat (retina), is white, or light, that
it may reflect dark objects. In man, and most animals, it is dark. A
light-complexioned person can (_cæteris paribus_) see better at night than
one who is dark. In a strong light, it is reversed. So much for

Our cat-alogue would be incomplete without this cat-agraph, and we should
"cat-ch it," hereafter, from some cat-echist, if we here discontinued our
cat-enary cat-egory, without some little cat-ch relative to the domestic
and redeeming qualities of this unappreciated cat-tle (excuse the

Webster says the cat is a deceitful animal. Webster don't know. She
certainly has large cautiousness and secretiveness. Man, with the same
secretiveness, with the same neglect and abuse that Tom receives, will
become doubly deceitful. Treat him kindly and affectionately, and he will
return it. Subject to everybody's kicks, cuffs, and suspicion, the cat
necessarily becomes shy, ugly, and appears deceitful. So does a child. The
cat is fond of sweet scents, and pries into drawers and cupboards, oftener
to gratify her sense of smell than taste. Cats are very fond of music, and
occasionally go upon the piano keys to make the strings vibrate. Depending
upon their own exertions for a livelihood, they become thieves. They may,
by kind instruction, soon be taught to know and keep their own places.

The healthy cat is neat and systematic. Children may be taught a useful
lesson by noticing that the tabby washes her face and hands after meals,
and never comes to her repast with them dirty.

Cats are sometimes good fish-catchers, as well as mousers and
bird-catchers, often plunging into water to secure their favorite aliment.
Their love of praise is exhibited in their general tendency to bring in
their prey, and place it at your feet for your approbation. Give them the
notice due them, and they will redouble their efforts.

It is a vulgar error to suppose their washing over the head is a sign of
rain, or that you can tell the time of tide by their eye-pupils, or that
they can go through a solid wall, have nine lives, or suck away a child's

The cat, as a sanitary means, should be domesticated, especially with
scrofulous children and females. Either by their absorbent or repelling
powers they assist nature in eradicating that almost universal

Teach children that "God has created nothing in vain," and nothing which
will harm them if rightly used.

Here we bid good by to Tom and Tabby.

_The Owl._--The superstition which has hung about this very harmless bird
is liable to soon cease in the extermination of the creature itself.

"Was you born in the woods to be scared by an owl?" my grandmother once
sarcastically inquired when I was frightened from the barn by an old owl


[Illustration: "WHO--A'--YOO?"]

I acknowledge I was a great coward; but I had heard the old women affirm
more than once that it was a sign of ill luck or death to hear one of
these cat-faced, cat-seeing, mousing creatures cry by day; so I fled from
the barn, while the old owl turned his head sidewise, as he sat on a beam,
trying to penetrate the light, repeating, "Who--a'--yoo?" It was a sign of
death, for my uncle shot the owl.

Magpies are made the subject of superstition. To see a single one
strutting across your path is a sad mishap. There is luck in three, or
more, however.

_Holy Water._--Church superstitions and rites are not within our
province, unless they are objectionable in a sanitary point of view. If
the holy water is clean, it is just as good as any other pure water; but I
have seen it poured upon my Irish patients--years ago in Hartford and
elsewhere--when there were "wrigglers" in it from long exposure in an
unstopped bottle or tea-cup. I approve of holy water, therefore, in large
quantities, with other rites, tending to a sanitary object. Have plenty of
water--with soap.


_Bells._--Few useful articles have been held in greater reverence and
superstition. Their origin is of great antiquity. The first Jewish priests
adorned their blue tunics with golden bells, as also did the Persian
kings. The Greeks put bells upon criminals going to execution, as a
warning, as it was an ill omen to see a criminal and his executioner
walking. The superstition respecting bells began more particularly with
the tenth century, when the priests exorcised and blessed them, giving
them the names of saints, making the rabble believe that when they were
rung for those ceremonies they had the power to drive devils out of the
air, making them quake and tremble; also to restrain the power of the
devil over a corpse; hence bell-ringing at funerals.

There are many legends wherein the evil spirits' dislike to bells is

As "the devil hates holy water," so he does bell-ringing.

Dr. Warner, a clergyman of the Church of England, in his "Hampshire,"
enumerates the virtues of a bell, by translating some lines from the
"Helpe to Discourse."

  "Men's deaths I tell by doleful knell;
  Lightning and thunder I break asunder;
  On Sabbath all to church I call;
  The sleepy head I raise from bed;
  The winds so fierce I doe disperse;
  Men's cruel rage I do asswage."

I think the beautiful music discoursed by a chime of bells would be more
effectual "men's cruel rage" to tranquillize, than a battery of seven
cannons. Aside from all superstitious notions, there is an irresistible
charm about the music of bells, and I rejoice that they are gradually
being redeemed from the superstition and monopoly of one ignorant
denomination, as the sacred cross may be, to the use and blessing of all

_Fear of Thunder and Lightning._--These have ever been sources of
superstitious terror. The ancients considered thunder and lightning as
direct manifestations of divine wrath; hence whatever the lightning struck
was accursed. The corpses of persons so killed were allowed to remain
where they fell, to the great inconvenience, often, of the living.

The electricity which plays about high poles and spires was formerly
attributed to spirits. "Fiery spirits or devils," says old Burton, "are
such as commonly work by blazing stars, fire-drakes," etc. "Likewise they
counterfeit suns and moons ofttimes, and sit on ships' masts." The
electric sparks upon the metal points of soldiers' spears were regarded as
omens of no small importance.

In some parts of Europe, up to the last century, it was a custom to ring
bells during a thunder-storm, to drive away evil spirits; but this act
often was the cause of death, by the exposure of persons to the points of
attraction, and the conducting power of moist ropes and metallic wires. On
the night of April 15, 1718, the lightning struck twenty-four steeples
while the bells were ringing. In July of the following year, while the
bells were tolling at a funeral celebration in the Chateau Vieux,
lightning struck the steeple, killing nine persons and injuring
twenty-two. Statistics show that numerous deaths were caused by
bell-ringing in England and France, during the last century, to drive away
imaginary spirits.

The saint usually invoked on these occasions was St. Barnabas.

The houseleek and bay tree were supposed to afford protection from

"The thunder has soured the beer," or the milk, is a common saying; and I
once saw a piece of iron lying across the beer-barrel to keep away
thunder. A heavy atmosphere may suddenly sour beer or milk.

Creeping three times under the communion table while the chimes were
striking, at midnight, was believed to cure fits, as late as 1835.

Glass, stone, and feathers are non-conductors to electricity. Persons very
susceptible to electric currents need give themselves no fear, and no more
caution need be taken than we take to protect ourselves against other
objects of danger. Lightning will not strike one out of doors, unless he
is near a point of high attraction,--under a tree, or pole,--or has about
him, exposed, some metallic substance, or some very wet article. Houses
under or near tall trees, or with suitable lightning-rods, are safe
enough. A feather bed, particularly one insulated by glass-rollers, or
plates, under the posts, and not touching the wall, is a perfectly safe
place for invalids and nervous people who are susceptible to electricity.
The pulse of such is often increased in frequency before a thunder-storm.
Let such first have no fear. See God in the storm and lightning as only a
saving power. I know a girl who "tears around like mad" for a man at the
approach of a thunder-storm. When finding one, she feels perfectly safe.
If not, she hides in the cellar till the storm abates.

_Unlucky Days._--The superstition respecting unlucky Friday is well known.
Some cynical bachelors say it is unlucky because named for a woman. Monday
was also so named. I can find no account of this superstition until after
the first century A. D. It is said that our Saviour was crucified on
Friday--a day of fear and trembling, of earthquakes and divers remarkable
phenomena; but that day is now as uncertain as the day of his birth, in
the various changes of the calendar, heathen naming of the days to suit
their notions, and the great uncertainty of chronology. No doubt Christ
arose from the dead on the then first day of the week, and was crucified
the third day before the resurrection; but what day of our present week
who can tell? If on Friday, it should be counted far from an unlucky day.
Sailors are particularly superstitious as to sailing on Friday,
notwithstanding Columbus sailed on Friday, and discovered America on that

The French believe in unlucky Friday. Lord Byron, Dr. Johnson, and other
authors and poets, are said to have so believed. Shakspeare, Scott,
Goldsmith, Bacon, Sir Francis Drake, Napoleon, and many other great men,
were pretty thoroughly tinged with superstition; the latter, it is said,
believed in "luck," or destiny.

The future of children is yet believed to depend much upon the day of the
week on which they are born.

  "Monday's child is fair in face;
  Tuesday's child is full of grace;
  Wednesday's child is full of woe;
  Thursday's child has far to go;
  Friday's child works hard for its living;
  Saturday's child is loving and giving;
  And a child that's born on Christmas day
  Is fair, and wise, and good, and gay."[7]

This, of course, is all nonsense--or rather the belief in such signs--and
one day is equally as good as another for nature's work, or in which to
fulfil the requirements of God and nature. Let no mother, or her who is
about to become a mother, put faith in old nurses' whims. Their brains are
full of all such fantastic notions, which are too often revealed in the
sick room, and the effect is often detrimental to the peace and happiness
of the mother, and at times dangerous to the life of the invalid.


The monks of the middle ages--great theorists--divided the kiss into
fifteen distinct and separate orders.

1. The decorous or modest kiss.

2. The diplomatic, or kiss of policy.

3. The spying kiss, to ascertain if a woman had drank wine.

4. The slave kiss.

5. The kiss infamous--a church penance.

6. The slipper kiss, practised towards tyrants.

7. The judicial kiss.

8. The feudal kiss.

9. The religious kiss (kissing the cross).

10. The academical kiss (on joining a solemn brotherhood).

11. The hand kiss.

12. The Judas kiss.

13. The medical kiss--for the purpose of healing some sickness.

14. The kiss of etiquette.

15. The kiss of love--the only real kiss. But this was also to be
variously considered; viz., given by ardent enthusiasm, as by lovers; by
matrimonial affection; or, lastly, between two men--an awful kiss, tasting
like sandwiches without butter or meat.

[Illustration: THE MODEST KISS.]


The reign of superstition is not yet ended.

It is impossible for any great catastrophe, involving loss of property or
life, to occur without a certain superstitious class harping upon the
event as a judgment of God upon the wickedness of the victims. If a great
city is swept away by the devouring elements, we hear the cry that "an
offended Deity has visited the 'Babylon of the West' with his vengeance
for her wickedness." Some penurious wretch takes it up, and says, "I'll
give nothing, then, to the victims of the fire. It is God's judgment; I
won't interfere." A rich man is murdered in cold blood, and the same howl
goes up, "It is the judgment of God upon him for heaping up riches." The
fact of his riches going to thousands of poor artisans, actors, musicians,
widows, orphans, and "western Babylonian sufferers," goes for nothing with
such people. These same superstitious wretches have not yet done
asserting that the assassination of President Lincoln was in judgment for
his attending a theatre.

Twenty-five persons were killed in a church at Bologna, recently, while
kneeling in prayer. Was this an expression of God's wrath upon

"The laws by which God governs the universe are inexorable. The frost will
blight, the fire destroy, the storms will ravage, disease and death will
do their appointed work, though narrow-mindedness and bigotry misconstrue
their intent. All things are for good. If natural laws are violated, the
known and inevitable result follows."

       *       *       *       *       *

I have already exceeded the space to which this chapter was limited, and
there are a thousand superstitious beliefs and practices which are not
herein enumerated nor explained. But rest assured that nothing exists
without its uses, without the knowledge of the divine Author, and nothing
supernatural does or ever did exist amongst natural beings. There is
nothing within this world but what God has placed for man's good. There is
nothing here past man's ability to fathom. God is love.

What there is beyond this world, we shall find out quite soon enough.




    "His fancy lay to travelling."--L'ESTRANGE.


One might say, with some propriety, that these characters--travelling
doctors--should have been classed under the heading of our first chapter,
as "humbugs;" but if we should put all under that head that belong there,
O, where would the chapter end? As "all is not gold that glitters," so
neither, on the other hand, is there anything so bad that no virtue can be
found in it. No heart is so utterly depraved as to prevent any good
thought or deed from emanating therefrom, though sometimes the good is
quite imperceptible to us short-sighted mortals.

As the majority of physicians "turned" out of our medical colleges, or of
those in practice in our cities, are unfit to have intrusted to their care
the health and lives of our families, friends, or ourselves, so the
majority of travelling doctors are to be reckoned equally untrustworthy;
no more so.

If the blessed Saviour should return to earth, and travel from town to
city, as he did eighteen hundred years ago, healing the sick, I really
think there would be a less number believing in him now than then. Less
gratitude for his marvellous cures there could not be; for then some of
the miserable wretches, whom he healed free of charge, did not so much as
return him thanks. This may be said of some of our patients at this day.

Let a medical man of ever so great reputation travel, and he is lost. A
band of angels, on a healing mission, would stand no chance with a people
who only expect humbugs to visit them. The Shakspearian inquiry would at
once and repeatedly be put,--

"How chance it they travel? Their _residence_, both in reputation and
profit, was better both ways!"

Let us view a few travelling doctors through the _public_ eye:--

  "So shall I dare to give him shape and hue,
  And bring his mazy-running tricks to view;
  From humbug's minions catch the scattered rays,
  That in one focus they may brightly blaze.

  "I'd give our (nameless) knight, before he starts,
  A tireless mind, where never Conscience smarts;
  An oily tongue, which word should never speak
  To call a blush to Satan's brazen cheek;
  With, yet, a power of lungs the weak to move,
  Which lung-quiescent ... might approve;
  A changing face, which e'en might Homer feign,
  A ton of brass for every ounce of brain.

  "Then launch him forth, right cunningly to rage
  Through the thin shams of this enlightened age;
  To tell the people they are lords of earth,
  And pick their pockets while he lauds their worth;
  Drug men with folly, which no clime engrosses,
  And sense deal out in homeopathic doses;
  And making goodness to his projects bend,
  With all right aims an ultra spirit blend.

         *       *       *       *       *

  "He leagues with those who number in their trade
  A falsehood told for every sixpence made;
  To Mammon mortgage all they have of heart,
  To keep their wealth, with priceless honor part.
  The fear of God the smallest of their fears,
  Rolling in wealth, but bankrupt in ideas;
  To save their purse, their souls contented lose,
  And count all right, if worldly gain accrues;
  Who, when they die, no memory leave behind,
  But in the curses of their cheated kind!

  "With these Sir Humbug riches seeks to gain,
  And feels his way through lab'rinths of chicane;
  Embezzles, swindles, lies, until at last
  The eye of Justice on his crime is cast,
  When, drugged with wealth, he quits our plundered shore,
  And Texas boasts one fiery hero more."



The worst specimen of a travelling doctor I ever knew first appeared at
R., one of the principal towns of Vermont, a few years ago. His name was
Mariam; or that was what he called himself. He was a Canadian by birth,
about twenty-five years of age, short, dark-complexioned, and claimed to
be the seventh son of somebody. He was very illiterate, not being able to
write a prescription, or his name, for that matter, when he came to R.

I visited his rooms at the hotel, after he had been in town some weeks,
and noticed, among other things, that his table was strewn with sheets of
paper, upon which he had been practising writing his signature. He opened
here boldly. He sent out thousands of circulars in the various trains of
cars running from R., distributing them in person, on the Poor Richard's
principle, that "if you want your work done, do it; if not, send." He
inserted cards in the two village papers, containing the most illiterate
and preposterous statements, and hundreds flocked to see him. Imagine his
knowledge, for he assured me, to whom he opened his heart in confidence,
that he never read a page of a medical work in his life.

He first claimed to cure by the laying on of hands; but as he possessed no
magnetic powers, he gradually abandoned that deception. As he could not
write a prescription, and knew nothing of compounding medicines, he would
go with a patient to a druggist's, and looking over the names of drugs on
the bottles exposed on the shelves, order two or three articles at random,
and, as one druggist assured me, of the most opposite properties; such as
tincture of iron and iodide of potash, etc. (NOTE. The acid in the M.
Tinct. iron sets the iodine free.)

His clothes were very seedy, "and the crown of his hat went flip flap,"
and his toes were healthy, "being able to get out to the air," when he
came to R. Soon he was "in luck," and a nice suit of clothes, a new silk
hat, and boots, speedily graced his not inelegant person. I saw him both
before and after the transformation.

The following is a true copy of one of his certificates, taken from his


    "This is to certify that Dr. Mariam cured me of an immense _ovarian
    tumor of the left shoulder_, weighing five pounds and a half, from
    which I suffered," etc., etc.

    (Signed)      Mrs. ---- ----.

    "MALONE, N. Y."

On this item being ridiculed in the papers of R., Mariam changed it to a
"rose cancer," and continued the certificate.

Mariam had been practising in Malone, N. Y., also at Whitehall, where, I
was informed by a newspaper man, he was arrested for obtaining money
under false pretences. He, however, escaped and fled, to practise his
deceptions elsewhere. It was reported that he shuffled off his mortal coil
by finally taking two ounces of laudanum, after the civil authorities had
placed him comfortably in the county jail, where he had the pleasure of
passing many days in viewing the world through an iron-barred window, and
reflecting on his eventful career.


In remarkable contrast with the above described ignoramus, we present the
following description, from two contributors, of an extraordinary
personage, known for a time as "The Singing Doctor."

The "Hoosac Valley News" tells this story:--

"One day late in the autumn of 1860, while the rain poured in torrents,
and the wind howled fearfully along the hills of old Plymouth, I was
obliged to drive to Watertown. The 'Branch' was swollen to the river's
size, and foamed madly down over the sombre rocks, while above my head, on
the other side of the road, the trees rocked and swayed, as though about
to fall into the seething, roaring waters below.

"Above, or mingled with the clashing of the elements, I heard some voice,
as if singing. It struck me with wonder. I stopped to listen. It became
more distinct, as if approaching. What was it? Who could it be, singing
amid the fearful tempest?

"In the midst of my surmising, the object of my wonder came in sight,
around a turn in the road just ahead of me.

"It was the Singing Doctor, whom I instantly recognized by his little old
white horse, as well as by his own voice, to which I had before listened.
The little animal was drenched like a 'drowned rat.' The doctor, in his
open buggy, with no umbrella,--for the sweeping wind precluded the
possibility of holding one,--and the driving rain pelting mercilessly
upon his face and head, was singing.

"'You must be a happy man,' I exclaimed, 'to be singing amid this awful

"'Why not?' he replied. 'It is always better to be singing than sighing;'
and we passed on through the dangerous defile, and separated....

"Last summer, as I journeyed through the Green Mountain State on a
pleasure excursion, I met, on a romantic mountain pass, a magnificent
turnout,--a splendid top carriage, drawn by four beautiful, jet black
Morgan mares,--which did not attract my attention so much, however, as the
music within the carriage. It was the Singing Doctor again, with his two
little daughters, singing.

"The handsome and good-natured driver offered me the best half of the
road; but still I lingered till the last notes of the song died away, when
I drove past the 'Sanatorian,' wondering to myself what singing had to do
with his increasing prosperity."

The remainder of the sketch is from the pen of a lady in Vermont:--

"I think it was during the spring of 1867 that our little 'city on the
lake' was visited by the above remarkable character. We are often visited
by migratory physicians, who are usually of the 'come-and-go' order; but
this one burst upon us like a comet, with dazzling splendor, briefly
announced, but at once proclaimed his determination of returning with the
regularity of the full moon--repeating his visits every month. Few
believed his last arrangement could be carried out, as his predecessors
had generally fleeced the invalid public to their utmost at one visit, and
if they ever again appeared, it would be under another name and phase. It
soon became evident that one visit could not repay the outlay, for no
ready posting-board was large enough to hold the agent's posters, which
were printed in strips some twenty-five feet in length, and his
advertisements occupied one, two, or more columns of the public journals,
while he flooded the houses with his pictorial circulars.

[Illustration: THE SINGING DOCTOR.]

"He was merely announced as 'The Sanatorian,' but was indorsed (true or
false?) by some of New England's most respectable people. He came in grand
style, as the papers briefly announced, thus:--

"'_The Sanatorian._ This distinguished physician proposes visiting us on
the 18th inst.... The doctor comes in great style.... He has the finest
carriage, and the gayest four black Morgan horses we have ever had the
pleasure of riding after.'


"The driver, a handsome fellow, with full brown whiskers, curling hair,
and a 'heavenly blue eye,' had taken the editor and writer of this last
paragraph out to an airing. The team was photographed by the artists, and
many of the best citizens had the pleasure of a ride in the easy carriage,
and behind the swift ponies.

"The doctor usually remained _incog._ to the public. If they wished to see
him, they must go to his 'parlors' at the best hotels. They did go. And
now the most remarkable part of the affair remains to be recorded. An
editor who interviewed him reports thus: 'The doctor rocks in a
rocking-chair,--in fact, never sits in anything else,--or arises and walks
the floor, and instantly, _at a glance_, tells every patient each pain and
ache better than the patient could describe them himself. 'Are you a
clairvoyant?' the editor asked.

"'_Faugh! No, sir._ Clairvoyancy is a humbug; merely power of mind over
mind. A clairvoyant can go no farther than your _own_ knowledge leads him,
unless he guesses the rest,' was his emphatic reply.

"The same patients, disguised, visited him twice, but he would tell the
same story to them as before. His diagnosis was truly wonderful.

"'What is your mode of treatment, or what school do you represent?'

"'There hangs my "school,"' he would reply, pointing to a New York college
diploma. 'That, however, cures nobody. What cures one patient kills
another. My opathy is to cure my patient by _any means_, regardless of

"To some he gave 'nothing but water,' the patients affirmed; to others,
pills, powders, syrups, or prescriptions. Well, he came the next month, to
our surprise, and to the joy of most of his patients. He did the greatest
amount of advertising on the first visit, doing less and less puffing each
time. The rich, as well as the poor, visited him. He charged all one
dollar. Then, if they declined treatment, he was satisfied; but if they
doubted, or were sceptical, he refused all prescription. He advertised
quite as much by telling one man he was past all help, and would die in
eight weeks, which he did, as by curing the mayor of the city of a cough
that jeoparded his life. If a poor woman had no money, he treated her just
as cheerfully. Men he would not. His cures are said to have been
remarkable. He made some eleven visits, and his patrons increased at each
visit; but the novelty wore off before he disappeared. He was said to be
an excellent musician, an author and composer, a man who was well read (a
physician here who often conversed with him so informed the writer), could
translate Latin and French, and converse with the mutes. When the day
closed, he would see no more patients, but devoted his time to friends, to
writing, or to music. Often the hotel parlor would be thronged at evening
with the musical portion of the community. In personal appearance he was
nothing remarkable,--medium size, wore full beard, had a sharp black eye,
a quick, nervous movement, and his voice was not unpleasing to the ear.

"Why he--such a man--should travel, no one knew. He had an object,
doubtless, to accomplish, realized it, and retired upon his true name, and
from whence he came."


The writer has many times seen a fellow who travelled the country,
nicknamed "the Spanker." He was a tall, lean, lank-looking Yankee, with
red hair and whiskers, a light gray eye, and claimed to cure all diseases
by "spatting" the patient, or the diseased part thereof, with cold water
on his bare palm, the use of a battery, and a pill. He had served as
door-keeper to a famous doctor, who created a _furore_, a few years since,
by the exercise of his magnetic powers, making cripples to throw down
their crutches, and walk off; the deaf to hear, the blind to see; or, at
least, many of them _thought_ they did, for the time being, which answered
the doctor's immediate purpose. But one fine morning the magnetic doctor
found his door-keeper was among the "missing." He had learned the trade,
and set up on his own account.

This fellow was as ignorant of physic as Jack Reynolds was of Scripture.
Reynolds, who killed Townsend in 1870, when under sentence of death,
listened attentively for the first time to the story of the Saviour's
crucifixion in atonement for our sins, when he rather startled the
visitors, as well as the eminent divine, with the inquiry, "Did that
affair happen lately?"

He was not, it is evident, conversant with Scripture. "The Spanker" was
not read in medicine. His treatment was the most ridiculous and repulsive
of the absurdities of the nineteenth century. The patient was stripped of
his clothes, and often so severely spanked as to compel him, or her, to
cry out with pain.


The beautiful young wife of the Rev. Mr. F., of Vermont, was brought to
the writer for medical advice. The patient was carefully examined, and the
minister taken aside, and assured that the lady was past all help; she was
in the last stages of consumption; that she would, in all probability, die
with the falling of the autumn leaves, or within two months.

The following day the minister carried the patient to the spanker doctor,
who declared her case quite curable. The minister employed him to treat
the patient.

A few weeks later I saw the minister, seated on the doorstep of his
house, bowed in grief. He was on the lookout for me, as I was expected
that way. He called to me, and asked if I would view the corpse of his
once beautiful wife. I dismounted, and entered the house of mourning.
There lay the poor, fair young face, within the narrow confines of the
coffin. The cheeks were hollow, the eyes sunken, and the nostrils closed,
and I doubt if any air had passed through the left one for
weeks--pathognomonic indications of that fell disease, consumption.

"She did not live as long, doctor, as you thought she would, in August,"
said Mr. F.

"No, sir: I did not then make allowance for the harsh treatment of Dr.
----, that, I am advised, soon followed."

[Illustration: A VICTIM OF THE SPANKER.]

"O, sir," he exclaimed, in agony of soul, while the tears coursed freely
down his cheeks, and fell upon the coffin,--"O, sir, God only knows what
the poor thing suffered. Dr. Youran said the spatting and cold water
treatment would save her, and I was anxious to try it, and did, till the
poor, dear soul begged us, with tearful eyes, not to punish her further,
but to let her die in peace."

The ignorant scoundrel is still at large, preying upon the invalid public.
It is a burning shame that the laxity of our laws permits such ignorant,
heartless wretches to go about the country, imposing upon the credulity of

The invalids, as we said in our opening, expect to be humbugged, and will
believe no honest statement of a case and its probabilities, but will too
often swallow the lies and braggadocio, and finally the prescriptions, of
ignorant charlatans and impostors.


Mr. Jeaffreson, in the "Book about Doctors," before often quoted, says of
the English travelling doctor of the last century,--

"When Dr. Pulsfeel was tired of London, or felt the want of country air,
he adopted the pleasant occupation of fleecing rustic simplicity. For his
journeys he provided himself with a stout and fast-trotting hack--stout,
that it might bear weighty parcels of medical composition; fast, that in
case the ungrateful rabble should commit the indecorum of stoning their
benefactor as an impostor,--a mishap that would occasionally
occur,--escape might be effected.

"In his circuit the doctor took in all the fairs, markets, wakes, and
public festivals, not disdaining to stop an entire week, or even month, at
an assize town, where he found the sick anxious to benefit by his
marvellous wisdom.

"His manner of making himself known in a new place was to ride boldly into
the thickest crowd of a town, and inform his listeners that he had come
straight from the Duke of So-and-so, or the Emperor of Wallachia, out of
an innate desire to do good to his fellow-creatures. He was born in that
very town. He had left it when an orphan boy, to seek his fortune in the
great world. His adventures had been wonderful. He had visited the Sultan
and the Great Mogul; and the King of Mesopotamia had tried to persuade him
to tarry and keep the Mesopotamians out of the devil's clutches by the
offer of a thousand pieces of gold a month. He had cured thousands of
emperors, kings, queens, princes, grand duchesses, and generalissimos. He
sold all kinds of medicaments--dyes for the hair, washes for the
complexion, lotions, rings, and love charms, powders to stay the palsy,
fevers, croup, and jaundice. His powder was expensive; he couldn't help
that; it was made of pearl-dust and dried violet leaves from the middle of
Tartary. Still, he would sell his friends a package at bare cost,--one
crown,--as he did not want to make money out of them.

"Nothing could surpass the impudence of the fellow's lies, save the
admiration with which his credulous auditors swallowed his assertions.
There they stood--stout yeomen, drunken squires, gay peasant girls, gawky
hinds and gabbling crones, deeming themselves in luck to have lived to
behold such a miracle of wisdom. Possibly a young student, home from
Oxford, with the rashness of inexperience, would smile scornfully, and cry
out, 'Quack!' (quack-salver, from the article he used to cure wens); but
such interruption was usually frowned down by the orthodox friends of the
student, and he was warned that he would come to no good end, if he went
on as he had begun, a contemptuous unbeliever, and a mocker of wise men."


Mr. Dayton, vocalist, told me of a fellow who cut a swell in various
capacities a few years ago. He first knew him as a fiddler at fairs. The
next time he turned up was under the following circumstances:--

"With Madam L. and some other renowned vocalist, he was giving concerts,
when one day their pianist was taken suddenly sick. Madam was in great

[Illustration: THE MUSICAL DOCTOR.]

"'What shall I do? The concert cannot be postponed, and we cannot sing
unless we have an accompaniment,' exclaimed the lady.

"I looked about, made some inquiry,--it was in a small town,--but no
competent piano player could be found.

"'We must abandon the concert,' I said, which seemed inevitable, when
there came a sharp knock at the door.

"'Come in,' I called.

"The door opened, and instead of a servant, as I had expected, there
appeared a tall, stout specimen of the _genus homo_, with large black
eyes, and long, dark hair flowing down on to his shoulders, making his
best bow, and what he doubtless intended as his sweetest smile.

"I offered him a chair, and inquired how I could serve him.

"'You want a piano player?'


"'Well, I will undertake to assist you in your strait. Allow me to see
your programme,' he continued, very patronizingly, waiting for us to make
no reply whatever.

"'Are you--that is, do you play rapidly, and at sight?' asked madam.

"He replied only by a gesture, a sort of pitiful contempt for the
ignorance of any person who should ask _him_ such a question....

"Half past seven came, and we went on the stage. I do not know what the
fellow's prelude was; I was otherwise engaged; but his accompaniments were
made up, and after he had heard the note sung to which he should have
accompanied,--O, it was a horrid jargon, a consecutive blast of discords,
a tempest of incomprehensibleness.

[Illustration: ENTHUSIASM.]

"Madam caught her breath at the first pausing-place, and signalled him to
stop. He took a side glance at her, misinterpreted her, and played on the
louder. It became ludicrous in the extreme. He played the minor strains,
or what should have been minor, in the major key. He only stopped when he
saw us leave the stage. The audience cheered. He took it all as a
compliment to himself as a pianist, stopped, and made his most profound
obeisance to the house. They laughed and cheered the harder. He mistook it
for an _encore_, bowed again, and returned to the piano. Then the house
came down. They stamped, they laughed, they shouted. The boys in the
gallery cat-called; the building fairly shook. I ran back to see what it
was all about, and there was the pianist (?) beating furiously at the
keys, the perspiration pouring in streams from his face. But his playing
could only be _seen_ to be appreciated; it could not be heard for the
stamping of the audience. He finally desisted, and with repeated halts and
smiles, he bowed himself off the stage.

"His grand _debut_ and retirement upon the stage occurred the same night.
Madam would not permit him to go on again, and we sang the duets from
---- without accompaniment. I think the fellow knew nothing of music; he
had 'cheeked' it right through.

"Perhaps it was two years afterwards--I was staying at the B. Hotel,
Maine--when I heard a deal of talk about a great doctor then in town.
After dinner the first day, I noticed a man sauntering leisurely from the
dining-hall in embroidered slippers, white silk stockings, black pants,
gaudy dressing-gown, with long hair falling down over his shoulders. I
thought I recognized that face. I approached him after a while, and called
him by name.

"'What? Why, I think you are mistaken. I do not know you, sir,' he
stammered; and then I knew he had recognized me.

"'O, yes; I am Dayton. You remember you were our pianist once in a strait,
in S.'

"'O, ah! Come up to my room,' he said, leading the way.

"I followed, when he told me he was doing a good thing at the practice of
medicine about the principal towns of the state, and begged I would say
nothing about his former occupation. He stated to me that he had been to
Europe, and had been studying medicine meantime, which I have since
ascertained was entirely untrue."

And this was the fellow over whom the town was running wild.

The idea of some men trying to become good physicians is as ridiculously
absurd as Horace Greeley's farming, or trying to ascertain if "cundurango
is explosive." The requisite qualities are not in them. They may keep
along a few years, or possibly, in communities where there is no
competition, succeed in making the people believe they are as good as the
common run, and thus succeed on brass instead of brains.

Some of these brainless travelling impostors employ a female or two to
precede them from place to place, and make diligent inquiry when the great
doctor who performed such marvellous cures in some adjoining town
mentioned was coming there. Thus putting it in the shape of an inquiry, it
was less likely to excite suspicion.

Two females--one an elderly, lady-like looking woman, the other younger,
and anything but lady-like--travelled for a doctor, on a salary, during
the summer and autumn of 1868. A lady whose occupation took her from town
to town, seeing the two females at various hotels where the doctor was
advertised, inveigled the younger one into the confession, in her bad
temper, and thus I got my evidence. Another travels on his hair; another
on his face; and a fourth on his free advice and treatment; while a fifth
succeeds by absurdity of dress.




    "History, so warm on meaner themes,
    Is cold on this."--COWPER'S TASK.

    "Let no one say that his task is o'er,
    That bonds of earth are for him no more,
    Until by some kind or holy deed
    His name from forgetfulness is freed;
    Until by words from his lips or pen,
    Dying, he's 'missed' from the ranks of men."
                                            ALICE LEE.


Ill-clad poverty, benumbed with cold, was abroad alone, exposed to that
winter's night, as the white snow fleeced the frost-hardened ground. But
never mind earth's cold bosom. The rich man's heart warms _him_, making
him merry, however blows the wind or rages the storm. Shiver, shiver on,
beggar poor! Starvation and sense-dulling cold alone belong to you.

Through the crunching snow-drifts trudged a weary boy, with alms-basket on
his shivering arm. From his figure, he seemed not over ten years old; but
his face was so wan and melancholy, that it was difficult to tell how
many year-blights the beggar child had experienced. Summer clothes were
still clinging to him; a tattered comforter was the only winter article he

[Illustration: CHARITY THROWN AWAY.]

A gay carriage rolled noiselessly by, with a beautiful girl within, well
wrapped in fur and cloak, whilst the snow was dashed from the rapid wheels
like white dust. She saw, through the dim light, the weary, thin-clad boy,
as he stopped, with face bent aside to the flake-burdened blast, to gaze
at the smoking horses, as they plunged through the fast-deepening sheet.
She dropped the sash, and threw the boy a coin. It sank from her warm hand
deep into the drifted snow. It might have brought him bread and a
cheering fagot, but the smitten child never found it. The snow closed over
the coveted prize, while the blast grew keener.

On, on toiled the beggar boy, through drift and darkness, more weary as
night gathered on. Thus is it ever with the humble poor; their load grows
heavier as life lessens. No light or warming hearth is there--things that
make house a home--to welcome the wandering boy.

The clock had just struck two as I was summoned to the house of Mrs. T.
The same carriage that, in the evening, had borne the beautiful young
girl, awaited at my door, with its impatient horses snorting against the
frosted air. A few minutes later I entered the house. Mrs. T. met me in
the hall, with her face deadly pale, and manner much excited. Her singular
nervousness had before struck me on my visits, whenever her daughter
ailed. She informed me that her "darling Emily" was very ill with a high

We entered the chamber. The young girl lay with her head turned aside upon
the pillow, her golden-brown hair scattered in wild profusion upon its
white cover, while the nurse was gently moistening the fevered palm of her
outstretched hand. The pulse was beating wildly at the wrist and temples,
and fever heat glowed from her lustrous eyes. Whilst the nurse held the
light to her face, the traces of dried tears were revealed upon her
suffused cheeks.

"Heartache surely is here," I said to myself.

There was something in the whole appearance of my patient that excited my
curiosity and surprise. Only eight or ten hours had passed since she, from
her carriage, had thrown the snow-claimed alms to the beggar boy, and
_now_ a high fever was running hot through every artery of her body.

Silently seated by the bedside, after administering a cooling draught I
awaited and watched for the changes that might ensue. Her mother sat near
the fire, its blaze lighting up every feature of her once beautiful face,
which still remained very pale. In all my intercourse with Mrs. T., I
never before had so prolonged an opportunity of examining in detail the
expression of her countenance. The longer I gazed on her, the more
satisfied I became that she had not passed through life without a fearful

It was this sensation which struck me when I first became acquainted with
her. A few vague rumors had floated about relative to her history; that a
strange desertion of her husband had taken place, and that he afterwards
was found drowned in the river, near his residence, and that by his death
Mrs. T. had become possessed of an immense estate. These stories had,
however, soon subsided; and as her means were ample, and her charities
liberal, the gossips of the town quietly dropped the past, and speculated
upon the future, as should all respectable gossips.

The voice of the patient diverted my thoughts; a few words were murmured,
and then the lips pressed tremblingly together, and the tear-drops again
started to her cheeks. Suddenly springing up in bed, and threading her
long, curling hair through her slender fingers, she exclaimed, in a
thrilling, delirious tone,--

"It cannot be true! O, mother--tell me, mother!"

Mrs. T. fairly leaped to the bedside, and placing her hand over the
daughter's mouth, with affrighted gestures, she exclaimed,--

"What is it? What does she mean? My God, doctor, she raves!"

The girl fell back on her pillow; the mother stood, pale and trembling, by
the bedside, with a nameless terror depicted on every feature. Turning to
me, in a quick, restless voice, she bade me hasten to give her child a
quieting draught.

"O, anything that will keep her from raving!"

The room was not over warm for such a bitter night, yet the perspiration
stood upon the brow of the excited mother like the fallen dew.

"Conscience must lie here," I thought to myself.

In the course of an hour the sufferer slumbered heavily; her breathing was
hurried and oppressed, the fever had increased, and her moanings were

Day was breaking, as I left my young patient to return home through the
falling snow. As I looked out of the carriage window, I saw a little boy
sitting on the cold walk. It was the poor beggar boy of yesterday, as
thinly clad, with his pale cheek as white as the snowdrifts through which
he had toiled. I ordered the coachman to stop.

[Illustration: THE BEGGAR BOY.]

"What brought you out, and where are you going, on this cold winter
morning, my poor boy?" I exclaimed.

He raised his beautiful dark eyes to my face, and my heart grieved at
their look of utter hopelessness, as he faintly answered, "To beg for me
and old grandma."

"Are you not very cold, in those thin clothes?" I asked.

His little teeth chattered, as he replied, "O, I am very--cold--sir."

The impatient horses plunged violently in the traces, and the coachman
asked to be allowed to drive on. I gave the poor boy the few silver coins
that were in my pocket, and we passed on.

I never saw that boy but once again; his look haunts me to this day.

As I rode on, memory was busy tracing where I had ever seen features like
his. The dark hair, that lay in uncombed curls upon his forehead, and
clustered warmly about his neck, as though in protection against the
bitter cold; his large, black eyes, with their long lashes; the
finely-chiselled outlines of his mouth and nose,--these all impressed me
that I had somewhere seen a face which strikingly resembled his. Poor boy!
beauty was his only possession.

At breakfast a letter was handed me, summoning me immediately to one of my
own children, who lay sick in a distant town. Before leaving I wrote a
hurried note to Mrs. T., stating the cause of my sudden departure,
desiring her to call another physician, during my absence. The young
girl's fate and the poor beggar boy's face were almost forgotten in my own

On the sixth day following, I again found myself at home. My first thought
was for poor Emily. I dreaded to ask; there was something whispering to my
heart that all was not well.

My suspense was not long; a messenger had just left, stating that the dear
girl was fast failing; that her physician had pronounced her laboring
under typhus fever. My God, how my heart sank under these words! I had
dreaded this mistake after I left. Alas! how many have fallen by the name
of a disease, and not by the disease itself!

After a hurried meal, I drove rapidly to Mr. T.'s residence. The house
door was quietly opened by a servant, and in another minute I stood in the
chamber of the invalid. The mantel was crowded with numerous vials. The
close atmosphere of the sick-room was sickening. By the bedside, with her
face bowed over one of the pale hands of the daughter, which she held in
both of her own, sat the wretched mother. It seemed to me as though ten
years had passed over her faded and care-worn countenance, since I last
gazed upon it. I could not stir; my heart stood still. _Her hair had
become entirely gray._

[Illustration: REMORSE.]

I gained heart to approach; the desolate mother heard me, and turning
quickly she sprang from her chair, and placing her hands on my shoulders,
she bowed her head: she sobbed wildly, as though her heart would break.

"Look, look, doctor! Would you have known her? O, my God, she is leaving
me! Save her--O, save her!" and the wretched mother fell fainting to the
floor. We gently raised and bore her to her own chamber. In a few moments
I returned to Emily. She turned her head languidly towards me, while her
right hand moved as if to take mine. How dry was the palm! Her color had
faded away; the once rounded cheeks were sunken. O, I will not describe

The physician who had been called, after my departure, had found her with
high fever and delirium. He mistook the excitement of the brain for its
inflammation. O, fatal error! A consultation was called. The second comer
was notedly a man who viewed every excitement as caused by "an over-action
of the vessels," and bleeding was its only relief. The nervous system he
entirely ignored. From his theory, man was a mere combination of blood,
blood-vessels, and biliary secretions, more or less deranged. Calomel,
salts, and the lancet were his Hercules. The grand _causa mortis_ amongst
the human family was "serosity." Hence some evil-minded wag amongst his
brethren had named him "Old Serosity."

The poor child had been bled, cupped, and purged, in order to subdue this
"over-action of the blood-vessels." Verily it may cure the vessels, but it
certainly kills the patient.

The life current was nigh exhausted; there was no blood left for renewal
of brain, nerve, or vital tissue. My heart was bitter against this
murderous adherence to a false principle. Here a human life, that of a
young and spotless girl, was the forfeit.

But to return to the thread of the narrative.

"O, I am glad you have come back to me. Do try to save me, doctor," she
said, with great effort. Sending the nurse from the room, I quickly
pressed the young girl's hand within my own, and said to her,--

"Do you really wish to live, Emily?"

"Yes, yes," she murmured; "I am very young to die."

"Then, my dear, tell me truly what has so terribly shocked your nervous
system; tell me." With a strength that startled me, she searched under the
mattress side, and drew forth a small note, which she silently placed in
my hand. It was discolored by time. I opened it; the date was above twelve
years back. It ran thus:--

"When you receive this, Mira (Mrs. T.'s given name), my career will have
ended. By my death you will inherit all. Let my unborn child have its
just, legal claim. Your child, Emily, take to your home as though she were
an adopted orphan. Let not her youth be blighted by the knowledge of her
unblest birth. I forgive you. Adieu, forever. H. T."

"O my God, the doomed child is illegitimate," I said. I stooped down and
kissed the sufferer's forehead, and promised that I would be a father to
her. "Come, cheer up," I whispered, "for your mother's sake. If she has
sinned she has suffered much for your sake; forgive her."

"I do forgive her," she whispered, "but can I forget myself, unblessed as
I am? But I must know the whole truth. O, where is the right heir of all
this wealth? My memory returns now, indistinctly, to my earlier days. A
cloud intervenes. I remember but a small cottage, in a deep wood, where
mother often came to see me, and a tall woman took care of me. Then came a
gay carriage, and took me to a large house; but I never again returned to
the cottage in the wood. There, at the large house, mother left me a long
time; and when she came back--O, doctor, I can speak no longer. Do give me
something to strengthen me, and I will try yet to live."

A cordial was administered by my own hands, and in a short time sleep
overcame her. Night again closed in; the wind had sunk to rest with the
setting sun. Another night of bitter cold was ushered in. Woe to the poor!
Woe to the hungry and the fireless.

       *       *       *       *       *

As I entered the mother's apartments I found her sitting by a private
secretary, which had been brought from the library. Its lid was open, and
as I seated myself she took from a package of tied letters a sealed paper,
and placing it in my hands, said,--

"Read this at your leisure, doctor. My pilgrimage of life is nigh ended.
You will judge how great my sin, and how severe has been my punishment. I
ask no forgiveness, _for there will be none left to forgive me_."

Well, I knew her heart was nigh crushed!

I sought the daughter's chamber. How still was everything! The very
candle, with its long flame, parted by the thickened wick-char, seemed not
to flicker, as it burned dimly on. I looked at the bed; the sweet girl lay
with both hands crossed upon her bosom, as though in prayer. An
orange-blossom had dropped from her grasp, and lay neglected by her side;
her life-hand never touched it more! Death had claimed his bride!

A wild shriek sounded through the house. The erring mother now knew that
she was alone in the great world.

Whilst the shrouding of the dead took place I retired and opened the
sealed package. It briefly told its tale of sin and sorrow.

It told how from the first love Emily was the fruit, and how, unknown to
all, the child had been secreted; how, about three years after Emily's
birth, the mother was married to Harold T., whom _she never loved_; and
how, by a singular accident, the knowledge of her transgression became
known to her husband; that, after violently cursing her for her sin and
deception, he left her, and shortly afterwards committed suicide; that
the letter (written by him just before his death), which was so fatal to
the peace and life of Emily, had accidentally dropped from the secretary,
and was picked up by her (that night after her return in the carriage),
unknown to the mother until the sixth day after my return, when she missed

The narrative went on to state that a male child was born after T.'s
death, and that, seized with an insane fury, she resolved that he never
should inherit its father's name and wealth; and that, through the
assistance of a nurse, it was placed with a sum of money at a beggar's
door, and a dead child laid beside the mother instead; that before sending
the infant away, the nurse tattooed its father's initials on its left arm.
The beggar had died, and all traces of the child had been lost. At length
her guilty conscience so reproached her that the mother had instituted
search for the child, but all in vain.

As I read this tale of crime and repentance, busy memory traced out the
features of the _beggar boy_! Like a sudden light it burst upon me--those
features that had so tormented my memory to recall were those of the
unhappy mother.

Quickly I went to her room. She was not there. I hastened to Emily's. The
mother was wildly clasping the enshrouded form of her daughter, and
weeping as though her heart would break asunder. Gently removing her to
her own chamber, I intimated that another child, long lost, might yet be
restored to her.

She listened as one bewildered. I then informed her of my adventure with
the beggar boy.

It was hardly day-dawn as I entered the carriage. My breath froze against
the window panes. After a short ride the horses stopped before the
wretched snow-covered hovel (where he had seen the beggar child once
enter). I opened the carriage door, leaped out, and placed my hand on the
latch. The door opened. It was neither bolted nor locked; for no thief
would enter there. In the corner of the room lay a bundle of rugs, with
some straw, but it was unoccupied. Near the fireplace, where nought but a
little well-charred bark remained upon the cold ashes, half reclining in a
large wooden chair, lay the beggar boy.

[Illustration: THE LOST HEIR.]

His cap had fallen on the ground, and his dark, curling hair fell
clustering over his extended arm, as his head rested upon it. He had
seemingly fallen asleep the night before, for his thin summer clothes were
on his person, and his basket, yet filled with the fragments of broken
feasts, remained untouched at his feet. I placed my hand upon his
beautiful head; it was icy cold. Quickly brushing back the fallen ringlets
from his face, the unmistakable evidence of death met my gaze.

He had apparently fallen asleep weeping, for a tear-drop lay frozen
between the long lashes that fringed the eyelids.

I raised the stiffened body of the ill-fated youth, and tearing away the
thin sleeve from his left arm, I distinctly discovered the letters 'H. T.'

Deserted, famished, and frozen, death had claimed the darling, lone boy
before he knew a mother's love!

This sad tale is taken from "_Scenes in Northern Practice by Dr. Dewees_,
N. Y."--_Scalpel_, 1855. (And like all the stories herein, it has the
merit of being true to the letter.)


It was about half past nine in the morning.

My office door suddenly opened, and looking up from my writing, I saw,
standing in the passage-way, a very tall man, in a long white frock,
reaching to his knees, sleeves rolled to his elbows, a slouched hat set
back on his head, his face painted or bedaubed with some white substance,
and his eyes gleaming upon me most intensely!

There he stood, looking almost fiercely upon me, while he held the
door-knob with his left hand, and grasped with his right a long
carving-knife, which was thrust through his belt.

"Are you the doctor?" he shouted with excitement.

"I am the doctor," I replied, calmly awaiting my fate.

He instantly stepped inside the room, when close behind him was revealed
the form of a very short man, who held a Kossuth hat in one hand, while
with a handkerchief in the other, he stanched the blood that had evidently
been flowing pretty freely from his head.

"This man has cut himself very bad on the head; big iron wheel come down
on him: can you fix him up?" asked the first. This accounted for his
excited manner. But how about the bedaubed face and the huge knife?

[Illustration: A MORNING CALLER.]

I examined the wound, only through the scalp, less than three inches in
length; and washing away the surplus clotted blood, I clipped off the
hair, and soon secured the edges of the gaping wound by taking a stitch or
two through the scalp.

While so doing, the young man rolled his eyes up to his tall
companion,--who had explained that they were cooks at Young's Hotel, and
that the spit wheel and shaft used for turning meat had fallen eight feet;
by which the assistant had barely escaped being killed,--and with a
commendable show of thought for his employer's interest, rather than his
own comfort or safety, he anxiously exclaimed,--

"Jim, do you think that gentleman's 'order,' what I had in the spit, is
overdone yet?"


A young Irish girl, with a wild shriek, an "Och, hone!" and "Ah, murther!"
and "Hulla-boo--a--hulla-boo, poor Terry! Ah, why did I taze ye?" burst
into my office one evening, upsetting the servant, and actually laying
hold on me with her hands, as she exclaimed,--

"Ah, docther, docther, come now, for the love o' the moother that bore ye;
come this blessed minute. I've killed poor Terry, an' niver shall see him
again. Ah, murther, murther! Why did I taze ye?"

[Illustration: "WHY DID I TAZE YE?"]

Trying in vain to calm her, I hastily drew on my boots, and almost ran
after her to a wretched tenement, some quarter of a mile off, and found
the object of the girl's solicitude alive and kicking, with his lungs in
the best of order, standing on the stairs that led to his miserable
chamber, with a broken scissors in his hand, stirring busily the contents
of a tea-cup.

It seems that he had been courting my fair guide, and after the period she
had fixed for her final answer to his declaration, she had bantered him
with a refusal, which her solicitude for his life plainly showed was far
enough from her real intentions.

In his despair he had swallowed an ounce of laudanum, which he had
procured from some injudicious druggist, which act had sent Biddy off
after me in such terror. He was now mixing a powder which he had obtained
from another druggist, who, knowing of his love affair, it will be seen
acted with more wisdom than the first, as Terry let slip enough in his
hearing to show what he wanted to do with the "ratsbane" for which he
inquired; and Biddy, like a true daughter of Eve, had made no secret in
the neighborhood that she valued her charms beyond the poor fellow's bid.

As soon as she approached, he, by some inopportune remark, re-excited her
wrath, and she again declared she wouldn't have him, "if he wint to the

Poor Terry, in his red shirt and blue stockings, and an attitude of the
grandest kind, but covering, as we soon found, a desperate purpose,
flourished his tea-cup, and stirred its contents with the scissors,
constantly exclaiming,--

"Ah, Biddy, will ye have me? Ye'll have me now--will ye not?"

Still Biddy refused.

"Divil a bit will I let the docther come near me till ye say yis! Sure,
weren't we children together in the ould counthry? and didn't we take our
potaties and butthermilk out o' the same bowl? And yer mother, that's now
dead, always said ye were to be me wife; and now ye're kapin' coompany
with that dirty blackguard, Jim O'Connor,--divil take him for a spalpeen.
Ah, Biddy, will ye have me?"

And he flourished the cup, and stirred away vigorously with the scissors.

Biddy's blood was up at the disrespectful mention made of Jimmy's name,
for "he had a winnin' way wid him," and she shouted at the top of her

"No, be the St. Patrick, I'll niver have ye."

With an awful gulp, Terry drained the cup, rolled up his eyes, and with
one most impassioned yet ludicrous look at her, he fell upon his knees on
the step.

Biddy followed, in strong hysterics.

The whole affair was so irresistibly ludicrous that I scarce could keep
from laughing; but on observing the bottle, labelled "laudanum," and
looking into the bottom of the tea-cup, and discovering a white powder, I
changed my prognosis, and hastened to the druggist's near, to see what it
was, and procure an antidote, should it really prove "ratsbane."

To my great relief, the man of drugs informed me, laughingly, that he had
given Terry a quantity of chalk and _eight grains of tartar emetic_, as he
learned that Terry was already in possession of the ounce of laudanum, and
all the neighbors knew that Biddy had driven him to desperation by
flirting with his rival, Jim O'Connor. The young man had judiciously told
Terry that the powder would make the laudanum sure to operate more

"How long will it take?" he asked, and bagged all for use when the refusal
should come.

My course was now clear. I was in for sport. Sending the druggist's clerk
for my stomach-pump, to be in readiness in case the emetic should not
operate,--which was scarcely impossible, for eight grains of tartar
emetic, taken at a dose, would almost vomit the potatoes out of a bag,--I
waited the result.

As for Biddy, I let her lie; for I thought she deserved her punishment. My
heart was always tender towards the sex, and I generally expected a


In a short time it became evident that Terry's stomach was not so tough as
his will, and he began to intermingle long and portentous sighs with his
prayers, and to perspire freely. I gave him a wide berth, in anticipation
of the Jonah that was to come up shortly. I was anxious now that Biddy
should revive in time to witness his grand effort. Terry was tough, and
held out. Shortly she revived, and suddenly starting up, and recollecting
the situation, she made one bound for Terry, crying,--

"Ah, Terry, Terry, dear Terry! I'll have ye now. Yis, I will; and I don't
care who hears me. I always loved ye, but that divil's baby, Mag, always
kept tellin' me ye'd love me the betther if I didn't give in to ye too
soon. Ah, Terry, dear, only live, and I'll go to the ends of the world for
ye. Ah, an' what would me poor mother say, if she was here? Och, hone!
Och, hone! Docther, now what are ye doin'? A purty docther ye are; an' ye
pumped out yer own counthryman, that didn't die, sure, an' he tuk twice as
much as poor Terry."

Meantime the boy had arrived with the pump.

"Up wid ye now, and use the black pipe ye put down the poor fellow's
throat over the way last summer. I'd take it mesilf, if it would do; but
God knows whether I'd be worth the throuble."

As Terry had not yet cast up his accounts, and the stomach-pump was at
hand, I determined to make a little more capital out of the case, and
thrusting the long, flexible India rubber tube down poor Terry's throat,
having separated his teeth by means of a stick, and holding his head
between my knees, I soon had the satisfaction of depositing the laudanum
and tartar emetic in a swill pail, the only article of the toilet the
place afforded.

After years proved Terry and Biddy most loving companions. He never, even
when drunk, more than threatened her "wid a batin', which she was
desarvin'," and she never forgave "that divil's baby, Mag," for her cruel
experiment on her heroic and devoted Terry.--_Practice of a New York


_The Situation._--I was young, but, with a wife and child dependent upon
my practice for food, raiment, and shelter, I was striving manfully; with
my household gods and goods I had located here, in a small village, a year
before. My beginning was encouraging, my success in practice more than
flattering. But an immense opposition had met and nearly overthrown me, in
the form of a man, a deacon of the ---- church. He was one of those "rule
or ruin" men whom you will find in every one-horse village. I did not at
first know my man,--he did not know me,--or I should have avoided his ill
will. I did not know his tenaciousness of titles--he was an esquire
also--which was my first unpardonable offence. He swore--"as deacons
do"--that I should not practise in that town. I swore, as doctors will,
that "so long as I could obtain a potato and a clam a day I would remain
while he was my opposer." Clams could be dug at low water, within a few
rods of my house; potatoes I grew on the quarter acre of ground given me
as partial inducement to settle in that town. His two drunken sons were
his emissaries of evil, set on for my overthrow, in addition to the
father's voice and known opposition, which few dared to meet. My practice
dwindled. A few Nicodemuses came by night, but my darling wife trembled
for my very life when I had a night call. My provision was often short, my
poor horse was mere skin and bones, standing, day after day, gnawing his
empty manger.

"O, is there a God in Israel?" I cried, in my anguish, more than once.

Yes, the reply came to my prayers; there is a God of recompense.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Betrayed._--My patient was a young girl, over whose golden head but
seventeen summers had flown, on rosy wings. Her form was sylph-like, and
face as beautiful as the opening flower in the golden sunshine of early
day. She was an attendant at _his_ church, a member of _his_ Sabbath
school class, and a singer in the choir....

[Illustration: THE BETRAYED.]

I was shown to her room. Sorrow, and not disease, had left its impress
upon her fair young face. Rumor had already given me a hint on which to
diagnose my case.

"Who has done this wicked thing?" I asked, holding her hand, and looking
kindly into her eyes.

"O, my God! O, I must not tell," she cried, springing up from her couch. I
never shall forget the terror depicted on that fair young countenance, as
she pronounced these words.

"You must tell. You should not suffer this shame and burden alone. Tell me
truly. Who has done it? I must know. There may be a chance to cover the
shame and make your babe legitimate. Come," I said.

"O, sir, dear doctor, it can never be;" and she fell back on her pillow,
weeping and wringing her hands in awful anguish.

"Come, it shall be done;" and I firmly held to the point.

She arose. I gave her a bowl and napkin that were near; she bathed her
inflamed and swollen eyes, then, with surprising calmness and fortitude,
took a pencil and a bit of paper from the light-stand at her bedside, and
wrote a name.

She then handed it to me, saying "'Tis he." I read the name. I jumped to
my feet. I forgot my tender patient. I forgot all but my own sufferings,
and those of my dear little wife and darling babe, and their enemy, as I
cried out,--

"O, my God in Israel! I have got him! I shall be avenged!"

"O, don't, doctor! What is the matter?" exclaimed the affrighted girl,
rising in bed. I had rushed, almost frantically across the room and back.
"Forgive me," I said, "I--I forgot myself. Pardon me."

"O, sir, I thought you were mad."

"I was, dear girl. It is past. Now to your case." And I proceeded to
unfold to her unsophisticated mind the true state of affairs. Here was a
pure, respectable, though poor young girl, under age, who had been
betrayed, locked into an office, and seduced by a son of the squire, and
deserted, threatened--left to bear the burden and disgrace alone. She
dared not divulge the name of her destroyer, because of the position of
his family in the community. I dared. But to bring her mind up above her
fears, to compel the young man to make restitution, as far as lay in his
power, was a severe task. It was my duty to do this; sweeter then than
duty, it was my revenge! By implicating the real villain, I released
several other young men from suspicion, particularly one young man with
red hair.

The girl was taken away from the sight of dear sister's sinister looks,
and the influence and threats of the seducer, and secret offers of bribery
of the deacon, his father.

The law took its course. No eye could see the hand that worked the
machinery. The time was counted almost to a day, as the result proved. The
young man was arrested, and gave bonds. It became the theme of general
conversation. I was interviewed. I was dumb--deaf--blind! Threats and
bribes proved equally ineffectual to induce me to give an opinion, or a
pledge not to appear in the coming trial at the next term of the Superior
Court. To marry the poor, unfortunate girl was beneath the dignity of the
seducer and family. They would pay their last farthing first, or the young
man would sooner go to prison for the crime. His two sisters carried their
heads higher than ever. The two sons threatened my life. But I kept on the
even tenor of my way. The girl became a mother.

"Next Tuesday court sits," whispered everybody, and nothing in town was
discussed but the probabilities of the pending lawsuit.

The lawsuit was nothing, the fine was nothing, which the justice might
impose; even imprisonment was nothing in comparison to acknowledgment of
an illegitimate child by the deacon's family, notwithstanding the child
was not red-haired, but much resembled its reputed father, the deacon's

There was no trial. The squire paid a sum of money to the idiotic old
father of the beautiful young mother, and agreed, orally, to support the
child, and the suit was withdrawn. But this virtually acknowledged the
child, and the girl returned to her father's roof for shelter, and a place
wherein to weep alone over her so-called fatherless child, and hide her
shame (?) from the uncharitable world.

The town became too cramped for the squire and his beautiful family. He
sold out, but not before he had lost his rule there, and was hanged in
effigy as being "too Secesh."

The seducer married a frail beauty, who mourns a drunken, brutish husband.

The other son became steady, and married a lovely girl--my first patient.

The daughters never wedded. Too proud to marry a poor man, too poor and
destitute of real beauty or accomplishments for a wealthy or refined man
to desire to wed them, they became servants and lackeys. If I desire a
lunch at a certain saloon, one of them awaits my order. No matter about
the other unfortunate, unloved girl. The father is an imbecile invalid.
God is my witness, my judge, I long ago buried my hard feelings against
them; they have only my commiseration.




    "Three faces wears the doctor; when first sought,
    An angel's and a god's, the cure half wrought;
    But, when, the cure complete, he seeks his fee,
    The d----l looks then less terrible than he."
                                          EURICUS CORDUS, 1530.


The great German physician who wrote the above died (as he ought, for
putting so much truth into four lines) in 1538. He, of all physicians of
his day, earned his fees; but it is often the case that the most deserving
get the least reward, and Cordus was not an exception to the rule. A good
physician, or surgeon, is seldom a sharp financier, and _vice versa_. "It
is hard to serve two masters."

Ancient physicians' fees were much larger, considering the difference in
the value of money, than modern.

ERASISTRATUS, in the year 330 B. C., received from General Seleucus, of
Alexander's army, to whom the kingdom of Syria fell at the termination of
the Macedonian conquest, the enormous sum of 60,000 crowns as a fee for
his discovery of the disorder of the general's son, Antiochus. The Emperor
Augustus employed four physicians, viz., Albutus, Arantius, Calpetanus,
and Rubrius, to each of whom he paid an annual salary of 250,000
sesterces, equal to $10,000. Martialis, the Spanish epigramist, who was
born in 40 A. D. says Alconius received 10,000,000 sesterces ($400,000)
for a few years' practice.


French physicians were never very well paid. The surgeons of Charlemagne
were tolerably well recompensed. Ambrose Pare, the great surgeon, and
inventor of ligatures (for peculiar arteries),--previous to whose time the
arteries were seared with a hot iron; otherwise the patient bled to
death,--received 5,000 francs for ligaturing one artery. Louis XIV. gave
his surgeons 75,000 crowns each for successfully performing upon him a
surgical operation.

Upon the confinement of Maria Louise, second wife of the great Napoleon,
four physicians--Bourdier, Corvisat, Dubois, and Ivan--received the sum of
$20,000. Dubois was the principal, and received one half of the
amount,--not a very extravagant remuneration; but then Napoleon held a
mean opinion of physicians in general, and this fee was not to be wondered
at. Dupuytren, the distinguished French surgeon, left a property of
$1,580,000. Hahnemann, who, in 1785, at Dresden, abandoned physic in
disgust, afterwards went to Paris, and at the time of his death was
literally besieged with patients, reaping a reward for his labors of not
less than $40,000 per annum. Boerhaave was a successful practitioner, born
at Leyden, and left, at his death, $200,000 from private practice. John
Stow, the eminent antiquarian writer, whose misfortunes compelled him to
beg his daily bread at the age of eighty, informs us that "half a crown
(English) was looked upon as a large fee in Holland, while in England, at
that same time, a physician scorned to touch any fee but gold, and
surgeons were still more exorbitant."

In Spain, until a very remote period, the priests continued to exercise
the double office of priest and physician, and some of them were
proficient in surgery; and though they fixed no stipulated price for their
medical services, they usually managed to get two fleeces from the one
shearing, and on certain occasions dispose of the carcass also, for their
own pecuniary advantages, as the following will show:--

Anthony Gavin, formerly a Catholic priest of Spain, says, "I saw Fran.
Alfaro, a Jew, in Lisbon, who told me that he was known to be very rich,
when in Seville, where the priests finally stripped him of all his wealth,
and cast him into the Inquisition, where they kept him four years, under
some pretence, and finally liberated him, that he might accumulate more
property. After three years' trade, having again collected considerable
wealth, he was again imprisoned and his wealth confiscated by the
priest-doctors, but let off, with the order to wear the mark of San Benito
(picture of a man in the midst of the fire of hell) for six months.

[Illustration: A SAN BENITO PIG.]

"But Alfaro fled from the city, and finding a pig near the gate, he
slipped the San Benito over the pig's neck, and, sending him into the
town, made his escape. 'Now I am poor,' he added, 'nobody wants to
imprison me.'"


In no other country have physicians' fees varied so much as in England.
The Protestant divine and the physician have kept step together to the
music of civilization and enlightenment. Both of these professions were
held at a low estimation up to the Elizabethan era, when a young,
unfledged M. D. from Oxford would gladly accept a situation in a lord's
family for five or ten pounds a year, with his board, and lodgings in the
garret, while, in addition to professional services he might act as sort
of wise clown, "and be a patient listener, the solver of riddles, and the
butt of ridicule for the family and guests. He might save the expense of a
gardener--nail up the apricots; or a groom, and sometimes curry down and
harness the horses; cast up the farrier's or butler's accounts, or carry a
parcel or message across the country."

As was said also of the divine, "Not one living in fifty enabled the
incumbent to bring up a family comfortably. As the children multiplied,
the household became more beggarly. Often it was only by toiling on his
glebe, by feeding swine and by loading dung-carts, that he could gain his
daily bread.... His sons followed the plough, and his daughters went out
to service."

Queen Elizabeth's physician in ordinary received one hundred pounds per
annum and perquisites--"sustenance, wine, wax, and etceteras." Morgan, her
apothecary, for one quarter's bill was paid £18 7_s._ 8_d._ A one pound
fee, paid by the Earl of Cumberland to a Cambridge physician, was
considered as exceptionally liberal, even for a nobleman to pay.

Edward III. granted to his apothecary, who acted in the capacity of
physician in those days, a salary amounting to six pence a day, and to
Ricardus Wye, his surgeon, twelve pence per day, besides eight marks. (A
mark was 13_s._ 4_d._) In the courts of the kings of Wales, the
physicians and surgeons were the twelfth in rank, and whose fees were
fixed by law. Dr. Caius was fortunate in holding position as physician to
Edward VI., Mary, and Elizabeth. Sir Theodore Mayerne was still more
fortunate in having the honor of serving Henry IV. and Louis XIII. of
France, and subsequently King James I., Charles I. and II. of England.
Mayerne has been the subject of many anecdotes, of which the following is
a sample:--


A parsimonious friend, consulting Mayerne, laid two broad pieces of gold
(sixty shillings) on the doctor's table, to express his generosity, as he
felt safe that they would be immediately returned to him. But Mayerne
quietly pocketed them, saying,--

"I made my will this morning, and if it became known that I had refused a
fee, I might be deemed _non compos mentis_."


In 1700, graduated physicians' dues were ten shillings, licensed doctors,
six shillings eight pence. A surgeon's fee was twelve pence per mile, be
his journey long or short, and five shillings for setting a bone or
dislocated joint, one shilling for bleeding, and five pounds for an
amputation. All after attendance extra.


This jolly doctor was employed by Louis XI., and was said to have sponged
immense sums from his royal master, beyond a regular salary.

"He wrung favor upon favor from the king, and if he resisted the modest
demands of his physician, the latter threatened him with speedy
dissolution. On this menace, the king, succumbing to the fear of death,
which weakness characterized his family, would at once surrender at

Finally, to rid himself of such despotic demands, the king ordered the
executioner to behead the physician.

The requisite officer waited on Coythier, and in a courteous and
considerate manner, as became the occasion, said to him,--

"I deeply regret, my dear sir, the circumstance, but I must kill you. The
king can stand you no longer, and here are my orders."

"All right," replied the doctor, with surprising unconcern; "I am ready
whenever you are. What time would you find it most convenient to perform
the little operation?"

While the officer was trying to decide, Coythier continued,--

"But I am very sorry to leave his majesty only for a few days; for I have
ascertained by occult science that he can't survive me more than four

The officer stood struck with amazement, but finally returned and imparted
the astounding information to the king.

"O, liberate him instantly. Hurt not a hair of his head," exclaimed the
terrified monarch.

Coythier was of course speedily restored to his place in the king's
confidence--and treasury.


Here is what may be called a _long fee_:--

An English surgeon, named Broughton, had the good fortune to open the
commerce of the East Indies to his countrymen through a medical fee.
Having been sent from Surat to Agra, in the year 1636, to treat a daughter
of the emperor Shah Jehan, he had the great fortune to restore the

Beyond the present reward to the physician for his great services, the
emperor gave him the privilege of a free commerce throughout the whole
extent of his domains. Scarcely had Broughton returned than the favorite
nabob of the province--Bengal--sent for the doctor to treat him for a very
dangerous disease. Having fortunately restored this patient also, the
nabob settled a pension upon the physician, and confirmed the privilege of
the emperor, extending it to all Englishmen who should come to Bengal.

Broughton at once communicated this important treaty, as it was, to the
English governor at Surat, and, by the advice of the latter, the company
sent from England, in 1640, the first ship to trade at Bengal. Such was
the origin of the great Indian commerce, which has been continued to the
present day,--the longest continued doctor's fee ever given.

Another long fee was that given to Dr. Th. Dinsdale, who travelled from
England to St. Petersburg by order of Catharine of Russia, to inoculate
her son, the baron of the empire. The empress presented him with a fee of
twelve thousand pounds, and a life pension of five hundred pounds. This is
the largest sum ever paid to any physician since the world began, for a
single operation, and I know of no physician who ever made a longer
journey to attend a patient.


This is how a physician fell short of his fee. Charles II. was taken
suddenly and dangerously ill with apoplexy. The court physician being out
of town, Dr. King, who only being present, with one attendant, instantly
bled his majesty, to which "breach of court etiquette" John Evelyn
attributes his salvation for the time; for he would certainly have died,
had Dr. King staid the coming of the regular physician--for which act he
must have a regular pardon!

The privy council ordered a handsome fee to be paid Dr. King for his great
presence of mind and prompt action, but it never was paid. Charles died
soon afterwards, and poor King fell short of a fat fee.


Amongst the many funny things told about Sir Astley Cooper, the eminent
English surgeon, none is better authenticated than that respecting the
"night-cap fee."

In his earlier practice, he had to pass through all the trials and
tribulations, "anxious and ill-rewarded waitings," that lesser stars have
before and since, and ever will, before he became "established." In his
first year's practice in London, his profits were but five guineas; his
second reached the encouraging sum of twenty-five pounds, and increased in
this ratio till the ninth year, when it was one thousand pounds. In one
year he made twenty-one thousand guineas. It is said that one merchant of
London paid him annually six hundred pounds. It wouldn't require but a few
such lucrative patients to keep a doctor in pocket money even at this

A West India millionnaire, named Hyatt, had been to London, and undergone
a severe and dangerous surgical operation at the hands of Sir Astley,
assisted by Drs. Lettsom and Nelson. The operation proved a success, and
the grateful patient only waited till he could sit up in bed a little
while at a time before expressing in some measure his gratitude to the
physicians. All three being present one day, Hyatt arose in bed and
presented the two physicians with a fee of three hundred gold guineas,
and, turning to Sir Astley, who seemed for a moment to have been slighted,
the millionnaire said,--

"And as for you, Sir Astley, you shall have nothing better than that,"
catching off his night-cap, and flinging it almost into Sir Astley's
handsome face--he was said to be the handsomest man in England; "there,
take it, sir."

"Sir," exclaimed the surgeon, with a smile, "I pocket the affront."

On reaching home, and examining the night-cap, he found it contained one
thousand guineas--nearly five thousand dollars.


Quite as odd a fee was that presented to a celebrated New York surgeon
about the year 1845. An eccentric old merchant, a descendant of one of the
early Dutch families of Manhattan Island, was sick at his summer residence
on the Hudson, where his family physician attended him. The doctor gave
him no encouragement that he ever would recover. A most celebrated
surgeon, since deceased, was called as counsel, who, after careful
examination of the case, and considering the merchant's age, coincided
with the opinion of the family physician, and so expressed himself to the

"Well, if that is all the good you can do, you may return to New York,"
said the doomed man. But as the astonished surgeon was going out of the
house, the invalid sent a servant after him, in haste, saying,--

"Here, throw this old shoe after him, telling him that I wish him better
luck on the next patient;" and drawing off his embroidered slipper, he
gave it to the servant, who, well used to his master's whims, as well as
confident of his generosity, ran after the doctor, flinging the shoe, and
giving the message, as directed. The surgeon felt sure of his fee, well
knowing the ability of the eccentric merchant; but he picked up the shoe,
and placing it in his coat pocket, said to his brother physician, who
accompanied him, "I'll keep it, and I may get something, to _boot_."

[Illustration: A SLIPPER-Y FEE.]

It contained, stuffed into the toe, a draft for five hundred dollars.


Dr. Robert Glynn, of Cambridge, England, who died nearly eighty years ago,
was a most benevolent man, as well as a successful medical practitioner,
with a large revenue. Mr. Jeaffreson tells the following amusing story
about him:--

"On one occasion a poor peasant woman, the widowed mother of an only son,
trudged from the heart of the fens (ten miles) into Cambridge, to consult
the good doctor about her boy, who was very sick with the ague. Her manner
so interested the doctor that, though it was during an inclement winter,
and the roads almost impassable by carriages, he ordered horses harnessed,
and taking in the old lady, went to see the sick lad.

"After a tedious attendance, and the exhibition of much port wine and
bark, bought at the physician's expense, the patient recovered. A few days
after the doctor had taken his discharge, without fees, the poor woman
presented herself at the consulting-room, bearing in her hands a large

"'I hope, my good woman, your son is not ill again,' said the doctor.

"'O, no, sir; he was never better,' replied the woman, her face beaming
with gratitude; 'but he can't rest quiet for thinking of all the trouble
you have had, and so he resolved this morning to send you this;' and she
began undoing the cover of the large wicker basket which she had set on
the floor. The doctor stood overlooking the transaction in no little
concern. Egress being afforded, out hopped an enormous magpie, that
strutted around the room, chattering away as independent as a lord.

"'There, doctor, it is his favorite magpie he has sent you,' exclaimed the
woman, looking proudly upon the piece of chattering ebony. It was a fee to
be proud of."


The gratitude of the poor country lad for his recovery did not exceed,
probably, that of a young girl, as related in the Montpelier papers, from
one of which I cut the following:--

"A young girl, fourteen years of age, named Celia ----, called at the
hotel to-day where Dr. C., with his family, is stopping, and presenting
him with a bouquet of Mayflowers, said, 'I have no money to pay you for
curing my head of scrofula, and I thought these flowers might please you.'
This was truly the offering of a grateful heart; for her head _had been
entirely covered by sores, from her birth_, and the doctor had cured it.
Another journal said, in commenting upon it, 'This heart's offering deeply
affected the doctor, to whom it was a greater reward than any money
recompense could have been.' The doctor has the withered and blackened
flowers and leaves pressed, and hung in a frame in his office, but the
memory of the touching scene of their presentation will remain fresh
within his heart forever."

[Illustration: A LIVING FEE.]


An eccentric and parsimonious old lady, who died in a small village in the
State of Maine, some twenty years ago, always kept a half dozen cats about
the house. She was a dried-up-looking old crone, and some ill-minded
people had gone so far as to call her a witch, doubtless because of her
oddities and her cats, "black, white, and brindled." When one of these
delightful night-prowlers departed this life, the old lady would have the
skin of the animal stuffed, to adorn her mantel shelf. My informant said
he had once seen them with his own eyes, arranged along on the shelf, some
half score of them, looking as demure and comfortable as a stuffed cat
could, while the old woman sat by the fireplace, croning over her knitting

[Illustration: STUFFED PETS.]

The woman paid no bills that she could avoid, always pleading poverty as
her excuse for the non-fulfilment of her responsibilities.

One dark and stormy night she was taken very sick, and by a preconcerted
signal to a neighbor,--the placing of a light in a certain window,--help
was summoned, including the village doctor, to whom she owed a fee for
each visit he had ever made her. But this was fated to be the doctor's
last call to that patient.

"O, doctor, then I am dying at last--am I?"

The physician assured her such was the case.

"Then, doctor, I must tell you that you've been very patient with me, and
have hastened day or night to see me, in my whims, as well as my real
sickness, and you shall be rewarded. I have no money, but you see all my
treasures arranged along on the mantel-piece there?"

"What!" exclaimed the doctor; "you don't call those cats treasures, I

"Yes, they are my only treasures, doctor. Now, I want to be just to _you_,
above all others, because you've not only served me as I said, but you've
often sent me wood and provisions during the cold winters--"

Here she became too feeble to go on, and the doctor revived her with some
cordial from his saddle-bags, when she took breath, and continued,--

"See them, doctor; eleven of them. Which will you choose?"

The doctor, with as much grace as possible, declined selecting any one of
the useless stuffed skins; when the old lady, by much effort, raised her
head from the pillow, and said, "Well, I will select for you. Take the
black one--take--the black--cat--doctor!" and died.

Her dying words so impressed him, that he took the cat home, and, on
opening her,--for it was very heavy,--he found that the skin contained
nearly a hundred dollars, in gold.


There is a surgeon in New York city whose income from practice outside of
the hospital is said to be twenty-five thousand dollars per annum. Dr.
Valentine Mott, the celebrated New York surgeon, who died April 26, 1865,
at the age of eighty-one years, had a very large income, but less than
that enjoyed by several surgeons in the metropolis at the present time.

There are some specialists in New York, Philadelphia, and Boston, who
receive greater sums annually than the regular medical or surgical
practitioners. There is no law particularly controlling the prices of the
former. The fee for a visit, by the established usage of the medical
societies in these cities, is from three to ten dollars.

A specialist sometimes receives fifty to one hundred dollars for
prescribing in a case, for which another physician, in ordinary practice,
would charge but an office fee of two to ten dollars. A quack
specialist--and an impostor--in the latter city makes his brags that he
has received twelve hundred dollars for one prescription. But then this
same lying braggadocio says he has read medicine with Ricard, and had
various honors conferred upon him.

Dr. Pulte, of Ohio, one of the western pioneers in homeopathy, who has
often been greeted, in his earlier professional rounds, by a shower of
dirt, rotten eggs, stones, brickbats, and had rails and sticks thrust
through his carriage wheels at night, and been otherwise insulted, until,
finally, he had to carry his wife about with him, as a protective
measure,--for his revilers would not insult a lady,--has since made as
high as twenty thousand dollars a year, and has amassed a fortune of two
hundred thousand dollars. There is a Boston homeopathist whose income from
practice is not less than twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars annually.
Some of the surgeons (allopathic) do better, but hardly reach the figures
of Dr. Nelaton, the great French surgeon, who, in 1869, earned four
hundred thousand francs, equal to about eighty thousand dollars.


Dr. Bigelow, the very celebrated surgeon of Harvard College, has probably
received the largest fee for a surgical operation of any New England
practitioner. He is said to be worth nearly a million.

Dr. Buckingham, the eminent medical practitioner, of Boston, who probably
earns as much as any physician in the city, a few years ago stated to the
graduating class of Harvard College--so I am informed by a physician then
present--that he received for his first year's practice in Boston _but
fifty-seven dollars_. He then had a little office up stairs, where he
slept, dined,--often on bread and cheese, or a few crackers; sometimes he
did not dine,--and received his few patients. But he was a great student,
and a hard worker, and often, and usually, stuck to his post during those
hours when more prosperous physicians were seeking amusement or
relaxation. He was one of the "_hold-fast_" kind, who always win, in the

"_Catch what you can._"--There is a class of wretches in every city who
have no established fee for prescribing for the sick. They go on the
principle of "catch what I can." If they cannot get a fee of twenty
dollars, they will take two, provided the patient has no more. A young man
who visited one of these medical shave-shops was charged a fee of
thirty-five dollars in a very simple case; but the benevolent doctor
concluded to accept two dollars and a half instead, since the man had no
more money. The shamefulness of such Jewing reminds one of the story of a
negro trading off a worn-out old mule:--

"I say, dar, what will you take for dat yer mule, Cuffy?"

"O, I axes thirty-five dollars for him, Mr. Sambo."

"O, go way, dar. I gibs you five dollars for him," said the first.

"Well, you can take him, Sambo. I won't stand for thirty dollars on a mule
trade, nohow."

There is a female practitioner in St. Louis who earns above ten thousand
dollars a year, and her individual fees are moderate at that.

Another doctress, Mrs. Ormsby, of Orange, N. J., accumulates some fifteen
thousand a year, and is in turn outstripped by another woman practising in
New York, who gets nearly twenty thousand dollars a year. Such certainly
possess great business tact, with or without professional merit, and for
such let all men give them credit.

Several female doctors in Boston receive from three to five thousand
dollars each, yearly.

It is too often the case that a physician's success is reckoned, like a
tradesman's, by what he has gained in a pecuniary point of view. There
are, however, thousands of worthy men, successful with their cases, who,
from less acquisitiveness than benevolence, have failed in securing more
than a bare competence, through a life devoted to their profession.

[Illustration: A SHARP MULE TRADE.]

I presume nearly every physician who has experienced a dozen years in
practice has some mementos of his poor patients' gratitude, in the form,
if not of an ebony bird, or a black cat-skin, of something possessing more
beauty, and, to the benevolent heart, which always beats within the
breast of every true physician, keepsakes prized above gold and silver.

  "Who has not kept some trifling thing,
    More prized, more prized, than jewels rare,
  A faded flower, a broken ring,
    A tress of golden hair, a tress of golden hair?"

A very benevolent physician, and a sexagenarian, of New York city, wrote,
twenty years ago, "I even yet enjoy a sort of melancholy satisfaction in
hastening to relieve the suffering poor of my neighborhood, though I know
that my reward will be very small, or, what is far more frequent, that I
shall be paid with ingratitude, if not slander.

"Sometimes there are bright spots in my horizon, and I think myself more
than repaid by a new shirt, or a couple of handkerchiefs--the gift of some
poor, though grateful sewing girl. A few of these little treasures I prize
with peculiar tenderness."

  "A tress of hair and a faded leaf
    Are paltry things to a cynic's eyes:
  But to me they are keys that open the gates
    Of a paradise of memories."


A Boston M. D., who had been in practice fourteen years without
accumulating any property, was about to abandon the profession, and, with
this view, he applied to Fowler, the phrenologist, with the question,
"What pursuit am I best adapted to follow?" Mr. Fowler, with whom he was
unacquainted, said, "The practice of medicine;" but, at the same time, he
assured the doctor that he ought to do business on a _cash_
principle,--"_accipe dum dolet_,"--or employ a collector, as he would
never collect his fees. Acting on this hint, the doctor returned to his
practice, and in a few years was out of debt, and owned a fine residence.

In the matter of collecting fees only he was deficient.

A New York student--if report is true--began earlier to be impressed with
the propriety of getting his fee in advance, as the following will show.

He went before the censors for examination. One of the board was a
well-known penurious, fee-loving doctor, who, looking over the list of
names of the applicants, said,--

"Mr. ----, if a patient came to your office, what would you first do?"

"I would ask him for a fee, sir," was the prompt reply.

An old navy surgeon relates the following regarding examinations:--

"I was shown into the examining-room. Large table, and a half dozen old
gentlemen at it. 'Big wigs, no doubt,' I thought, 'and, sure as my name is
Symonds, they'll pluck me like a pigeon.'

"'Well, sir, what do you know about the science of medicine?' asked the
stout man in the head seat.

"'More than he does of the practice, I'll be bound,' tittered a little
wasp-like dandy--a West End ladies' doctor.

"I trembled in my shoes.

"'Well, sir,' continued the first, 'what would you do if during an action
a man was brought to you with both arms and legs shot off? Now, sir, speak
out; don't keep the board waiting. What would you do?'

"'By Jove, sir,' I answered, 'I would pitch him overboard, and go on to
some one else to whom I could be of more service.'

"By thunder! every one present burst out laughing, and they passed me
directly--passed me directly."


There are certain delicate cases, usually terminating in "good news," in
which it has long been an established custom for the physician to receive
a double fee. "A father just presented with an heir, or a lucky fellow
just made one, is expected to bleed freely for the benefit of the
faculty." Even the Irish, who, in about all other cases, calculate on
"cheating the doctor to pay the priest," will usually lay by a little sum
from their penury, or their bank hoardings, as the case may be, "to pay
the doctor for the babbie."

We insert the following poetry (!) for the fun of the thing; nevertheless,
it is within the experience of more than one physician, who, after doing
his duty, exhibiting his best professional ability, and saving the wife of
some miserable, worthless fellow, who never deserved such a godsend for a
companion, has cheated the doctor out of his fees from spite, when, if the
poor woman had died, he would have liberally paid the physician. Let no
man take this to himself.

  "A woman who scolded one day so long
  Quite suddenly lost all use of her tongue!
  The doctor arrived, who, with 'hem and haw,'
  Pronounced the affection a true locked jaw.

  "'What hopes, good doctor?' 'Very small, I see.'
  The husband (quite sad) slips a double fee.
  'No hopes, _dear_ doctor?' 'Ahem! none, I fear.'
  Gives another fee for an issue clear.

  "The madam deceased. 'Pray, sir, do not grieve.'
  'My friends, one comfort I surely receive--
  A fatal locked jaw was the only case
  From which my dear wife could have died--in peace.'"


It has been said that physicians have been known to benevolently play a
fee into a brother's hand when their own palm failed to be broad enough to
hold them all. Perhaps the reader may derive amusement or instruction from
the following, in which case the writer is well repaid for their

"A wealthy tradesman, after drinking the waters of the Bath Springs a
long time, under advice of his physician, took a fancy to try those of
Bristol. Armed with an introductory letter from his Bath doctor to a
professional brother at Bristol, the old gentleman set off on his journey.
On the way he said to himself,--

"'I wonder what Dr. ---- has advised the Bristol physician respecting my
case;' and giving way to his curiosity, or anxiety, he opened the letter,
and read,--

    "'DEAR DOCTOR: The bearer is a fat Wiltshire clothier; _make the most
    of him_. Yours, professionally, ----.'"

Clutterbuck, the historian, and a pleasant writer, tells the following of
his uncle, who was a physician:--

"A nervous old lady, a patient of his, took it into her crotchety old head
to try the Bath waters, and applied to her physician for permission.

"'The very thing I have been thinking to recommend,' he replied; 'and I
know an excellent physician at the wells, to whom I will give you a letter
of introduction.'"

With her letter and a companion, she started for the springs. _En route_
she took out the letter, and, after looking at the address some time, her
curiosity overcame her, and she said to her friend, "So long as the doctor
has treated me, he has never told me what my case is, and I have a mind to
just look into this letter and see what he has told the Bath physician
about it."

In vain her friend remonstrated against such a breach of trust. The old
lady opened the epistle, and read the following instructive words:--

    "DEAR SIR: Keep the old woman three weeks, and send her back."




    "Life's better joys spring up thus by the wayside,
    And the world calls them trifles. 'Tis not so.
    Heaven is not prodigal, nor pours its joys
    In unregarded torrents upon man:
    They fall, as fall the riches of the clouds
    Upon the parched earth, gently, drop by drop.
    Nothing is trifling which love consecrates."--AYLMERE.

    "The art of our necessities is strange."--KING LEAR.


Side by side, hand in hand, through the world, go generosity and meanness.
If these could but be personified, and the individuals compelled to stand
before men in broad daylight, O, what a staring would there be! Those whom
we thought the very embodiment of generosity and kindness would "crop out"
in their true hideousness of character--unmasked meanness and selfishness;
yes, men too high in the estimation of the world, in church and in state.

On the other hand, we should be equally astonished to find amongst those
in the humbler walks of life, as well as some in the more exalted, people,
whom the world counted as mean and penurious, now standing forth adorned
in robes bleached like the snow-drift, shining bright as the golden
sunrise, yet blushing to find that their hidden charities, and secret,
self-denying generosities, had been suddenly brought to light.

And when the secret works of this world shall be revealed, no class of men
will stand forth more blessed in deeds of generosity and self-sacrifice
than the physicians. There is an occasional black sheep in the great


There is no better authority for the truth of the many queer stories told
about the rough benevolence of Dr. Abernethy, the great English surgeon,
than the author of his memoirs--Sir George Macilwain.

[Illustration: PHYSICIANS' CHARITY.]

"His manner [Dr. Abernethy's], as we shall admit, was occasionally rough,
and sometimes rather prematurely truthful. One day he was called in
consultation by a physician to give an opinion in a case of a pulsating
tumor, which was pretty plainly an aneurism. On proceeding to examine the
tumor, he found a plaster covering it.

"'What is this you have on it?' asked Abernethy.

"'O, that is only a plaster.'

"'Pooh!' exclaimed the doctor, pulling it off and flinging it aside.

"'The "pooh" was all well enough,' said the attending physician,
afterwards, 'but it took several guineas out of my pocket.'"


A surgeon--pupil of the above--was requested to visit a patient in a low
quarter of the suburbs of the metropolis. When he arrived, and mounted
several flights of crazy stairs, he began searching for the designated
number, which was so defaced by time that he was only enabled to determine
it by the more legible condition of the next number.

[Illustration: SEARCH FOR A PATIENT.]

An old woman answered the shake of the dilapidated knocker.

"Does Captain Blank live here?"

"Yes, sir,"--trying to penetrate the darkness.

"Is he at home?"

"Yes, sir. Please, may I make so bold as to ask, are you the doctor?"


"O, then please to walk in, sir."

In the ill-furnished, narrow room sat an old man, in a very shabby and
variegated _déshabille_, who rose from his chair, and, with a grace worthy
of a count, welcomed the stranger. His manner was extremely gentlemanly,
his language well chosen, and the statement of his complaint particularly
clear and concise.

The surgeon, who like most of us see strange things, was puzzled to make
out his new patient, but concluded that he was one of the many who, having
been born to better things, had become reduced by misfortune to these
apparently very narrow circumstances.

Accordingly, having prescribed, the surgeon was about taking his leave,
when the gentleman said,--

"Sir, I thank you very much for your attention," at the same time offering
his hand with a fee.

The benevolent surgeon declined the fee, simply saying,--

"No, I thank you, sir. I hope you will soon be better. Good morning."

"Stay, sir!" exclaimed the old gentleman. "I shall insist on this, if you
please," in a tone which at once convinced the surgeon that it would be
more painful to refuse than accept the fee; he accordingly took it.

"I am very much obliged to you, sir," the old gentleman then said; "for
had you not taken your fee I could not have again had the advantage of
your advice. I sent for you because I had understood that you were a pupil
of Dr. Abernethy's, for whom I could not again send, _because he would
not take his fee_, and I was so hurt that I am afraid I was rude to the
good man. I suppose he, judging from the appearances of things here,
thought I could not afford it, hence refused the fee, on which I begged
him not to be deceived by appearances, but take the fee. However, he kept
retreating and declining, till, forgetting myself a little, and feeling
vexed, I said, 'By G----, sir, I insist on your taking it,' when he
replied as fiercely, 'By G----, sir, I will not,' and hastily left the
room, closing the door after him."

This gentleman lived to the age of ninety. He was really in very good
circumstances, but lived in this humble manner to enable him to assist
very efficiently some poor relatives. The surgeon, after a while, changed
his professional visits to friendly ones, and continued them up to the old
man's death. When, however, the gentleman died, about four hundred guineas
were found in his boxes.

Sometimes Dr. Abernethy would meet with a patient who would afford a
useful lesson. A lady, wife of a distinguished musician, consulted him,
and, finding him uncourteous, said,--

"Sir, I had heard of your rudeness before I came, but I did not expect

When Dr. Abernethy gave her the prescription, she asked,--

"What am I to do with this, sir?"

"Anything you like. Put it into the fire if you choose."

The lady laid the fee on the table, went to the grate, threw the
prescription on to the fire, and hastily left the room.

The doctor followed her to the hall, earnestly pressing her to take back
the fee, or permit him to write her another prescription; but the lady
would not yield her vantage-ground, and so withdrew.

The foregoing is well authenticated. Mr. Stowe, the informant, knows the
lady well.


[Illustration: A WOMAN'S REBUKE.]


Sometimes, again, the ill usage was all on one side.

We know a hard-drinking old fox-hunter who abused Dr. Abernethy roundly;
but all that he could say against him was this:--

"Why, sir,--will you believe me?--almost the first words he said, as he
entered my room, was, 'I perceive you drink a good deal.'

"Now," continued the patient, very _naïvely_, "supposing I did, what the
devil was that to him?"

Another gentleman, who had a most unfortunate appearance on his nose,
exactly like that which accompanies dram-drinking, used to be exceedingly
irate against Dr. A. because, when he told the doctor that his stomach was
out of order, Abernethy would reply,--

"Ay, I see that by your nose."


One day, just as Dr. Abernethy was stepping into his carriage to make a
professional visit to the Duke of W., to whom he had been called in a
hurry, a gentleman stopped him to say that the ----, at Somers Town
(mentioning a poor gentleman whom he had visited without fee), would be
glad to have him visit him again at his leisure.

"Why, I cannot go now," Dr. Abernethy replied, "for I am going in haste to
see the Duke of W." Then, pausing a moment before stepping into his
carriage, he looked up to the coachman, and quietly said, "To Somers

The fidgety irritability of his first impression at interference, and the
beneficence of his second thought, were very characteristic of Dr.

A pupil, who wished to consult him one day, took the very inauspicious
moment when the doctor (and professor) was looking over his papers, but a
few moments before lecture, in the museum.

"I am fearful, sir, that I have a polypus in my nose, and want you to look
at it," said the student.

The doctor made no reply; but when he had completed the sorting of his
preparations, he said, looking up,--


To which the pupil repeated his request.

[Illustration: AFRAID OF A POLYPUS.]

"Then stand on your head; don't you see that all the light here comes from
the skylight? How am I to look into your nose?"

(This was true, for there were no side-lights in the amphitheatre.)

"Where do you live?" continued the doctor.

"Bartholomew Close, sir."

"At what time do you get up?"

"At eight."

"You can't be at Bedford Row" (where Abernethy resided) "at nine, then?"

"Yes, sir, I can."

"To-morrow morning, then."

"Yes, sir; thank you."

The pupil was punctual. Dr. Abernethy made a very careful examination of
his nose, found nothing of the nature of polypus, made the pupil promise
never to look into his nose again, and he, in after years, said, that
there never was anything the matter.

Dr. Abernethy never took a fee from a student, brother doctor, nor full
fee from a clergyman. His great labors seemed to be in the hospitals, and
on his resignation as surgeon to St. Bartholomew, he presented for its use
five hundred dollars. He never neglected his poor hospital patients for
the richer ones outside.

One morning, on leaving his house for a visit to the hospital patients,
some one wished to detain him, when he exclaimed, in terms more earnest
than elegant,--

"Private patients may go to the devil" (or elsewhere, another reports),
"but the poor fellows in the hospital I am bound to care for."

To poor students whose funds were "doubtful," he presented free tickets to
his college lectures, afterwards showing them marked attention.

Everybody has heard of his rude kindness to a young fashionable miss, whom
her mother took to Abernethy for treatment. It is said that the doctor ran
a knife under her belt, in presence of the mother, instantly severing it,
and exclaiming,--

"Why, madam, don't you know there are upwards of thirty yards of ----"
(what are more elegantly termed bowels) "squeezed under that girdle? Go
home, give nature fair play, and you'll have no need of a prescription."



"Cynics have been found in plenty to rail at physicians for loving their
fees; and one might justly retort that the railers love nothing but their
fees. Who does not love--and who is not entitled to--the sweet money
earned by labor, be it labor of hand, brain, or cloth? One thing is
sure--doctors are unpaid."--_A Lawyer._

The above kind-hearted physician, having attended the child of a
clergyman's widow, without knowing her situation, returned all the fees he
had received from her when he learned who she was, and added, in a
letter, fifty pounds besides, with instructions to expend it in daily
rides in the open air, for her health. To a clergyman he sent a receipt
for his long services, and also enclosing ten pounds.

The generosity of Dr. Wilson, of Bath (now deceased), has before been
recorded. He had been attending a clergyman, who, Wilson had learned, was
in indigent circumstances, and he afterwards sent fifty pounds in gold to
the minister, by a friend.

"Yes, I will take it to him to-morrow," said the gentleman.

"O, my dear sir," exclaimed Dr. Wilson, "take it to him to-night. Only
think of the importance to an invalid of one good night's rest."


Another case of "three pair, back," occurs in the memoirs of Dr. Lettsom,
who is already made mention of in this work. On one of his benevolent
excursions, the doctor found his way into the squalid garret of a poor old
woman who had evidently seen better days. With the refined language and
the easy deportment of a well-bred lady, she begged the physician to
examine her case, and give her a prescription. (Alas! how often is poverty
mistaken for disease, and does want foster malady!) But the kind doctor,
after a careful inquiry, formed a correct diagnosis, and wrote on a slip
of paper he chanced to have about him, the following brief note to the
overseers of the parish:--

    "A shilling per diem for Mrs. Moreton. Money, not physic, can cure


A shilling, in those days, was considered no mean sum per day.

  "Alas for the rarity
  Of Christian charity
    Under the sun!
  O, it was pitiful!
  Near a whole city full,
    Home she had none.

  "Sisterly, brotherly,
  Fatherly, motherly
    Feelings had changed;
  Love, by harsh evidence,
  Thrown from its eminence,
  Even God's providence
    Seeming estranged."

"Alas, doctor," said an unfortunate old gentleman, some seventy-four years
old,--a merchant ruined by the American war, bowed down by the weight of
his misfortunes, and by disease,--to Dr. Lettsom, "those beautiful trees
you may see out of my bedroom window I planted with these now feeble
hands. I have lived to see them bear fruit; they have become as part of my
family. But with my children still dearer to me, I must quit this dear old
home, which was the delight of my youth and the hope of my declining
years, and become a homeless, joyless wanderer in my old age."

The benevolent Quaker doctor was deeply affected by these words, and the
utter despair and hopelessness with which the weeping old man uttered
them; and, speaking a few words of consolation to his unfortunate patient,
he wrote a prescription, and hastily retired.

On the old gentleman's examination of the remarkable looking recipe, he
found it to be a check for a large sum of money. The benevolence of the
physician did not end here. He purchased the residence and grounds of the
old man's creditors, and prescribed them to him for life. (He is our young
Quaker antipode, mentioned in another chapter.)

The old apothecary, Sutcliff, was right when he said of young Lettsom,
while his apprentice, "Thou may'st make a good physician, but I think not
a good apothecary." An apothecary is not expected to give away his time or
medicine. (They seldom disappoint one's expectations.) A grocer is not
expected to give away flour, rice, sugar, tea, to even a starving,
languishing neighbor; nor the baker, nor the butcher, to give bread or
meat to the perishing. Why, such demands upon them daily would be laughed
to scorn. But the physician! These very same niggardly men (individually)
would berate the doctor, be he ever so needy, or be his family ever so
large, who would accept a fee for even cold-night services to any but the
richest patients. All physicians do not have access to the "richest
patients." Many a good physician has been compelled to quit practice
because of his too large "bump" of benevolence, and because of the limited
amount of that article in his first few patients, while thousands of
practitioners in this country struggle and labor on through a life of
self-denial, wearing themselves out, dying prematurely, leaving their
families penniless to the cold charities of an uncharitable world. (See
Chapter XXX.)


"Ah me," exclaimed a Jew, one day, as he reluctantly drew out his wallet
to pay three dollars for his examination, prescription, and advice, "if I
could only make money like the doctors of mede_cene_! Ah me." Then, taking
two dollars from his purse, he asked, "Won't that do?"

This Jew was a merchant, reputed rich, and penurious as he was wealthy,
and I demanded the accustomed fee.

"Let me see," said he; "how many patients have you seen to-day?"

"Nine," I replied.

"Let me see," counting his fingers as a tally. "At least twenty-seven
dollars a day, and nothing out but a bit of paper. Ah, I wish I had been a
doctor in mede_cene_," he added, with a sigh, and a woful look at the
money, as he reluctantly handed it over.

This was casting pearls before worse than swine, prescribing for such a
wretch. Brains, education, anxiety, all went for nought, with him. _Money_
was his all. A shilling before his eyes would shut out even God's
sunlight. If the shilling only _shone_, _glistened_,--sunlight enough for
such a wretch.


"Let _me_ see," I said, after his miserable body had taken his penurious
soul out of my office; "nine patients, one three miles away. Horse-tire
and carriage-wear, time, advice, and medicine given, because the patient
was a widow. No. 2 patient, the sick child of an invalid mother; no fee.
No. 3, an Irishman. The Irish never wish to pay anything; did pay one
dollar. No. 4, a merchant. "Charge it." That was _his_ fee. No. 5, a young
sewing girl, who, in sewing on army cloth, had sewed her life's blood into
the seams. In consumption. Could I take her fee? God forbid. No. 6, a
"lady," who, having so much upon her back, had nothing in her purse. I may
get my fee at the end of the quarter. "You know my husband. Good morning."
It was near two o'clock then. She had occupied my time a whole hour. My
dinner was cold; my wife was out of sorts, waiting so long. Nos. 7 and 8,
two sick children. Visit them daily; pay uncertain. The ninth was the
wealthy Jew. Nine patients; four dollars! Don't I sometimes wish I kept an
"O' clo'" store, like the old Jew? This actually occurred when I practised
medicine in Hartford.

[Illustration: PATIENT NUMBER FIVE.]


No man cared _less_ for the profits of the medical profession, or _more_
for the honor thereof, than the great Dr. John Hunter. He was honest,
honorable, and simple in his every day life. His works, which contributed
more to the science of medicine than any other writings during a thousand
years, were simply announced as by JOHN HUNTER. A plain door plate, with
the same name, announced his residence. Money was a secondary
consideration to him. The following shows that he desired a professional
brother to so consider it:--

    "DEAR BROTHER: The bearer needs your advice. He has no money, and you
    have plenty; so you are well met.

    "Yours,        JOHN HUNTER."

To a poor tradesman from whom he had received twenty guineas for
performing a surgical operation upon his wife, he returned nineteen
guineas, having learned with what difficulty and extreme self-denial the
husband had raised the money.

"I sent back nineteen guineas, and kept the twentieth," said he, in
apology for retaining even the one, "that they might not be hurt with an
idea of too great an obligation."

Where is the other man, or class of men, who would have returned the
money, honestly earned, as agreed upon beforehand, unasked?


It is all very nice when one can exercise a benevolent spirit, and not
draw upon his own pocket.

A well-authenticated story is repeated in this line of Dr. M. Monsey.

Passing through a market one day, he noticed a miserable old woman looking
wistfully at a piece of meat hanging just within a stall.

"What is the price of this meat, sir?" she timidly inquired.

"A penny a pound, old woman," replied the butcher, sneeringly, disdaining
a civil answer to the wretched-looking woman, who probably had not a penny
to pay for the chop.

"Just weigh that piece of meat, my friend," said the doctor, who had been
attentively watching the proceedings.

The butcher cheerfully complied with the request of so respectable-looking
a customer.

"Ten pounds and a half, sir," replied the butcher.

"There, my good woman," said the doctor, "hold up your apron;" and he
dumped the whole into it, saying, "Now make haste home and cook it for
your family."

After blessing the very eccentric but benevolent old man over and again
for the timely provision, she drew up the corners of the apron, and ran
speedily down the market.

"Here, my man," said the doctor, turning to the smiling butcher, "here is
ten pence ha'penny, the price of your meat."

"What? What do you mean?" asked the butcher.

"I mean, sir, that I take you at your word. You said the meat was a penny
a pound. At that price I bought it for the poor old woman. It's all I'll
pay you. Good morning, sir."


I can imagine the "chop-fallen" butcher, standing, in his long frock, with
a _beaten_ expression of countenance, alternating his gaze between the
pence in his palm and the retreating form of the wigged and laughing old


Many stories are told of the eccentricities of Dr. Monsey, and

  "No man could better gild a pill,
    Or make a bill,
  Or mix a draught, or bleed, or blister,
  Or draw a tooth out of your head,
  Or chatter scandal by your bed,
    Or tell a twister."

Amongst the vagaries of Dr. Monsey, says Mr. Jeaffreson, was the way in
which he proceeded to extract his decaying teeth. Around the tooth
sentenced to be uprooted he fastened securely a strong piece of cord, or
violin string, to the other end of which he attached a bullet. He then
proceeded to load a pistol with powder and the bullet. By merely pulling
the trigger of the pistol, the operation was speedily and effectually

It was seldom, however, that the doctor could induce his patients to adopt
this original mode of extracting undesirable achers.

One gentleman, who had agreed to try this novel process upon a tooth, got
so far as to allow the whole apparatus to be adjusted, when, at the very
last instant, he exclaimed,--

"Stop, stop! I have changed my mind--"

"I haven't, though; and you're a fool and a coward, and here's go," which
saying, the doctor pulled the trigger.

"Bang!" went the pistol, and out flew the tooth, to the delight and
astonishment of the patient.

Taking this anecdote alone, it is scarcely credible; but considered in
connection with what we have already selected from the life of Dr. Monsey,
and what we may write of his eccentricities in our chapter under that
head, this may be believed as being nearly correct.




Believing, as I do, that every reader of these pages is personally
cognizant of the fact of the true benevolence of our present American
physicians, and because of the silence of the few biographers respecting
the generosities and benevolent deeds of those "who have gone before," I
have devoted more space to anecdotes of English surgeons and physicians
than I otherwise would. I have searched throughout four volumes of
biographies of American physicians without being able to find a single
anecdote of generosity recorded therein worthy of notice. Also in the
"Lives of Surgeons ----" I have to regret this almost unpardonable
neglect. I am assured from my personal knowledge of some of these latter
that there are a thousand instances, which, in justice to their
benevolence, ought to be put upon record, as they are engraven upon the
hearts of their suffering fellow-creatures, and not for the aggrandizement
of the generous bestower so much as an example for the cynical and the
uncharitable world.

A physician has just left my presence who has given away more than he has
ever received from his practice. The good physician is always generous. A
mean-souled man cannot become a successful practitioner. His success with
his patients depends as much, or more, upon the kindly influences that
beam from his eye, that flow from his soul, as upon the medicine that he
deals out from his "saddle-bags."

Generosity and kindness are innate to the man. They require little

The following amusing anecdote from "Every Saturday," I have reason to
believe, has reference to one of our best physicians, who is also a man of
letters, and illustrates my assertion:--


"One hot August afternoon a gentleman, whose name attached to a check
would be more valuable to the reader than if written here, was standing in
front of the Revere House, waiting for a Washington Street car. He was a
slim, venerable gentleman, with long white hair, and a certain dignity
about him which we suppose comes of always having a handsome balance in
the bank, for we never knew a poor man to have this particular air. It was
a sultry afternoon, and the millionaire, standing on the curb-stone in the
shade, had removed his hat, and was cooling his forehead with his
handkerchief, like any common person, when the Cambridge horse-car stopped
at the crossing at his feet. From this car hastily descended a well-known
man of letters, whose pre-occupied expression showed at once that he was
wrestling with an insubordinate hexameter, or laying out the points of a
new lecture. Suddenly he found himself face to face with a white-haired
old man, dejectedly holding a hat in one hand. As quick as thought the
poet--to whom neither old age nor young appeals in vain--thrust his hand
into his vest pocket, and, dropping a handful of nickel and fractional
currency into the extended hat, passed on. The millionaire gazed aghast
into the hat for an instant, and then inverted it spasmodically, allowing
the money to drop into the gutter, much to the amusement of a gentleman
and a tooth-pick on the steps of the Revere House, and very much more to
the amusement of another party, who chanced to know that the supposed
mendicant and the man of letters had been on terms of personal intimacy
these twenty years."


A man may possess large acquisitiveness and benevolence at the same time,
like Sir Astley Cooper, and succeed both pecuniarily and professionally.
Such are, however, scarce. Those with an excess of the grasping principle
in their composition illustrate the truth that "where the treasure is the
heart will be also." Asleep or awake, drunk or sober, such men never lose
sight of the almighty dollar. The annexed story, though irreverent to the
doctors, is not irrelevant to the case:--

During the late "panic," a fellow, whose prominent feature was in his
Jewish nose, which presented the sign of acquisitiveness by the bridge
widening on to the cheeks above the _alæ_,--all men noted for accumulating
have this sign, hung out by nature as a warning to the unwary,--was making
a great noise, as he clung to a friendly lamp-post, to which he was
arguing the state of the money market. "Come, sir, you are making too much
noise," said a policeman.


"Me? No, 'tain't me that's--hic--making the noise; it's the bulls--the
bulls, sir; them's what's making all the noise," replied the fellow,
skewing first one side of the post, then the other, trying to get a view
of his new intruder.

"You are tight, sir--tight as a peep," continued the watchman.

"Me tight? No, sir; it's the money-market what's--ti--tight," replied the
gentlemanly dressed individual, though much the worse for bad whiskey. "Go
down Wall Street, and Fisk and Vanderbuilt--all of 'em--will tell you so.
Everybody says money is--hic--tight. I never was more loose in
my--hic--life;" and he demonstrated the assertion by swinging very loosely
around the lamp-post, and falling down.

"There, you are down. Too drunk to stand up;" and the policeman helped him
to his feet again, and walked him along towards the station.

"No, sir. There you are wrong again; it's stocks that's down. It's the
stockholders--hic--that's staggering along; they've fallen and skinned
their noses on the curb-stone of adversity. There! don't you see
them--crawling along?"

"O, you've got the tremens. Come on," exclaimed the policeman.

"Me? No; it's the shorts and bears what's got the dol--hic--lar--tremens.
I've caught the pan--hics--panics, sir; that's all."

The policeman thrust the money-maniac into a cell, and the last seen of
him he leaned back against the wall, his feet braced out, while, hatless
and the knot of his cravat round under his left ear, he stood arguing the
money-market with an imaginary broker on the opposite side of his cell.


"How much do you charge, sir?" asked a poor farmer, from Framingham, of a
city doctor, who had just wiped a bit of dust from the eye of his son.

"Twenty-five dollars, if you please," was the modest reply.

"I cannot pay it, sir," said the poor man. "It only took you a half
minute. Our doctor was not at home; but I didn't think you would charge me
much, sir."

So the M. D. very benevolently (?) accepted ten dollars--all the poor man

Can you wonder, after reading this statement, the truth of which is easily
avouched for, that this doctor owns a whole block--stores, hotel--and is
immensely rich?

From the English book "About Doctors," here are three anecdotes:--

Radcliffe, the humbug, with a great effort at generosity, had refused his
fees for visiting a poor friend a whole year. On making a final visit, the
gentleman said, presenting a purse,--

"Doctor, here I have put aside a fee for every day's visit. Let not your
goodness get the better of your judgment. Take your money."

The doctor took a look, resolved to carry out his attempt at benevolence,
just touched the purse to restore it to his friend, when he heard "the
chink of gold" within, and--put it into his pocket, saying,--

"Singly, I could have refused the fees for a twelvemonth, but
collectively, they are irresistible. Good day, sir;" and the greedy doctor
walked away with a heavier pocket and a lighter heart than he came with.

On visiting a nobleman, Sir Richard Jebb was paid in hand three guineas
when he, by right, expected five. The doctor purposely dropped the three
gold pieces on the carpet, when the nobleman directed the servant to find
and restore them; but Sir Richard still continued the search after
receiving the three coins.

"Are they not all found?" inquired the nobleman, looking about.

"No, there must be two more on the carpet, as I have only three restored,"
replied the wily doctor.

His lordship took the hint, and said, "Never mind; here are two others."

[Illustration: DEATH'S FEE.]

This sticking for a fee was all cast into the shade by the act of an
"eminent physician of Bristol." The doctor, entering the bedroom
immediately after the death of his patient, found the right hand clinched
tightly, and, pulling open the fingers of the dead man, the doctor
discovered that the hand contained a guinea.

"Ah!" exclaimed the doctor to the servant and friends around him, "this
was doubtless intended for me;" and so saying he pocketed the coin.

  "Three hungry travellers found a bag of gold.
  One ran into the town where bread was sold.
  He thought, 'I will poison the bread I buy,
  And seize the treasure when my comrades die.'
  But they, too, thought, when back his feet have hied,
  We will destroy him, and the gold divide.
  They killed him, and, partaking of the bread,
  In a few moments all were lying dead.
  O world, behold what ill thy goods have done!
  Thy gold thus poisoned two and murdered one."




    "No task is harder than that of writing to the ideas of

    _Duke._ "If ever thou shalt love,
            In the sweet pangs of it, remember me;
            For such as I am all true lovers are;
            Unstaid and skittish in all things else,
            Save in the constant image of the creature
            That is beloved....
            My life upon it, young as thou art, thine eye
            Hath stayed upon some face that it loves;
            Hath it not, boy?"


An old lady once said, "I've hearn say that doctors either are, or are
not, great experts in love affairs; I've forgotten which." Just so!

"I would not be a doctor's wife for the world," I have heard many a lady
affirm. True; for few doctors have had the misfortune (or folly) to select
a jealous woman for a life companion.

Socrates, the great philosopher, and physician of the mind, seems to have
had the ugliest tempered woman in the world, whose very name, _Xantippe_,
has passed into a proverb for a scolding wife; yet she was not jealous of
her spouse, but was said to have sincerely loved him; and he bore her
outbursts of temper only as a great philosopher could, which seemed not to
have disturbed the equanimity of his living nor the humor of his dying.

"Crito,"--these were his last words,--"Crito, forget not the cock that I
promised to Esculapius!"

Alas! an affecting satire on philosophy and physic.

[Illustration: MY FIRST LOVE.]

No; we find no cases to record of the jealousies of physicians, or their
wives. All the jealousies of the former are spent on their professional

It is a philosophical fact that physicians, of all men, seldom are
involved in disgrace, quarrels, or litigations on account of love affairs.
Yet they have affections, like other men, and above all men know how to
appreciate affection and virtue in woman.


I know of a little episode in the early life of a doctor, whose name
modesty forbids me to mention. Let me briefly state it in the first

  Ah, friend, if you and I should meet
    Beneath the boughs of the bending lime,
  And you in the same low voice repeat
    The tender words of the old love-rhyme,
    It could not bring back the same old time--
                  No, never.

I was young when I first fell in love,--not above six years of age; but
love is without reason, blind to age. The object of my first affection was
my school-_mischief_, as I then called her, who was about twenty. The
disparagement of years never entered my innocent noddle. I used to start
for school a half hour before nine, and stop on the way at the squire's
house, where Miss ---- boarded. O, with what joy I always met her! In
summer she gave me roses from the beautiful great white rose-bushes in the
squire's front yard; in autumn and winter, splendid red and green apples,
from the orchard and cellar, and candy and kisses at all times. So I fell
desperately in love with her.

I was greatly shocked, and not a little piqued, when one day she, in cold
blood, bade me good by, and went away with a tall man, with shocking red
whiskers. That is all I remember about him. I, however, mourned her loss
for years, although my appetite remained unimpaired--my parents said.

  "Like a still serpent, basking in the sun,
    With subtle eyes, and back of russet gold,
  Her gentle tones and quiet sweetness won
    A coil upon her victims: fold on fold
  She wove around them with her graceful wiles,
  Till, serpent-like, she stung amid her smiles."

The next time I saw her was about ten years afterwards. O, with what
pleasant anticipations I hastened to her house! I remembered her every
look--her fair, intelligent face; her wavy black hair; her heavenly
dark-blue eyes. O, I should know her anywhere! Her I never could forget.

[Illustration: TEN YEARS LATER.]

With these thoughts I confidently knocked at the door. "Is Miss ---- at
home?" I inquired of the--servant, I supposed, who opened the door. Just
then three or four dirty-looking little children ran screaming after the
woman, calling out, "Marm, marm!"

"Hush, children, hush!" said the female, and, turning again to me, said,--

"Whom did you inquire for?" pushing back one of the red-headed urchins.

"Miss Mary ----, ma'am," I answered. "She once lived at Blue Hill."

She gave a sickly-looking smile. She looked sick before; her cheeks all
fallen in; her skimmed-milk colored eyes had a weary, anxious expression;
and her thin, bony hands, resting on the door-latch, looked like a
consumptive's, as she said,--

"When did you know her?"

"O, but a few years ago, ma'am. Is she here? Does she live in _this
house_?" I eagerly inquired.

"Well," she replied, with another more sepulchral smile,

"I was once Miss Mary ----. I married Mr. ---- ----, over ten years ago.
My baby, here,"--presenting the second in size of the children to my view,
a reddish-brown haired girl, quite unlike any one I had ever seen before,
and wiping its nose with her calico apron,--"she is named for me, Mary
----. Won't you come in, sir?"

No, I thought I would not stop. I didn't stop till I reached the hotel,
where I had begged the stage-driver to wait for me but a half hour before,
while I called upon the lovely Miss Mary ----.

  "O, sunny dreams of childhood,
    How soon they pass away!
  Like flowers within the wild wood,
    They perish and decay."


A young physician was supposed to be "keepin' company" with a young lady.
The matronly friend of the latter, having praised the young man from all
points of view, returned one day from the death-bed of a friend, at which
the physician had been present. She eulogized the living fully as much as
the dead man, and finally turning to the girl, as if she had reached the
_ne plus ultra_ of enthusiasm, she said, "Jane, he's the handsomest man I
ever see fixin' round a corpse."


The writer is acquainted with a young physician, who read medicine with an
old doctor, named Gitchel, or Twichel, of Portland, and commenced practice
in his native village,--a great mistake for any practitioner to make,--and
where he met with consequences natural to even a prophet, opposition and
scandal. By some mistake, or, as his opponents charged, mal-practice, he
lost a patient. Being, a few days later, in a shop in the next village, he
was secretly informed that the "hounds of the law were after him--even at
the next door, that very moment." Terrified beyond necessity, he caught up
his medicine chest, and, climbing out of the back window, fled to the
woods. In the village, at home, he had courted a lovely young girl, with
whom he had exchanged vows. She knew the talk that was going on
respecting the young doctor, but she believed it not, or, believing,
clung the firmer to her pledges.

[Illustration: FLIGHT OF THE DOCTOR.]

"After night fell I left the woods, and took to the highway. To go home I
was afraid. O, had I but braved the doctors, and defied the lawyers, all
would have been well," he told me afterwards. "But I had received such ill
treatment, been scandalized so severely, that I was cowed to the earth. I
knew not if my life, my Angie, had also turned against me, when the news
was spread that I had tacitly admitted my crime by fleeing.

"I went to W., hundreds of miles away. I took a new name, and put out my
shingle. I was at once patronized, and soon extensively; but I was morose
and unhappy. I was offered a home and a wife. I had as good as a wife away
in my far-off home; I was bound to her, and I _loved_ her as I _hated my
own soul_! I dared not write to her, nor go to her. 'O, my God, what shall
I do?' I cried, in my misery. He did not hear me, and I came to believe
that _He was not_!

"Thus a whole year wore away, and I had not heard from home. Finally, I
determined to make an attempt to see my Angie. I had, after going to W.,
allowed my heavy beard to go uncropped, which I had never done at home. I
wore no clothes that I brought away with me from home. I purchased a few
knickknacks, put on a slouched hat, and appeared in my native village as a
peddler. Unless my voice betrayed me, I had no fears of detection. To
prevent this mishap I kept a silver coin in my mouth when talking.

"I had called at several houses, but could learn nothing of my betrothed,
without fear of exciting suspicion by too close inquiries. I therefore,
unable longer to stand the suspense, entered her father's house. She and
her mother only were at home. I could scarcely suppress my feelings as I
beheld her, the idol of my heart. When I spoke, she started to her feet,
and with staring countenance gazed fixedly upon me. Then she fell back
into her chair.

[Illustration: FLIGHT OF THE LOVERS.]

[Illustration: THE LOVER AS A PEDDLER.]

"My God, she did not know me.

"The mother noticed how pale the girl looked, and proposed to get her a
drink of water from the porch.

"'No, no, I am not faint.'

"'Yes, yes,' I articulated, with the coin in my mouth; 'get her some

"Away went the old lady, and, dropping my basket and spitting out the
coin, I cried, 'Angie, Angie, bless you, my darling,' and fell kneeling at
her feet.

"'O, Charley, it is you,--the Lord be praised!--come at last.'

"I sprang to my feet. There was time to say no more. The mother returned
and looked wistfully about.

"'I thought I heard some one saying, "Charley, Charley,"' she said,
presenting the water to Angie, who was now flushed and excited. I was
searching for my coin.

"'O, the water is warm. Mother, dear, do go to the well in the yard, and
get some fresh; and look to see if there is anybody outside calling.' And
away went the old lady.

"'Now, Charley, what brought you back? And why did you stay? And--'

"'Wait, wait. Number nine boots brought me. I've come for you, Angie.'

"'You will be arrested if you are seen here, I am afraid,' she said.

"'Then meet me to-night at ---- Crossing, and fly with me.'

"I then told her how I had lived, how I had suffered, and how much I loved
her; and she consented to marry me, and secretly go away with me. But the
difficulty now lay in getting a lawful man to marry us. The license could
be bought; I was certain of that. So I went away and obtained it. I next
hired a horse and carriage, and paid for it in advance, to go twelve

"'Aren't you Charley ----?' asked the stable man, eying me sharply, as I
was about to drive away to get Angie, that night.

"'Take this,'--and I gave him a gold piece,--'and ask no questions, nor
answer any, till you see your horse and carriage safely back,' was my

"As we drove out of the village, I heard wagon wheels far behind us.
Reaching the woods, I drove into a wood road, and the 'hounds of the ----
doctors' rode fiercely past. Angie trembled for my safety. I reached a
cross road. The moon shone quite brightly, and, jumping from the buggy, I
soon found, by the fresh track, which road they had taken. I took a
different. So I reached a train that night, and rode till morning; arrived
at W. the next, and was married."

It was at W. that I found him first. He was smart. He had a good memory.
He was a handsome man, full six feet in his stockings. In all, his address
was not excelled by any physician with whom I have ever met. He is now an
excellent physician and surgeon, in a large city, in good practice. When
he returned on a visit to his native village, as he did last year, the
affair had blown over; for after a man is honored abroad, he may become so
at home,--seldom before. I wish him happiness and prosperity.

"There is no greater rogue than he who marries only for money; no greater
fool than he who marries only for love. I could marry any lady I like, if
I would only take the trouble," Dr. Macilvain heard an old fellow say. Of
course, nobody but a conceited old bachelor would have said that, who
needs a woman to just take some of the self-conceit out of him.


Some of the old English doctors were gay fellows amongst the ladies,
according to the best authorities. Nevertheless, few men have arrived at
eminence in the medical profession who were known to be afflicted with an
overplus of romantic or sentimental qualities in their composition.

It may be interesting, particularly to ladies, to know that the majority
of those physicians who have arrived at the dignity of knighthood owe
their elevation rather to the smiles of love than the rewards of
professional efforts. "Considering the opportunities that medical men have
for pressing a suit in love, and the many temptations to gentle emotion
that they experience in the aspect of female suffering, and the confiding
gratitude of their fair patients, it is to be wondered at that only one
medical duke is to be found in the annals of the peerage." But the
physician usually has quite sufficient self-control and honor about him,
not only to keep his own tender sensibilities in subjection, but often to
check those of his grateful and emotional female patient.

Thackeray has said that "girls of rank make love in the nursery, and
practise the arts of coquetry upon the page boy who brings up the coals
and kindlings."

In this connection Mr. Jeaffreson, whose narratives have the virtue of
being true as well as interesting, says, "I could point to a fair matron
who now enjoys rank and wealth among the highest, who not only aimed
tender glances, and sighed amorously upon a young, waxen-faced, blue-eyed
apothecary, but even went so far as to write him a letter proposing an
elopement, and other merry arrangements, in which a 'carriage and four,'
to speed them over the country, bore a conspicuous part."

The "silly maiden" had, like Dinah, a "fortune in silver and gold," of
about two hundred and fifty thousand dollars, and her tall, blue-eyed
Adonis, to whom she made this _almost_ resistless proposal, was twice her
age. But he was a gentleman of honor, and, being in the confidence of the
family, he generously, without divulging the mad proposition of the fair
young lady, induced the father to take her to the continent, for a
twelvemonth's change of air and scenery.

"What a cold-blooded wretch!" will some fair reader exclaim.

"What a fool he was, to be sure!" says the bachelor fortune-seeker.

Well, she didn't die for her first unrequited love, but married a "very
great man," and became the mother of several children. And this is the way
the fair heroine of this little story avenged herself upon this "Joseph
amongst doctors."

Very recently she manifested her good will to the man who had offered her
what is generally regarded as the greatest insult a woman can experience,
by procuring a commission in the army for his eldest son.

It is interesting to note the various qualities which have attracted the
attention, or love, of different sons of Æsculapius to female beauties.
Sometimes it has been her hair, the "pride of a woman," that was the point
of attraction, as it was with Dr. Mead, "whose highest delight was to comb
the luxuriant tresses of the lady on whom he lavished his affections;" or
the "eyes of heavenly blue," like the lady love's of Dr. Elliot, senior;
or the tiny footprint in the sand, like that which first attracted Dr.
Robert Ames to the woman of his choice. What the point of attraction was
in the man is not easily ascertained.

A gay and dangerous beau among the "high ladies" was Dr. Hugh Smithson,
the father of James Smithson (his illegitimate son), the founder of the
"Smithsonian Institution" at Washington. Sir Hugh's forte lay in his
remarkably handsome person, said to be only second to Sir Astley Cooper in
beauty of form and features. However, he had the address which secured to
him one of the handsomest and proudest heiresses of England, and this is
how he accomplished it.

He was but the grandson of a Yorkshire baronet, "with no prospects," and
was apprenticed to an apothecary, and for a long time paid court to mortar
and pestle at Hutton Garden. The story runs, that the handsome doctor had
been mittened by a "belle of private rank and modest wealth," and that
the only child and heiress of Seymour, Duke of Somerset, and an
acquaintance of Sir Hugh's, heard of his rejection, when she publicly
observed that "the beauty who had disdained such a man was guilty of a
folly that no other woman in England would have been."

Sir Hugh would have been unwise not to have taken this broad hint, and he
did what none of the heiress's suitors, even of high rank, had yet aspired
to,--proposed, and was accepted. Sixteen years later he was created Duke
of Northumberland, and could well afford to laugh in his sleeve at the
proposition that "his coronet should be surrounded with _senna_ leaves,
instead of strawberry," since he had reached a rank that no other M. D.
had previously done, and possessed the "_loveliest woman in England_," and
a great fortune, to boot.

Lord Glenbervie, who from the druggist's counter reached the peerage, was
taunted by Sheridan with his plebeian origin, from which a patrician wife
had redeemed him, in the following amusing verse:--

  "Glenbervie, Glenbervie!
  What's good for the scurvy?
    But why is the doctor forgot?
  In his arms he should quarter
  A pestle and mortar,
    For his crest an immense gallipot."

Sir John Elliot was another handsome doctor of that period, who,
notwithstanding his being disliked by King George, could, with small
effort and large impudence, "capture the hearts of half the prettiest
women amongst the king's subjects, and then shrug his shoulders with
chagrin at his success." "One lady, the daughter of a nobleman, ignorant
that he was otherwise occupied, made him an offer, and on learning, to her
surprise and mortification, that he was already married, vowed she would
not rest till she had assassinated his wife."

Dr. Arbuthnot, whose courtly address, sparkling wit, ready flow of
language, innate cordiality, and polished manners made him a great
favorite about London, was one of the finest looking gentlemen of his
time. The doctor was contemporary with Dean Swift, with whom he used to
enjoy flirtations with the queen's maids of honor about St. James.

"Arm in arm with the dean, he used to peer about St. James, jesting,
laughing, causing matronly dowagers to smile at 'that dear Mr. Dean,' and
young girls, out for their first season at court, green and
unsophisticated, to blush with annoyance at his coarse, shameless
badinage,--bowing to this great man, from whom he hoped for countenance;
staring insolently at that one, from whom he expected nothing; quoting
Martial to the prelate, who could not understand Latin; whispering French
to a youthful diplomatist, who knew no tongue but English; and continually
angling for the bishopric, which he never got."

From flattering court beauties, Arbuthnot became flatterer to the gouty,
hypochondriacal old queen. But wine and women made sad havoc with poor
Arbuthnot, who died in very straitened circumstances.

Dr. Mead, before mentioned, was twice married. He was fifty-one years old
when married the second time, to a baronet's daughter. Fortunate beyond
fortunate men, he had the great _mis_-fortune of outliving his usefulness.
His sight failed, and his powers underwent that gradual decay which is the
saddest of all possible conclusions to a vigorous and dignified existence.
Even his valets domineered over him. Long before this his second
childhood, he excited the ridicule of the town by his vanity and absurd
pretensions as a "lady-killer."

"The extravagances of his amorous senility were not only whispered about,
but some contemptible fellow seized upon the unpleasant rumors, and
published them in a scandalous novelette, wherein the doctor was
represented as a 'Cornuter of seventy-five,' when, to please the damsel
who 'warmed his aged heart,'--she was a blacksmith's daughter,--the
doctor, long past threescore and ten, went to Paris, and learned to

[Illustration: AN AGED PUPIL.]

Dr. Richard Mead died aged eighty-one. The sale of his library, pictures,
and statues brought the heirs eighty thousand dollars. His other effects
amounted to one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars.

Another Dr. Mead, uncle to the above, lived to the age of one hundred and
forty-nine years. Both of these physicians were remarkable for their
kindness and liberality. The latter left five pounds a year to the poor,
to continue forever.


A handsome person is not alone requisite to win the affections of a
sensible lady. Radcliffe, who was as great a humbug in affairs matrimonial
as in all other matters, was represented as being "handsome and imposing
in person;" but his overbearing manner, and his coarse flings at the
softer sex, made him anything but a favorite with the ladies. While he
professed to be a misogynist, he made several unsuccessful attempts,
particularly late in life, to commit himself to matrimony.

A lady, with "a singing noise in her head," asked what she should do for
it. "Curl your hair at night with a ballad," was the coarse reply.

Once, when sitting over a bottle of wine at a public house, Queen Anne
sent her servant for Dr. Radcliffe to hasten to her Royal Highness, who
was taken suddenly ill with what was vulgarly called "the blue devils," to
which gormandizers are subject, but more properly termed indigestion.
"When the wine is in, the wits are out," was readily demonstrated in this
case; for, on a second messenger arriving from the queen for her physician
to make all haste, Radcliffe banged his fist down on the board, at which
other physicians also sat, and exclaimed,--

"Go tell her Royal Highness that she has nothing but the vapors."

When, on the following morning, the process being reversed,--the "wine was
out, and wits were in"--the doctor presented himself, with pomp and a show
of dignity, at St. James', judge of his mortification, when the
chamberlain stopped him in the anteroom, and informed him that he was
already succeeded by Dr. Gibbons.

The queen never forgave him for saying she had the "vapors." Radcliffe
never forgave Dr. Gibbons for superseding him. "Nurse Gibbons," he would
bitterly exclaim, "is only fit to look after nervous women, who only fancy

When the doctor was forty-three years of age, he made love to a lady of
half his years, and followed with an offer of marriage, which was
accepted. As the fact became public, the doctor was warmly congratulated
upon his good fortune, for the lady was not only young, but was a beauty,
and an heiress to seventy-five thousand dollars.

The wedding day was set, which was to crown Radcliffe's happiness, when a
little drawback arose, which was not previously mentioned in the bills.
The peculiar condition of the beauty's health rendered it expedient that,
instead of the doctor, she should marry her father's book-keeper.

The doctor's acetous temper towards the fair sex was not lessened by this
mishap, nor were the ladies backward in giving him an occasional reminder
of the fact. Nevertheless, unlike the burnt child, that avoided the fire,
Radcliffe, sixteen years afterwards, made a second conspicuous throw of
the dice. He was then about sixty. He came out with a new and elegant
equipage, employed the most fashionable tailors, hatters, and wig-makers,
"who arrayed him in the newest modes of foppery, which threw all London
into fits of laughter, while he paid his addresses, with the greatest
possible publicity, to a lady who possessed every requisite charm,--youth,
beauty, and wealth,--except a tenderness for her aged suitor.

"Behold, love has taken the place of avarice [the affair was thus aired in
a public print]; "or, rather, is become avarice of another kind, which
still urges him to pursue what he does not want. But behold the
metamorphosis! The anxious, mean cares of a usurer are turned into the
languishments and complaints of a lover. 'Behold,' says the aged
Æsculapian, 'I submit; I own, great Love, thy empire. Pity, Hebe, the fop
you have made. What have I to do with gilding but on pills? Yet, O Fate,
for thee I sit amidst a crowd of painted deities on my chariot, buttoned
in gold, clasped in gold, without having any value for that beloved
metal, but as it adorns the hat, person, and laces of the dying lover. I
ask not to live, O Hebe! Give me gentle death. Euthanasia, Euthanasia!
That is all I implore.'

"O Wealth, how impotent art thou, and how little dost thou supply us with
real happiness, when the usurer himself cannot forget thee for the love of
what is foreign to his felicity, as thou art!"

Although Radcliffe denied his own sisters during his life, "lest they
should show their affection for him by dipping their hands in his
pockets," some stories of his benevolence are told, one of which is, that
finding one Dr. James Drake, when "each had done the utmost to injure the
other," broken down and in distressed circumstances, he sent by a lady
fifty guineas to his unfortunate enemy, saying,--

"Let him by no means learn who sent it. He is a gentleman who has often
done his best to hurt me, and would by no means accept a benefit from one
whom he had striven to make an enemy."


Poor George Crabbe, the poet-doctor-apothecary, had a very hard time in
this cold, unappreciative world, until Love smiled upon his unhappy lot.
He was born in the old sea-side town of Aldoborough, where his father was
salt inspector,--not an over-lucrative office in those days. George was
the eldest of a numerous family.

From the common school he went to apprenticeship with a rough old country
doctor, who lodged him with the stable-boy. From this indignity he was,
however, soon released, and went to live with a kind gentleman, a surgeon
of Woodbridge. Here he began to write poetry. Here, also, he became
acquainted with a young surgeon, named Leavett, who introduced Crabbe to a
lovely young lady, with whom he fell desperately in love.

This inestimable young lady resided at Parham Lodge with her uncle, John
Tovell, yeoman, and her name was Sarah Elmy. Mr. Tovell possessed an
estate worth four thousand dollars per annum, and, without assuming any
"airs," was a first-class "yeoman" of that period--"one that already began
to be styled, by courtesy, an esquire."

"On Crabbe's first introduction to Parham Lodge, he was received with
cordiality; but when it became known that he had fallen in love with the
squire's niece, it was only natural that his presumption should at first
meet with the disapproval of Mrs. Tovell and the squire."


After closing his term of apprenticeship with Dr. Page, young Crabbe
returned to his native village, where he furnished a little shop with "a
pound's worth of drugs," and an array of empty bottles, and set himself up
as an apothecary. His few patients were only amongst the poorer class of
the town. Although he had plighted troth with the lovely Sarah at Parham
Lodge, with starvation staring him in the face at Aldoborough, and the
opposition of the lady's family at the Lodge, there was little prospect
of bettering his condition in life. The temporary military appointments
which he received brought him no nearer his desired object. The lady
remained true to her vows; and long after his friend Leavett had quitted
the shores of time, and his new and true friend Burke had extended to the
promising author his patronage, she received the reward for her faithful

The union of Crabbe with Miss Elmy conferred eventually upon the poet,
doctor, and apothecary, the possession of the estate of "yeoman"
Tovell--Parham Lodge. A maiden sister of the squire's, dying, left him a
considerable sum of money. The loving, waiting Sarah proved a faithful,
though some might say a somewhat domineering, wife, as the following
quotation intimates:--

"I can screw Crabbe up or down, just like an old fiddle," this amiable
woman was wont to say; and throughout her life she amply demonstrated the

"But her last will and testament was a handsome apology for all her past
little tiffs."


A curious story is told, and vouched for, respecting the manner in which
Dr. and Rev. Thomas Dawson obtained a rich and pious wife. This gentleman
combined the two professions of preacher and doctor. If, during divine
services, he was called upon to prescribe for an invalid, he wound up his
sermon, requested his audience to pray for the sick, and repaired
forthwith to administer to the body. I presume the congregation to whom
the reasonable request was made did not take it in the same light as did
an "M. D." of whom we heard, who made a point to be called out of church
every Sabbath.

Once the minister, who had a bit of humor in his manner, stopped on a
certain occasion in his "thirdly," and said, "Dr. B. is wanted to attend
upon Mr. ----, and may the Lord have mercy upon him."

The doctor was so enraged at this "insinuation" that he called upon the
parson, and demanded an "apology to the congregation, before whom he felt
he had been grossly slandered."

The parson agreed to this proposal, and in the afternoon he arose and

"As Dr. B. feels aggrieved at my remark of this morning, and demands an
apology, I hereby offer the same; and as that was the first case, I trust
it may be the last in which I am ever called upon in his behalf to
supplicate divine intervention."

But to return to Dr. Dawson. Amongst his patients was a Miss Mary Corbett,
said to be one of the wealthiest and most pious of his flock, whom, on his
calling upon her one day, he found bending in reverence over the Bible.

The doctor approached, and as she raised her eyes to his she held her
finger upon the passage which occupied her immediate attention. The doctor
bent down and read the words at which her finger pointed--"Thou art the

The doctor was not slow to take the hint. Thus he obtained a pious wife,
she a devout husband.--_See "Book About Doctors."_

A great deal has been reported respecting the "off-hand" manner in which
Abernethy "popped the question" to Miss Anne Threlfall. The fact of the
case is given by Dr. Macilwain. The lady was visiting at a place where the
doctor was attending a patient--of all places the best to learn the true
merits of a lady. He was at once interested in her, and ere long there
seemed a tacit understanding between them. "The doctor was shy and
sensitive; which was the real Rubicon he felt a difficulty in passing; and
this was the method he adopted: he wrote her a brief note, pleading
professional occupation, etc., and requesting the lady to take a
fortnight in which to consider her reply." From these facts a great
falsehood has oft been repeated how he "couldn't afford time to make
love," etc., and that she must decide to marry him in a week, or not at

He was married to her January 9, 1800, and attended lectures the same day.

[Illustration: "POPPING THE QUESTION."]

"Many years after, I met him coming out of the hospital, and said,--

"'You are looking very gay to-day, sir.'

"'Yes,' he replied, looking at his white vest and smart attire, 'one of
the girls was married this morning.'

"'Indeed, sir? You should have given yourself a holiday on such an
occasion, and not come down to lecture.'

"'Nay,' he replied, 'egad, I came down to lecture the same day I was
married myself.'"--_Memoirs of Abernethy._




    "The evidence of sense is the first and highest kind of evidence of
    which human nature is capable."--WILKINS.

    "They choose darkness rather than light because their deeds are


Mind and matter!

What is the connection?

Why does one's yawning set a whole room full to yawning?

What is the unseen power, appropriated mostly by the ignorant, which at
times controls another weaker mind, or, for the time being, controls
disease? The majority of medical men "get around" this question by denying
the whole proposition. But that does not satisfy the jury--the people. The
great community know that there is some unseen power, which is partially
developed in certain persons, which has great controlling influence over
certain other persons; hence over their diseases, especially mental or
nervous diseases.

I hope to be able to explain something of this "phenomenon."

Those who practise it know nothing of its _modus operandi_, any more than
the bird that sings on yonder willow knows of the science of music.

To the common suggestion, "It's spirits," I say, No, _no_!

If it were "spirits," why does the spirit always seek a _low organization_
through which to manifest itself? There are few exceptions to this rule.

It is unnatural, inconsistent with the divine attributes for the
supernatural to mingle with the natural. The circulation of the blood was
once attributed to the action of the sun--hence a man fell asleep at
sunset--and to supernatural causes.

Science has done away with these absurd notions.

"It is a manifestation of divine power," say others.

Well, for that matter, everything is; but _directly_ it is not, for what
answers the "spirit" suggestion answers this one also. Divine power cannot
be limited.

For want of a better name, let us call this power "animal magnetism."

The man who controls the mind of another, or another's disease, through
his mind, must possess the following requisites: First, health; second,
will; third, faith that he can control the subject. No _reasoning_ is
necessary. The less causality he possesses, the better. The less reasoning
faculties, the better he can perform.


Animal magnetism is an animal power--not a spiritual. All the animal
qualities--organs--are located in the back and lower part of the brain.
They act independent of reason. Passions have no reason. The affections
have no reason. Anger and hate have none. The force, driving power of
man is centred back of the ears. The cerebellum, or lower brain, acts
independent of reason. Birds, and most of the animals, possess all the
qualities that the cerebellum of man contains.

The upper brain--the cerebrum--is the instrument of our thoughts--our
reason. In sleep, it is still; its action is suspended. Hence there is no
reason in our dreams. The motive power is in the lower brain; hence
somnambulism. If there is anything of a "trance" nature, it means shutting
off the action of the cerebrum, and concentring the power in the
cerebellum. Some persons have but little upper brain. If they have the
other requisites, they may become good clairvoyants, or magnetizers,
according to the manner in which they exercise the animal power.

I have yet to find a professional clairvoyant with large or active
reasoning (intellectual) qualities.


The _living_ blood has not yet been analyzed. It contains a vitalizing
element which chemistry has not yet been adequate to detect. There is yet
as much to be discovered in the science of life as has already been
revealed to man. It will yet be found out.

How is the power, or force, conveyed from the operator to the person
operated upon? Through what medium does it act?

Let us begin with the brain. Let us take a ball of cotton for our
illustration. We draw out a piece from it, and spin it out to our fancy.
It is a thread, but _cotton_ still, twisted to a fine string. The brain is
located at the top of man. By means of fine threads, called nerves, the
brain is distributed over the entire body, so completely that you cannot
stick a pin in the flesh without touching a nerve, wounding the brain.
Suspend the entire action of the brain, as by ether, chloroform, or
nitrous oxygen gas, and sticking the pin is not felt. Partially suspend
the action, as by a small quantity of the nitrous oxygen gas, and the
force of the brain (or active force) is centred upon the lower brain, and
the man under its influence acts out his animal nature in spite of reason.

A man, I hold, who magnetizes or mesmerizes another, uses only the force
of the lower brain. Like begets like. He cannot affect a person of large
intellectual organs; only one with the animal organs active.

You cannot _see_ the gas, yet it affects the person. You cannot see the
subtile power conveyed from one man to a weaker. He conveys it by
touch--nerve to nerve. I believe science will yet discover just what this
subtile agent is--both in the blood and nerves; for it is in both, or why
does the suspension of it in one destroy the other? Destroy the nerve, and
the corresponding blood-vessel is inactive. Destroy the blood-vessel, and
the corresponding nerve suffers.

It is the power that the mother exercises to hush her sobbing babe to
slumber. As the child gathers strength of mind, she loses that control. A
person may be used as a mesmeric subject until he becomes a mere idiotic
machine. Educate a clairvoyant doctor, and what becomes of his clairvoyant
power? It is lost with the increase of intellectual power. Now, is this a
"divine" quality, that only ignorance can make use of? Is it really
"hidden from the wise and prudent, and given to babes?" All sciences were
practised by the uneducated first, before being reduced to a _science_. I
think this will be yet reduced to a useful science. As it now stands, it
is useless. If it is a spirit power, the spirits are mighty silent as to
the fact.

We come into this world by natural causes. We live, grow, exist, and we
die by natural causes. We brought no knowledge with us; we carry none out.
All the qualities yet developed in man are natural, and adapted to this
life. Millions upon millions have so lived and so died, and a spirit
power in _this_ world is no nearer to being established than it was when
Adam was a little boy. All that heretofore has been attributed to spirit,
or supernatural causes, has been proven to be but natural. I claim that
magnetism and the undiscovered sciences are natural, and have no
connection with the next world, to which we tend. The human eye, to some
extent, is magnetic. A blind man cannot thrill an audience; hardly can an
orator with glasses over his eyes. Dr. Chapin approaches the nearest to
it. Dr. Beecher's great magnetic power is in his eyes, and is also let off
at the ends of his fingers. But to _thoroughly_ magnetize a person, he
must be _touched_.


A wild animal has only small reasoning organs. The influence of the human
eye is potent over him. Lichtenstein says, "The African hunters avail
themselves of the circumstance that the lion does not attempt to spring
upon his prey until he has measured the ground, and has reached the
distance of ten or twelve paces, when he lies crouching on the ground,
gathering himself up for the effort. The hunters," he says, "make it a
rule never to fire on the lion until he lies down at this short distance,
so that they can aim directly at his head with the most perfect certainty.
If one meets a lion, his only safety is to stand still, though the animal
crouches to make his spring; that spring will not be hazarded if the man
remain motionless, and look him steadfastly in the eyes. The animal
hesitates, rises, slowly retreats some steps, looks earnestly about him,
lies down, again retreats, till, getting by degrees quite out of the magic
circle of man's influence, he takes flight in the utmost haste."

It is said of Valentine Greatrakes, the great magnetizer and forerunner of
Mesmer, that the glance of his eye had a marvellously fascinating
influence upon people of a susceptible or nervous organization. All
magnetizers, etc., who have tried their powers upon the writer, first
bent a sharp, scrutinizing gaze upon the eye of their unruly subject. Yet
they have exercised no _reason_ in selecting the subject.

[Illustration: THE LION MAGNETIZED.]

I attended the exhibitions of Professor Cadwell, night after night, in
Boston. I went on the stage. I examined the subjects whom he controlled
"like an old fiddle," and, physiognomically and phrenologically, not one
of them was above mediocrity intellectually, and the most of them were far
below. The best subjects had the least intellectuality. His control over
them was astonishing. In some he could suspend the power of memory, others
all the reasoning faculties. Some he could control muscularly, some

"This is a hot stove," he said, setting an empty chair before the row of
men, boys, and girls sitting along the wall side of the stage. "_It is
very hot_;" and they began drawing back--all but one. "Don't you see the
stove, and feel the awful heat, Frank?" he asked of one hard subject.

[Illustration: A HARD SUBJECT.]

"I can feel the heat, but I can't see the stove in that chair," was his
droll reply.

The professor could make this gentleman forget his name, but could not
make him believe that "a silk hat was a basin of water."


The old ignorant kings and queens were said to remove the scrofula (king's
evil) by the touch. Gouty old Queen Anne was the last to exercise the
royal prerogative to any extent.

A scrofulous _development_ is the result of imperfect action, and
obstruction of some one or more of the five excretory organs of the human
system. These are the skin (or glands of the same), the lungs, the liver,
the kidneys, and the colon. The most that the regular physician does in
scrofula (or one who is not a specialist in this branch of physic) is to
attend to the general health of the patient of a scrofulous diathesis,
build up the strength, and endeavor to increase the vitality. This _in a
measure_ tends to reduce the scrofulous development. Now, will not a child
sleeping continually with an aged person or invalid tend to reduce the
vitality of the child? Yes, it absorbs the disease of the one, while the
vitality is thrown off for the benefit of the weaker person. Here, you
see, one person may partake of the vitality of another by touch. Then may
not the continued touch of a healthy person (king or subject) affect the
health of a weaker, on the principle of increased vitality?

But it really removes no cause, hence cannot take the place of an
alterative, or anti-scrofulous medicine. The "crew of wretched souls" who
waited the king's touch really believed that he "solicits Heaven." Hence
the cure. The coin which he hung about the neck of these "strangely
visited people, all swollen and ulcerous, pitiful to the eye," called
their attention continually to "the healing benediction."

Pyrrhus, who was placed upon the throne by force of arms B. C. 306, was
said to cure the "evil" by the "grace of God." Valentine, who only held
his throne--A. D. 375--by the help of Theodosius, not by the "grace of
God"--claimed to cure scrofula by the latter power, as did Valentine II.,
whose wicked temper ended his life in a "fit of passion."

The subject of the following sketch claimed also divine power:--


It seems from the following truthful account of Herr Gassner, a clergyman
at Elwangen, that the devil can understand Latin, as well as "quote
Scripture." About the year 1758 this clergyman became so celebrated in
curing diseases by animal magnetism, that the people came flocking from
Switzerland, the Tyrol, and Swabia, in great numbers, to be cured of
all sorts of ailments, a thousand persons arriving at a time, who had to
lodge in tents, as the town could not lodge them all.


His _modus operandi_ was as follows. Dressed in a long scarlet cloak, a
silken sash about his loins, a chain about his neck, and wearing, or
holding in one hand, a crucifix, and touching with the other the diseased
part, and in the Latin tongue commanding the disease, or the evil spirit,
whichever the case was termed, to depart, in the name of Jesus Christ, the
patient was usually healed. Dr. Schlisel says, that Gassner "spoke chiefly
in Latin, in his operations, and the devil is said to have understood him

The Austrian government gave him its assistance. The excitement became
great. Elwangen was overcrowded by people, rich and poor. Riches flowed
into the coffers of its trades-people, though Gassner took nothing
directly for his cures. Hundreds of patients arrived daily; the apothecary
gained a great revenue from dispensing simples ordered by Gassner,
principally powder of _blessed thistle_, oils, and washes. The printers
labored day and night at their presses in order to furnish sufficient
pamphlets, prayers, pictures, etc., for the eager horde of admirers. The
goldsmiths were crowded, also, to furnish all kinds of _Agni Dei_,
crosses, charms, hearts, and rings. Even the beggars had their harvest, as
well as bakers, hotel-keepers, and the rest.

During seven years he carried on his public cures. Hundreds of physicians
went to see him. Mesmer, in answer to the inquiry of the Elector of
Bavaria, declared his astonishing cures were produced merely by the
exercise of magnetic spiritual excitement, of which he himself (claiming
no God-like power) gave to the elector convincing proofs on the spot.

On the contrary, Gassner claimed that he could heal none unless they
exercised faith. His surroundings, trappings, dress, crucifixes, appeals
to Jesus Christ, and Latin mummery, had the effect to impress the patient
with faith in Gassner's Christ-like powers.

"Some," says Dr. Schlisel, "described him as a prophetic and holy man;
others accused him of being a fantastic fellow, an impostor, and leagued
with the devil. Some accused him of dealing in the black art; others
attributed his cures to the magnet, to electricity, to sympathy, to
imagination; and some attributed the whole to the omnipotent power of the
name of Christ."

Having touched or rubbed the affected part of the patient, Gassner, in a
"loud, proud voice," commanded the disease to come forth, or to manifest
itself. Sometimes he had to repeat this command ten times. Then, when the
part was presented, he seized it with both hands; he inspired the patient
to himself repel the disease, by saying, "Depart from me, in the name of
Jesus Christ."

"He then gave the patient his blessing by spreading his cloak over the
head, grasping his neck or head in both hands, repeating a silent, earnest
prayer, making the sign of the cross, ordering some simple from the
apothecary's, which he consecrates, compels the patient to wash his hands
clean, when he is permitted to 'depart in peace.'

"Most diseases he cured instantly. Some required months, and others he
could not affect in the least."

There is but one philosophical way to account for these cures. To say
there is nothing in it, or, "It is all humbug," will not satisfy the
people. To affirm it is the arts of the devil is merely nonsensical. It is
_influence_. Of what? Of one powerful mind over another. And when Gassner
found a mind equally as powerful as his own, the disease refused to
depart. There you have the whole of it, "in a nutshell,"--the exercising
of one mind over another; and mind (not unusually) controls matter in the
living body.

For about seven years Gassner was a public healer, and then he suddenly
and forever disappeared.


Sir John Fortesque, the learned legal writer of the time of Edward IV.,
spoke of the gift of healing by touch as a "time immemorial privilege of
the kings of England." He very seriously attributed the virtue to the
unction imparted to the hands in the coronation. Elizabeth was not
superior to this superstition, and she frequently appeared before the
people in the character of a miraculous healer. There was formerly a
regular office in the English Book of Common Prayer for the performance of
this ceremony. The curious reader is referred to Macbeth, Scene III. of
Act IV. for further particulars.

With the rise of Valentine Greatrakes, the "royal prerogative" received a
staggering blow. The marvellous cures of this man, living in Ireland,
reached England, and the king invited him to come to London; and along his
journey, whither he was preceded by the returning messenger, we are told
that the magistrates of the towns and cities waited upon Valentine, and
begged him to remain and heal their sick.

On his arrival, the king, "though not fully persuaded of his wonderful
gift, recommended him to the care of his physician, and permitted him to
practise his power as much as he pleased in London."

Greatrakes had no medical education, nor claimed aught beyond a gift of
healing most diseases by "stroking the parts with his hand." He is
described as being a man of "commanding address, frank and pleasing,
having a brilliant eye, gallant bearing, fine figure, and a remarkably
handsome face. With a hearty and musical voice, and a natural stock of
high _animal_ spirits, he was the delight of all festive assemblies. Yet
he was a devout man."

Daily there assembled a great number of people, invalids from all parts of
the kingdom, to be healed, and to see the wonderful miracles performed by
a _man_! Here congregated the dropsical, those afflicted by unsightly
sores, tumors, and swellings, the lame, the halt, and the blind. "Some he
could not affect, but the most of them he cured." The only visible means
he took was to stroke, or at times violently rub, the part affected. Lord
Conway wrote in his praise, but added, "After all, I am far from thinking
his cures miraculous. I believe it is by a _sanative virtue_ and a
_natural efficiency_, which extend not to all diseases." The Viscountess
Conway was afflicted by an inveterate headache, which he could not remove.
This lady was a positive character. The failure was attributed to the
_peculiar_ disease, when it should have been assigned to the peculiarity
of the person. Sir Evremond, then at court, wrote a sarcastic novel on the
subject of "The Irish Prophet." The Royal Society held a meeting on the
subject, and, unable to refute the facts of his cures, accounted for them
as being "produced by a sanative contagion in Mr. Greatrakes' body, which
had an antipathy to some peculiar diseases, and not to others." They
demanded (particularly Dr. Loyd, in a "severe pamphlet") how he cured, and
why he cured some, and could not others. Greatrakes replied that he was
not able to tell. And "let them," he said, "tell me what substance that is
which removes and goes out with such expedition, and it will be more easy
to resolve their questions."

To the scandalous reports respecting his operations upon female patients,
without referring directly to such report, he says, attributing the
diseases to evil spirits, "which kind of pains cannot endure my hand, nay,
not with gloves, but fly immediately, though six or eight coats or cloaks
be between the person and my hand, as at the Lady Ranelagh's," etc.

The clergy had previously taken alarm, and cited Valentine before the
Bishop's Court to account for his proceedings, and when he took a
scriptural view of his cures, he was forbidden to practise more; which was
as preposterous as the decree of Louis XIV., which commanded that no more
miracles should be performed at the tomb of the Abbé Paris.

Neither the clergy nor the faculty could prevent him, and daily the crowd
of representatives of heterogeneous diseases made pilgrimages to the
Squire of Affam. The scene was said to be ludicrously painful. They came
in crowds from everywhere; on foot and in carriages; the young and the
aged; some hobbling upon crutches, others literally crawling along; the
blind carrying the cripple upon his back, while the latter directed the
way, and the deaf and dumb followed in their wake.

[Illustration: NO LACK OF PATIENTS.]

While the lord mayor and the chief justice, with great physicians, were
among his vehement supporters of the sterner sex, the majority of his real
admirers were the ladies. The lovely Countess of Devonshire entertained
him in her palace, and other high ladies lionized him nightly in their
parlors, where he "performed his pleasant operations, with wonderful
results, on the prettiest and most hysterical ladies present." "But his
triumph was of short duration. His professions were made the butts of
ridicule, to which his presence of mind and volubility were unable to
effectually respond. His tone of conversation was represented by his
enemies as compounded of the blasphemy of the religious enthusiast and the
obscene profligate. His boast that he never received a fee for remedial
services was met by a square contradiction, and a statement that he
received five hundred dollars at once." Finally, the tide of opposition
and slander became too strong for him, and he returned to his native land,
and to oblivion.

We are indebted to several authorities for the foregoing sketch of
Greatrakes, particularly Chambers' Miscellany, Lord Conway, E. Rich, and


Frederick Anthony Mesmer, to whose name the above _ism_ is affixed, was
born in Werseburg, in 1734. He neither discovered, developed, nor
understood anything of the art which has immortalized him. He was a
designing, audacious man. If Gassner, Prince Hohenloe, and Greatrakes were
falsely accused of dealing with the devil, Mesmer was truly leagued with a
Father Hell. Father Hell was professor of astronomy at Vienna, where
Mesmer obtained a medical diploma, and where he was connected at first
with Maximilian Hell in magnetic instruments. Having a falling out with
the latter, Mesmer resorted to the arts of his great predecessor,
Greatrakes, but professed to cure, without the help of God or man, all
curable diseases. He produced marvellous effects (but only temporary,
however) in both Vienna and Paris, to which latter place he repaired to
practise animal magnetism.

Among the little episodes relative to his treatment is one of Madame
Campan, a lady of the royal household, author of "Memoires de Marie
Antoinette." The husband of this celebrated lady sent for Dr. Mesmer--for
all Paris was running mad after him--to cure him of lung fever. He came
with great pomp, and having timed the pulse, and made certain inquiries
respecting the case, he gravely informed the husband and wife that it was
not in the way of magnetism, and the only mode of cure lay in the
following: "You must lay by his side"--for he was confined to his
bed--"one of three things, an old empty bottle, a black hen, or a young
woman of brown complexion."

[Illustration: "A BOTTLE, A HEN, OR A WOMAN."]

"'Sir,' exclaimed the wife, 'let us try the empty bottle first.'

"The bottle was tried, with what result is easily imagined. Monsieur
Campan grew worse. Improving the opportunity of the lady's absence, Mesmer
bled and blistered the patient, who recovered.

"Imagine the lady's astonishment when Mesmer asked for and actually
obtained a written certificate of cure by magnetism" (Mesmerism).

This is more easily believed when one learns that Mesmer obtained his
degree on an address, or thesis, relating to "planetary influence on the
human body," and that afterwards, in answer to the inquiry by a learned
Paris physician, who asked him why he ordered his patients to bathe in the
Seine, instead of spring water, as the waters of the Seine were always
dirty, Mesmer replied,--

"Why, my dear doctor, the cause of the water which is exposed to the sun's
rays being superior to all other water is, that it is magnetized by the
sun. I myself magnetized the sun some twenty years ago."

All that sort of fellows have ever a short course. Mesmer reached his
zenith in Paris about the year 1784, when, for one year's practice, he
received the enormous sum of four hundred thousand francs. The government,
at the instigation of Count Maurepas, had previously offered him an
annuity of twenty thousand francs, with ten thousand francs additional, to
support a college hospital, if he would remain and practise only in
France. "One unpleasant condition was attached to this offer, which
prevented its acceptance; viz., three nominees of the crown were to watch
the proceedings."

The government appointed a commission, consisting of Dr. Guillotin, and
three other physicians, and five members of the Academy,--Franklin,
Bailly, Borey, Leroi, and Lavoisier,--to examine the means employed by
Mesmer. The result of the investigation--the discovery of his battery,
which he termed the _baquet_, around which his patients assembled, and his
windy pretensions to the self-possession of some animal magnetism beyond
even his disciples, Bergasse and Deslon--was unfavorable to the truth of
animal magnetism and morality, and the enthusiasm in his favor rapidly
subsided. Mesmer soon found it convenient to repair to London. Here he
made no great impression; his day had gone by.

He died in his native town, in all but penury and obscurity, in 1815.

Clairvoyance now made its appearance, which was but a different phase of
magnetism, and Mesmerism was soon but indifferently practised in France.
In England the faculty entirely ignored it.


What is it? The word is French, meaning, literally, clear-sightedness. It
is a power attributed to certain persons, or claimed by certain persons,
of seeing things not visible to the eye, or things at a distance. It is
the action of mind over mind,--the seeing, mentally, of one mind through

By personal experiment with clairvoyants, I am positively convinced that
they follow the mind (thoughts) of the subject or patient. I have laid out
my programme before visiting one, and the operator, whether pretending or
not to a "trance" state, has followed that course to the end, but usually
adding something which was conjectural. Practice helps them very much. But
the most of those persons, male and female, who proclaim themselves
clairvoyants, are humbugs and impostors.

Let any clear-headed man, who has good intellectual qualities, go to a
good clairvoyant, and try the above plan. Think out just the places and
persons you wish the clairvoyant (or spiritualist, if he or she choose to
call themselves such) to bring up. Stick firmly to your text, and the
operator will follow it, if he or she is a clairvoyant. They can tell you
nothing that you do not already know. If they go beyond that, it is
guessed at.

No person of large causality can be a clairvoyant. The moment they employ
cause and effect, they are lost in doubt. How else can you account for
nearly all the professional clairvoyants (and spiritualists) being persons
of low intellectuality? Of course they deny this; but a fact is a fact,
and _it can't be rubbed out_!

There is a magnetizing feature in clairvoyance. The operator can make some
persons _think_ they see a thing, when it is an impossibility to see it.
This influence is sometimes passed from one person to another

When the earthquake shook up the minds of the Bostonians, in 1870, there
was one grand illustration of this fact. A gentleman standing in front of
the Old State House, on Washington Street, soon after the shock, asserted
that the earthquake had started a stone in the front end of the Sears

"There! don't you see it?" he exclaimed to the people on the sidewalk, who
are always ready to stop and look at any new or curious object, as he
pointed towards an imaginary crack in the marble. "It is just above the
corner of that window there"--pointing--"a crack in the stone a foot

"O, yes, I see it," said one and another; and the gentleman moved on,
leaving the gaping crowd to gaze after the imaginary rent in the wall.

"Where is it?" inquired a new comer.

"Right up there over the door," replied one.

"No, over that third window," said another.

Some "saw it," and others didn't "see it," but all day long the tide of
curious humans ebbed and flowed. At eight o'clock in the morning I took a
look--not at the broken stone in the marble front, but at the magnetized
crowd looking upon an imaginary break. People with large causality looked,
exclaimed, "Pooh!" and went on. The credulous stood gazing, and pointing
out the rent to the "blind ones, who wouldn't see," hour after hour. At
noon I again visited the scene. The crowd had shifted, but the same class,
male and female, stood gazing at the "calico building," and the same sort
of people "saw the crack over the window."



At six P. M., I again visited the Old State House, and at dusk still
again, to behold the crowd straining to get a last look at the rent before
darkness shut out the view. On the following day, the scene was repeated,
with no mitigation. The fact of the papers denying that there was any rent
went for nothing. The crowd came and went, from morning till evening.


Some readers may remember the story of the great Wizard of the North, who
performed such marvellous feats before the czar, receiving from his
highness a splendid present in money, and finally wound up by announcing
that he would leave the city of Moscow on the following day, at twelve M.,
_by all the gates of the city at the same time_!

The watchmen were doubled at all the gates, to whom a description of the
man was sent, and a sharp lookout was commanded, when, lo! just at noon
the wizard was seen leaving the city at each separate outlet at the same
moment. Of course he could not have left by but one gate, but which of the
twelve no one could tell, for he was seen at all, or the watchmen were
made to believe that they saw him, as he passed out. To this the watchmen
of the several gates testified, and that he uncovered his head to them, as
he went past.

At which gate did he really make his exit? The beautiful gate Spass
Voratu, or Gate of the Redeemer, has over the archway a picture of the
Saviour. All who pass out here are compelled to uncover. Hence it is my
belief, as he was seen uncovered, that this was the gate at which he
really went out, and at all the rest the watchmen imagined they saw the
wizard make his marvellous exit from Moscow.


Townsend, on Mesmerism, tells an instructing and amusing anecdote of a
test, by a learned doctor of Antwerp, upon a clairvoyant girl. The doctor
was allowed, at a seance, to select his own test, when he said,--

"If the somnambulist"--that was what he termed her--"tells me what is in
my pocket, I will believe." Then to her he put the question,--

"What is in my pocket?"

"A case of lancets," was the reply.

"True," said the doctor, somewhat startled. "But the young lady may know
that I am a medical man; hence her guess that I carry a case of
instruments in my pocket. But if she will tell me the number of lancets in
the case, I will believe."

"Ten," was the correct answer.

Still the doctor was sceptical, and said,--

"I cannot yet believe but if the form of the case is described I must
yield to conviction." And the form of the case was given.

"This certainly is very singular," said the doctor, "but still I cannot
believe. Now, if the young lady will give the color of the velvet lining
of the case, I really _must_ believe."

"The color is dark blue," was her prompt reply.

"True, true!" said the puzzled doctor, and he went away, saying, "It is
very curious, very, but still I cannot believe."

Now, if the doctor had not known that the case was in his pocket, or no
one present had known beforehand, no clairvoyant could have described it.
What does this prove? That her mind was led by his inquiry to his mind,
thence to the article on his mind at the moment. "This is a book" I say.
The fact of my saying it, or thinking it, leads my mind to the book.

As a person may look towards an object, as out of the window towards a
tree, and not see it till his mind is directed to it, so, on the other
hand, he may have his mind (thoughts) directed to a thing that his eyes
cannot see, and in a person whose superior brain is susceptible, it maybe
reflected so vividly as to permit a description of the object.

One may walk over a stream, upon stones, or ground, and not realize the
fact till the mind is directed to it; and the thing may be reversed, and a
susceptible person may be led to think that he or she is walking over or
through water when none is present. The mind must be directed to an object
in order to see it mentally.

A gentleman recently told me that a "medium brought up his old

"How did she describe the old lady as appearing?" I asked.

"In woollen dress and poke bonnet, with specs on, just as she used to
appear when I was a boy, forty years ago."

"I should have thought the fashions would have changed in the unseen
world, even if the clothes had not worn out in forty years' service," I

This slightly staggered him, but he replied, "Perhaps fashions do not
change in the spirit-world."

"Then ladies can never be happy there. Besides, what a jolly, comical set
they must be down there; the newer fashions appearing hourly in beautiful
contrast with the ancient styles; especially the janty, little, precious
morsels called hats of to-day, all covered with magnificent ribbons, and
flowers, and laces, in contrast with the great ark-like, sombre poke
bonnets of forty and a hundred years ago!"

"Sir," I said, when he did not reply to this last poser,--"Sir, bring your
stock of common sense to bear upon the matter, and see that the mind of
the medium controlled yours, and led you to believe you saw, as the medium
did, through your thoughts, your ancient grandmother; for how else would
you imagine her, but as you remembered her, in woollen gown, poke bonnet,
and spectacles."


Twenty-five years ago, I visited Madam Young, in Ellsworth, Me.

"You are going a journey," she soon said, after I was seated, and she had
examined my "bumps" to learn that I was a rolling stone. "You are going
south-west from here." "Marvellous!" one might say, who had little
reflective qualities of brain, for that was the very thing I was about to
do. But from Ellsworth, Maine, which way else could one go, without going
"south-west," unless he really went to the "jumping-off place, away down

Again I visited her in Charleston, S. C.

"You are going a journey soon," she informed me.

"Which way?" I amusingly inquired.

"Towards the north," was the necessary reply.

Charleston is at the extremity of a neck of land. I was not expected to
jump off into the bay, by going southward, and her answer was the only
rational one. She would minutely describe any person, "good, bad, or
indifferent," whom I would fix my mind upon. I was suffering at the time
with bronchitis, which she correctly stated. She was the best clairvoyant
I have ever tested. She died at Hartford, in 1862.

The following item of the press does not refer to Madam Young:--

A clairvoyant doctor of Hartford proclaims his superiority over other
seers on the ground that he "foretells the past and present as well as the
future." We should say he would probably "foretell" them much better. As
the Irishman said, one gets on better when one goes backward or stands

I noticed his advertisement in a Providence paper, recently, where "Dr.
---- foretold the past, present, and future."


At Castine I heard of an old lady residing high up in the Penobscot
mountains, who could magnetize a sore or a painful limb at sight. Such
marvellous stories were told of her "charming," that I decided to go over
the mountain and see her. She was not a "professional," however, and
objected to being made too public. Therefore I made an excuse for calling
at the house "on my way afoot across the country," and was cordially
received by the family, of whom there were four generations residing under
one roof. The house was a story and half brown cottage, large on the
ground, and surrounded by numerous out-houses and barns. The view from the
western slope of the mountain where she lived was most magnificent. I
reached the farm before sunset. Here I lingered to overlook the beautiful
Penobscot as it flowed at my feet, and the far-off islands of the sea.
Here one could "gaze and never tire," out over the grand old forests, down
to the sea-side, and upon countless little white specks, the whitened
sails of the fishermen and coasting vessels, with an occasional ship or
steamboat flitting up and down the noble Penobscot river and bay. Still
above me the eagle built her nest in the rocking pines, on the mountain
top, and still far below sung the nightingale and wheeled the hungry
osprey in his belated piscatorial occupations.

The sun sank behind the western hills, tinging the soft, fleecy clouds
with its golden glory. Slowly changing from purple and gold to faint
yellow, to dark blue, the clouds gradually assumed the night hue, and
sombre shadows crept adown the western mountains' sides, flinging their
dark mantle over the waters, from shore to shore. The sturdy farmer has
shouldered his scythe, and reluctantly he leaves the half-mown lot to seek
his evening repast at the family table. Then he discovers me, leaning over
the gate-bar, rapt in dreamy forgetfulness, and with a hearty salutation
extends to me the hospitality, so proverbially cordial, of the old New
England farmer. He shows me his pigs in the pen, and his "stock" in the
barn-yard, and reaching the house, he calls "mother," who, appearing in
calico and homespun, though with a cheerful and smiling face, is
introduced to me as his wife. "A stranger, belated, and I guess pretty
tired-like, climbing up here; and I won't take no excuses from him; so he
stays with us to-night."


I talk with the lady, I play with the babies, I even toy with Towser and
Tabby, till tea is set. Now I am introduced to the old lady. I thought I
would get to it at last. She was seventy odd years of age, a deaf, but
devout old lady, who was easily wheedled into divulging to me her secret
of "charming." She told me she had the "rheumatiz," and by my tender
sympathies and a roll of plaster for her lame back, I got into her own
room before bed-time. O, but I came out soon after! She was very deaf.

"You see," said she, "a woman can't learn it to another woman--only to a
male. He must be a _good_ man." I nodded assent. "Yes; well, you must have
faith." Again I nodded--she was very deaf. "You must touch the painful
part and say--" Here she bent down her lips to my ear and whispered
something in seven words which she said I must never tell, and she
compelled me to promise never to divulge the secret while I lived, under
pain of God's great displeasure.

Perhaps I had better keep my promise, though the good old lady has long
since "gone to her reward."


The question is repeated every time there is a great robbery or a murder

"Why do not the clairvoyants tell who has committed this crime?"

Simply because those who consult them do not know. If a person knew where
the stolen property was secreted, and he consulted a true clairvoyant, he
or she _might_ describe the property and the place where it is secreted.
Not otherwise. The same with the murderer. Therefore, of what good is it?

In order to do justice to this subject, to present and explain it in all
its various phases, we would require a volume, instead of the space
allotted in this chapter. But whatever name one may apply to it,--animal
magnetism, Mesmerism, clairvoyance, spiritual or trance mediumship,--its
success depends mostly upon the credulity of the person.

During the five days preceding May 15, 1869, a reporter of the Boston Post
visited seventeen of these clairvoyants, mediums, etc., and some curious
facts and startling contradictions were revealed therein.

"Putting it together," he says, "and carefully epitomizing the amount of
fortune that we have in this way been able to purchase, we present our
readers with the following balance sheet:" and this, he says, is from the
"most experienced and trustworthy fortune-tellers in the good city of
Boston, where everything like _humbug_ is most scrupulously avoided.

"Four times we have been told that we were engaged in no business at all,
and as many more that our affairs and prospects were never more
flourishing. Repeatedly we have been told that we should speedily change
our business and abode. On the other hand, we were destined to be a
fixture in Boston, and were so well satisfied with our present calling
that we should never change. We are not married, but a great many pretty
maidens stood ready to help us out of that difficulty." Again, "we were
married, and the father of several roguish boys and bright-eyed girls.
Thus far in life we had enjoyed good health, were free from all
infirmities, and stood a good chance to reach fourscore and ten."

"In less than twenty-four hours this sweet hope was buried, and we were
advised that death would overtake us suddenly and soon."

There are various grades of clairvoyants, as of everything else. Here is
one class.

"After ascending a rickety, dirty, greasy stairway, you find the madam
quartered in a small, square bedroom, poorly and miserably furnished. The
room is dirty, dark, and dingy. Portions of the walls are covered with a
cheap and quaint paper, patched, here and there, with some of another
figure and quality. Pictures of a cheap class are hanging on two sides of
the room,--of Columbus, Webster, and three or four love and courtship
scenes in France and Germany. The furniture consists of a cheap bed, a
dilapidated parlor cooking-stove, a small pine table, three common chairs,
and a rocking-chair, cane-bottomed, a big box, covered with a remnant of
the national flag, and a few cheap mantel ornaments.

"The madam is a woman under thirty, very stoutly built, weighs one hundred
and sixty pounds, has quite fair complexion, with pretty blue eyes, light
hair, and withal not bad-looking. She was attired in a loose and rather
soiled calico dress, wore no ornaments, and looked rather uninviting."


The writer visited a special seance at one of the most aristocratic and
_recherché_ abodes of the marvellous in this city, not long since. I was
ushered into the brilliantly lighted hall by a janty-looking little biddy
in white and embroidered apron. That was all I saw of her, as she
disappeared and was substituted by the lady of the house, the medium. She
was a pretty, pleasant little lady, with brilliant, dancing, light eyes,
hair golden brown, and was dressed in a black silk dress, with blue
overskirt, a rich lace collar, and flowing sleeves of the same material.

Depositing hat, coat, and cane on the hall rack, I was introduced to the
assembled guests in the great parlors. These rooms were united by a wide,
open archway, were high, and brilliantly lighted by rich chandeliers in
each room. An elegant piano occupied the west side of the front parlor,
upon which was a pile of the latest music. The furniture was of black
walnut, and richly upholstered in green and gold rep. The mantel was
adorned with vases of porcelain, images of marble and terra-cotta, and
little knickknacks of foreign production. The walls were hung with a few
of Prang's chromos, oil paintings, and two "spirit" photographs. The most
beautiful, as well as the most remarkable, feature of the rooms was the
magnificent bouquets of native hot-house flowers, which covered the two
marble-topped centre-tables and sideboard. These were presents to the
spirits! They did not take them away; the only one I saw removed was
knocked over by a careless elbow. I regret to add, that there was no
"manifestation," nor anything revealed, worth recording.


A scene that occurred at another place where I previously visited may be
considered worthy of notice. I clambered two flights of stairs, and found
myself face to face with a very large woman, answering to the alias of
Madam ----. She was very fleshy, weighing probably two hundred and
thirty-five pounds avoirdupois. Her face was pleasant, and conversation
easy. I handing over the required "picture paper," she tumbled into a
great easy-chair, and, without any pretence to a trance, began,--

[Illustration: "I PERCEIVE YOU ARE IN LOVE."]

"I perceive that you are in love." This was startling news to a bachelor.
"There are two pretty females, one dark-complexioned, the other light."
(This is the usual "dodge," for, if there is a woman in the question, one
of the two is bound to answer this general description.) "Which shall we
follow?" she very teasingly inquired.

"Either that comes handiest," was my indifferent reply.

"Well, the dark one, then. She is tall, fair, and is looking anxiously for
you to propose. Do you know a lady of this description whom you like?" I
regretted that I did not. My "notion" ran to small ladies, of the opposite
complexion. "Well," she said, not the least flurried, "here is one of that
kind." I instantly placed my mind on one of this class,--my sister,--and
she ran on. "She is soon to meet you. She is very rich." (Nellie will be
glad to learn this.) "And I perceive a short-like man looking after her
fortune. But have no concern; she loves you fondly, and you will marry her
very soon. You are going a voyage, or across some water." (How far can one
travel, in this country, without crossing water?) "You will meet an enemy,
who will try to injure you in business."

"What business?" I inquired.

"You are a--yes--mechanic, though your hand is soft. I reckon you've been
sick. Yes--machinist; make coffee-mills. Yes" (looking sharply into my
face). (I was _leading her_!) "Corn poppers are in your line." (I nodded,
and smiled, for how could I refrain from smiling?) "You trade in tin and
earthen ware--chamber ware--spoons--and old boots." (True.) "You own a
splendid house in the city--a large block"-(head).

"Where was I born? Can you see?"

"Yes; you were reared in the country; where there were deep, dark
woods--all woods; in a log house, with thatched roof, and clay and stick
chimney. A pig--am I right?--yes, a pig and a dog are kept in the same
house. The windows are wooden, and--"

"Where was it?" I suggested.

"I should say in Ireland," she replied.

"Enough, I believe. Now about the other lady," I said.

"The dark one? Yes. She loves you, but is poor. Since you are rich, and
a--" Here I tried to impress her that I was married. "You are married, but
your wife will not survive you. No, she will soon go to heaven, and you
will marry the dark-complexioned lady."

"Good," I exclaimed.

"Yes; and will have five boys and three girls."


"Why, the lady, of course."


"Yes, and they will be happy and healthy."

Here she informed me I had got my money's worth.

I think I had.




    "They'll not show their teeth in way of smile,
    Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable."

    "Democritus, dear droll, revisit earth,
    And with our follies glut thy heightened mirth."--PRIOR.


We love to see an eccentric individual--something out of the common
routine of every-day, humdrum life. But what is often taken for an
eccentricity is sometimes put on for an advertisement.

Nearly all great men have their oddities or peculiarities. I might give
many little interesting sketches of some physicians' oddities right among
us, but for too great personality. I may, however, work in a few.

The eccentricities of some doctors lie in their dress. Of this, I shall
speak under the head of "Dress and Address." Others lie in personal acts,
in their walk, manners, and conversation.

I know of one physician who delights in the worst looking old horse he can
obtain. The doctor himself has but one eye. His old donkey-like beast
corresponded. Report said that he cut out the left eye of the horse to
gain that desired end, which, however, is discredited. The beast was also
lame, which defect the doctor would never admit.

"What _you_ ignorantly term 'limping' is only an expression of good
breeding--which I cannot attach to all whom I meet on the road. It's
bowing,--merely bowing. You never see him do it unless somebody is in
sight. Gid-dap!" And so delivering himself, the old doctor would drive on,
chuckling softly to himself. When his old horse died, he was presented
with a fine young beast, which he declined to accept, but scoured the
country till he found a high-boned, rib-bared, foundered, and half-blind
old roadster.


Dr. James Wood was an oddity. He was a bachelor, between thirty and forty,
large and attractive. He was remarkably neat in dress and person, but
delighted in "an old rip of a horse."

Once he was on a tour through New Brunswick, and, in company with a
friend, drove up to a tavern at evening, and called for the landlord.

"He ain't t' home, but I'm the horse-slayer," replied a voice, followed by
the person of a tall, lean Yankee, who issued from the smoke of the
bar-room, and approached our friends, still sitting in the open buggy.

"Here, put up my horse; take good care of him, and feed him well."

"Hoss?" said the impudent fellow. "O, yes, I see him now; he's inside that
ere frame, I s'pose. Climb down, gentlemen, and go inter the house.
Landlord and the Santipede (Xantippe?) has gone to St. Johns; but I guess
Dolly in the kitchin, and me in the bar-room, can eat and drink yer,
though you're two putty big fellows, well's myself." So saying, the
gentlemen having alighted, he drove the animal to the stable.


At supper, the doctor and his friend and two ladies were the only
guests. Just what part the "horse-slayer" had had in its preparation was
not obvious, since he had, after caring for the horse, only sat with a
pipe in his mouth and his heels elevated on the bar-room stove, or
following to the sitting-room, and continually plied the doctor with
questions. However, the supper was ample, thanks to "Dolly."

"Is there anything more wanted?" inquired the table girl,--a round-faced,
round-headed country specimen in neat calico.

"Yes," replied the doctor, "we would like some napkins, seeing there are
none on the table."

Away hastened the girl, who, quickly returning, asked in very primitive

"How will you have them cooked?"

"O, boiled, if you please," replied the doctor, without changing a muscle
about his sober-looking face.

The girl disappeared at full trot, followed by jeers of laughter from the
gentlemen present, and suppressed titters from the ladies.

In a few moments "Dolly" made her appearance, and after searching in vain
through the side-table drawer and a cupboard in the dining-room, she said
they had none in the house, and intimated that the table girl could not be
induced to return, after being laughed at for her ignorance of what a
napkin was, and that "herself would wait upon the guests."

When the doctor returned, the "horse-slayer" called out that the napkin
doctor was coming, upon which the terrified table-girl ran away and hid.

My informant says, "You're only to say, any time, 'Here comes that napkin
doctor,' and the table girl nearly goes wild, dropping everything, and
hiding away in her chamber till assured it is only a false alarm."

The writer is well acquainted with W., who assured him this was true.


I heard, while in the South, of a doctor, a little, short man, who rode a
Canadian horse, a scraggy little specimen, and who, in yellow fever time,
used to ride right straight into a drug store, and order his prescription,
catch it up, wheel his pony round on his hind legs, stick in the spurs
into the flanks of the animal, and go out in a clean gallop.

[Illustration: NO TIME TO LOSE.]

Though the writer never saw this remarkable feat, there is one more
ludicrous, to which he was an eye-witness.

One fine day, while in Charleston, sitting musing in the window of the
Victoria Hotel, I saw an African, with bare feet and legs, his whole
attire consisting of a coarse shirt and brief trousers, drive a mule
attached to a dray, on which was a box, up towards a milliner's store,
opposite. The negro jumped from the dray, and, with whip in hand, ran into
the store to ascertain if that was the place to leave the box.

[Illustration: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.]

The faithful donkey followed his master directly into the store, nor
stopped till the wheels of the cart brought up against the door-jambs. The
ladies, with whom the front store was crowded, screamed with terror, and
fled towards the back room, where the pretty milliner girls were sewing.
They caught the panic and sight of the donkey's head and ears in the front
shop, and screeched in chorus. A more lively and lovely stampede I never
witnessed. It was "Beauty and the Beast," and the beast stood pulling his
best to get the cart through; but since a six-foot cart never could go
through a four foot doorway, he backed out with the negro's assistance,
and Beauty was rescued from the perilous situation.

"Golly!" exclaimed the Buckee, when himself, mule and cart were back into
the street. "I fought de ladies were scared ob dis chile, first sight; but
I never knowed de ladies to be scared ob a hansum darky like me; and when
I looked round an' see dat ar' mules coming into der mill'ner's store--O,
yah, yah, yah! I shall die--O, yah, yah, yah!--de Lor'--to only fink ob
it, a mule in a mill'ner's shop--he wants muslin--O, yah, yah! I shall
die, sure." Then, after a few more outbursts, he stopped short--for the
milliner was looking after the box--he rolled up his eyes very solemnly,
and said to the donkey,--

"Yer ought to be 'shamed ob yerself to go into dat yer store--dar, take
dat!" levelling a blow at the donkey's head with the whip. Then taking the
box into the store, he returned, gave the donkey another solemn lecture on
his impropriety, and mounted the dray and drove away.


A gentleman well known to the writer assured me that he once had occasion
to repeatedly consult a physician in Philadelphia, a most excellent
practitioner, who owned two pet poodle dogs. They were pure white, and
occupied a portion of his office. When I first entered the doctor's
presence, I was quite astonished to see, sitting on a corner of his desk,
at his left, a beautiful poodle. I thought, at first sight, it was a
stuffed specimen; but after inquiring the nature of my visit, the doctor
said, "You can retire, sir."

"What!" said I, in surprise at this summary dismissal, when I was startled
to see the manikin jump from the desk and run away to a crib beside a


"I was speaking to Dr. Scipio," the doctor quietly remarked. Then adding,
"Dr. Hunter, you can come instead," when another like poodle came and
leaped upon the desk, and sat looking very wisely at his master.

While examining my case, he occasionally cast a glance at "Dr. Hunter,"
sitting as quiet as a marble dog might, but seeming to understand the look
which his master gave him, acknowledging it by a pricking up of the ears.

I received my prescription, and what proved to be most excellent advice,
and retired. The next time I visited the eccentric doctor, both Drs.
Scipio and Hunter were in full consultation, sitting side by side on the

"Now, sirs," said the doctor, after motioning me to a seat near him, "sirs
Scipio and Hunter, keep very still, and give attention."

A yawning noise and expression was their simultaneous reply.

"What is the object of the two canine specimens being always present when
I have consulted you?" I ventured to inquire, on my last visit to the

"Some physicians consult two-legged pups, in complicated cases. I prefer
quadrupeds. Have we not been very successful--myself, Drs. Hunter and
Scipio--in your case, sir?"

This he said with a pleasant, half-serious countenance.

"Indeed, you have, sir," I replied, to which the dogs gave a gap! (a

"You'll find every successful man with some seeming useless habit or
appendage, which, nevertheless, is essential to his success, in absorbing
or distracting the superfluities of his nature. A sing-song, every-day
man, whom you can see right through, and understand all his moves, seldom
amounts to anything. I ape nobody, however, but I feel almost lost, in my
examinations, without my dogs."

Well, there may be much to this, after all. A good singer will seldom go
forward to master a difficult piece of music without something in his
hand. Eccentricities in some persons take the place of a vile, injurious
habit, as the eccentric man is usually free from debasing habits.

I am particularly reminded of Suwaroff, the great Russian general, who was
so remarkable for his energy, valor, and headlong fighting propensities.
This wonderful man was very small in stature, being only five feet and a
half inch in height, miserably thin in flesh, with an aquiline nose, a
wide mouth, wrinkled brow, and bald head--an eagle look and character.
"His contempt of dress could only be equalled by his disregard of every
form of politeness, and some idea may be formed of both from the fact that
he was washed mornings by several buckets of water thrown over him, and
that he drilled his men in his shirt sleeves, with his stockings hanging
down about his heels, and proudly dispensing with the use of a pocket


His favorite signal of attack was a shrill "_cock-a-doodle-doo!_"
"To-morrow"--this was his harangue to his men before a great
battle--"to-morrow morning I mean to be up one hour before daybreak. I
shall wash and dress myself, then say my prayers, give one good
_cock-crow_, and capture Ismail!" Which he did to the letter. After
Catharine's death, Paul, her son and successor, could not brook the
eccentric habits of "Old Forward and Strike," whose personal appearance
was ill suited to court, and when compelled to "change or retire,"
Suwaroff chose the latter. Again in 1799 he was given a command, but would
not change his principles, and was dismissed; and died in 1800, neglected
by the imperial Paul, who was assassinated the same year.


There is a physician doing an office practice in Boston, who, when you
enter his office, by one gesture and movement of his head, with the
accompanying expression of his countenance, says to you, as plainly as
words, "Take a seat; how do you do? State your case." He is a man of few
words, professionally. Through with his business, he becomes one of the
most sociable men with whom one need wish to meet.

John Abernethy was remarkable for his eccentricity, and brevity in his
dealings with patients. Sometimes he met his match. The following has been
told about him often enough to be true. On one occasion a lady, who
doubtless had heard of his _brusque_ characteristic, entered his
consulting-room, at Bedford Row, and silently presented a sore finger. As
silently the doctor examined and dressed the wound. In the same manner the
lady deposited the accustomed fee upon the table, and withdrew.

Again she presented the finger for inspection.

"Better?" grunted the great surgeon.

"Better," quietly answered the lady, deposited the fee, and left, without
saying another word. Several visits were thus made, when, on presenting it
for the last time, Abernethy said,--


"Well," was the lady's only answer, and deposited her last fee.

"Well, madam, upon my soul, you are the most sensible lady with whom I
ever met," he exclaimed, and very politely bowed her out.


The most eccentric physician who ever lived, and the only one I have read
of who carried his odd notions beyond this life, was Messenger Monsey, of
whom I have before written in this book. He died at the age of
ninety-five. He wrote his own will,--having eighty thousand dollars to
dispose of,--and his epitaph. The will was remarkable, and is still
preserved. "To a beautiful young lady, named ----," he gave an old
battered snuff-box, not containing a shilling, lavishing upon her, at the
same time, the most extravagant encomiums on her wit, taste, and elegance;
and to another, whom he says he intends to enrich with a handsome legacy,
he leaves the gratifying assurance that he changed his mind on finding her
"a pert, conceited minx." After railing at bishops, deans, and clergymen,
he left an annuity to two of the latter, who did not preach.

"My body shall not be insulted with any funeral ceremonies, but after
being dissected in the theatre of Guy's Hospital, by the surgeons, for the
benefit of themselves and students, the remainder of my carcass may be put
into a hole, or crammed into a box with holes, and thrown into the

The main part of his property went to his only daughter.


[Illustration: A DOCTOR'S SOLACE.]

This is a true copy of his epitaph:--

  "Here lie my old bones; my vexation now ends;
  I have lived much too long for myself and my friends.
  As to churches and churchyards, which men may call holy,
  'Tis a rank piece of priestcraft, and founded on folly.
  What the next world may be never troubled my pate;
  And, be what it may, I beseech you, O Fate,
  When the bodies of millions rise up in a riot,
  To let the old carcase of Monsey lie quiet."

The above reminds me of another epitaph in Greenwood:

  "Underneath this turf do lie,
  Back to back, my wife and I.
  Generous stranger, spare the tear,
  For could she speak, I cannot hear.
  Happier far than when in life,
  Free from noise and free from strife,
  When the last trump the air shall fill,
  If she gets up, I'll just lie still!"


The eccentricities of some doctors lie in their abuse of their brothers;
especially those of a different school, of which they necessarily know
little or nothing.

There is a Hindoo story illustrative of the folly of this _ex parte_

Four blind men went to examine an elephant, to ascertain what it was like.
One felt of its foot, the second its trunk, the third its ear, and the
last felt of its tail. Then they held a consultation, and began to talk it

"The elephant is very much like a mortar," said the one who had felt of
the foot.

"It is like a pestle," said the one who had felt of its trunk.

"No; you are both wrong. It's like a fan," said he who had felt of the

"You are all mistaken; it is like a broom," vehemently exclaimed the man
who had felt of the tail. The dispute grew warm. Each was sure he was
right, because he had personally examined for himself. Then they waxed
angry, and a lasting quarrel grew out of it; so, in the end, they were all
as ignorant of the truth as when they began the investigation.

The diversity of medical opinion on diet is equally as great as on
prescription, and often partakes largely of the notion or eccentricity of
the individual physician, rather than the requirements of the patient.

One is an advocate of animal diet; another is a strict Grahamite, or
vegetarian, and a third is an animo-vegetarian, which, according to the
two kinds of teeth given to man,--the tearing, or canine, and the grinding
teeth,--seems to be the most rational decision. Then there is the
slop-doctor. I know of one in Connecticut. He weighs about two hundred and
fifty pounds. He breakfasts on the richest steak, dines on roast beef, and
sups on a fowl. Every patient he has is a victim to "typhoid fever: the
result is inflammation of the glands of the stomach, and induced by too
hearty food;" hence the patient is starved a month on slop or gruel.

This doctor was formerly a Methodist preacher, and--

  "Exhausting all _persuasive_ means to light
  Our fallen race to Virtue's glorious height,
  To Medicine gives his comprehensive mind,
  And fills his pockets while he cures mankind.
  He scorns M. D.'s, at all hard study sneers,
  And soon the science of its mystery clears.
  _His_ knowledge springs intuitive and plain,
  As Pallas issued from the Thunderer's brain.
  He takes a patent for some potent pill
  Whose cure is certain--for it cures to kill.
  Such mighty powers in its materials lurk,
  It grows, like Gibbon's Rome, a standard _work_!
  Pill-militant, he storms the forts of pain,
  Where grim Disease has long entrenchéd lain,
  Routs fevers, agues, colics, colds, and gouts,
  Nor ends the war till life itself he routs.
  If of his skill you wish some pregnant hints,
  Peruse the gravestones, not the public prints!
  To aid his work, and fame immortal win,
  Brings steam from physics into medicine;
  From speeding packets o'er th' Atlantic waste,
  O'er Styx's stream old Charon's boat to haste,
  Proving that steam for double use is fit--
  To whirl men _through_ the world, and _out_ of it!"

The difference in the item of sleep is amusing. I know a poor, worn-out
doctor who finds all health in early rising. Let us refer him to the
following, by John G. Saxe:--


  "God bless the man who first invented sleep!"
    So Sancho Panza said, and so say I:
  And bless him also that he didn't keep
    His great discovery to himself, nor try
  To make it--as the lucky fellow might--
  A close monopoly by patent right.

  Yes, bless the man who first invented sleep
    (I really can't avoid the iteration);
  But blast the man, with curses loud and deep,
    Whate'er the rascal's name, or age, or station,
  Who first invented, and went round advising,
  That artificial cut-off--early rising.

  "Rise with the lark, and with the lark to bed,"
    Observes some solemn, sentimental owl:
  Maxims like these are very cheaply said;
    But ere you make yourself a fool or fowl,
  Pray, just inquire about his rise and fall,
  And whether larks have any beds at all.

  The time for honest folks to be abed
    Is in the morning, if I reason right;
  And he who cannot keep his precious head
    Upon his pillow till it's fairly light,
  And so enjoy his forty morning winks,
  Is up to knavery; or else--he drinks.

  Thomson, who sung about the "Seasons," said
    It was a glorious thing to _rise_ in season;
  But then he said it--lying--in his bed,
    At ten o'clock A. M.,--the very reason
  He wrote so charmingly. The simple fact is,
  His preaching wasn't sanctioned by his practice.

  'Tis doubtless well to be sometimes awake,--
    Awake to duty and awake to truth,--
  But when, alas! a nice review we take
    Of our best deeds and days, we find, in sooth,
  The hours that leave the slightest cause to weep
  Are those we passed in childhood, or asleep!

  'Tis beautiful to leave the world a while
    For the soft visions of the gentle night;
  And free at last from mortal care or guile,
    To live as only in the angels' sight,
  In sleep's sweet realm so cosily shut in,
  Where, at the worst, we only _dream_ of sin.

  So let us sleep, and give the Maker praise.
    I like the lad who, when his father thought
  To clip his morning nap by hackneyed phrase
    Of vagrant worm by early songster caught,
  Cried, "Served him right!--it's not at all surprising;
  The worm was punished, sir, for early rising."


"Gabriel Betteredge," in "Moonstone," was doubtless a true character from
life, picked up by the author, Wilkie Collins, somewhere in his travels. I
think the best authors seldom have made up so good a character "out of
whole cloth," but have gone to the highways and byways for them.
Betteredge's forte lay in Robinson Crusoe. That book was his guidance and
solace in all his trials and perplexities. But what would you think of a
doctor, a respectable graduate of a medical college, who sought, if not
advice, recreation and solace in Mother Goose?

This M. D. resided a few years ago in A., New York State. He owned a large
library, enjoyed the confidence of a large list of friends and patrons,
and was a man of education and refinement. His eccentricity lay in his
love of Mother Goose's Melodies. He kept a copy of these nursery rhymes at
his very elbow, and often turned from a perplexing case, and sought solace
in the jingling rhymes of old Mother Goose!

Well, that was certainly better than relieving his brain by the use of
narcotic stimulants, as opium, tobacco, or ardent spirits, which use can
only be followed at the expense of nerve, tissue, and membrane.

I have here before me an account of another physician, whose solace and
relief from business cares were in his cats, of which he had several, all
of which answered to their names. His attachment to these creatures was
only equalled by theirs for him. Sometimes one or two perched on his
shoulders and sang to him while he rested in his easy-chair. He seemed to
drink in Lethean comforts, as thus he would remain for a half hour or more
at a time, or till business broke the spell. When a patient came, or a
servant announced a call, he would arise and say, "Pets, vamose!" and the
cats would all scamper away to their nests, and the doctor, seemingly
refreshed in body and mind, would return to the reality of life and its

One's solace is in his children, another's in his wife, a third in his
flower-garden; and others' in opium, rum, or tobacco.


Sometimes the doctor's oddity seemed to be in his silence, again in asking
"outlandish" questions. Often they get a good return; for instance,--

Dr. G., of Sycamore, Ill., riding in the country one day, saw a sign upon
a gate-post, reading thus: "This farm for sail." Stopping his horse, he
hailed a little old woman, who stood on tiptoe, hanging out clothes.

"I say, madam, when is this farm going to _sail_?"

"Just as soon, sir," replied the old lady, placing her thumb to her nose,
"as anybody comes along who can raise the wind."

The doctor drove thoughtfully on.


"A priest who was jogging along on an ass was overtaken by a loquacious
doctor, and, after some preliminary conversation as to the destination,
etc., the doctor proposed that they each should ask a question, and the
one who proposed the best should receive hospitality at the other's
expense at the next town. The priest agreed, for he was a fat, jolly
little fellow, who could enjoy a laugh and "some bottles," even at a
doctor's expense. So the doctor proposed the following:--

"What is the difference between a priest and a jackass?"

"That's old," replied the priest. "One wears his cross on his breast, the
other on his back.--Now for my turn. What is the difference between the
doctor and the ass?"

"I cannot tell," replied the doctor; "what is the difference?"

"I see none," quietly replied the priest.


A physician in P., who had the reputation of being a high liver, was quite
publicly reprimanded for his gluttony by an advent preacher of some note,
not a thousand miles from Boston. The doctor bore his abuse without
flinching, though he believed the man a hypocrite. A long time afterwards,
he met the Adventist in his town, and, after some conversation, invited
him to dine at his own house. The hungry Grahamite accepted, and at an
early moment found himself at the doctor's board.

"Will you ask a blessing?" said the doctor; which request being complied
with, he uncovered one of the only two dishes on the table, which
contained nothing but bread. The preacher saw the point, and said, with a
disappointed grin, "You shall not live by bread alone."

"Yes; I know that much Scripture," replied the doctor; "so I have provided
some butter," uncovering the other dish!



    "He finds out what stuff they're made of."--SHAKSPEARE.

    "By setting brother against brother,
    To claw and curry one another."--BUTLER.


Mythology informs us that Heraclitus, the melancholy philosopher of
Ephesus, fixed his residence in a manure heap, by the advice of his
physicians, in hopes of thereby being cured of the dropsy. The remedy
proved worse than the disease, and the philosopher died. From that time
till the present, medical prescriptions have rather partaken of the
extravagant and the ridiculous, than of the rational and beneficial.

In biblical times the real remedies consisted of a few simples, and were
almost totally confined to external uses. Fig paste was a favorite remedy
for swellings, boils, and ulcers, and an ointment made of olives and some
spices was used for wounds, etc. Mrs. Eve, it is said, took to fig leaves.
The myrrh and hyssop were used chiefly among the Jews for purification.
The former was obtained from Egypt and Arabia East. The original name was,
in Arabic, _marra_, meaning bitter.

The history of medicine is referable to about 1184 before Christ, from
which time to Hippocrates, 460 B. C., it could not lay claim to the name
of science. It was confined almost entirely to the priestcraft, and
partook largely of the fabulous notions of that superstitious age, and was
connected with their gods and heroes. Then, necessarily with such a
belief, the remedies lay in ceremonies and incantations, as before
mentioned in chapter first, and the priests had it all their own way.

Chiron, according to Grecian bibliographers, was about the first who
practised medicine to any extent, and who, with Apollo, claimed to have
received his knowledge direct from Jupiter. Æsculapius was a son of
Apollo. Æsculapius had two sons, who became celebrated physicians, and one
daughter, Hygeia, the goddess of health. For a long time the practice of
medicine was confined to the descendants of Æsculapius, who was worshipped
in the temples of Epidaurus, the ruins of one of which is said to still be

Hippocrates claimed to be a descendant of Æsculapius (460 B. C.). The
remedies used by his predecessors were a few vegetable medicines,
accelerated by a good many mystical rites. It would seem that medicinal
springs were patronized at this early date, as temples of health were
established near such wells, in Greece. Theophrastus, of Lesbos, was a
fuller's son, and wrote a book on plants. He was a pupil to Plato and

Podalirius was going to cure every disease by bleeding, Herodicus by
gymnastics, and Archagathus by burning and gouging out the diseased parts.
Then arose Chrysippus, who reversed the blood-letting theory, and would
allay the venous excitement by simple medications (not having discovered
the difference between veins and arteries, and when they did, it was
supposed the latter contained only air; hence the name); Asclepiades, who
"kicked Hippocrates' nature out of doors," and the thermo-therapeutists,
who turned out the latter.

After the followers of Archagathus, or Archegenus, were driven out of
Rome, the hot baths were established, which were the earliest mentioned.
There was a very celebrated cold water bath established somewhat earlier,
for which Mr. Noah, who owned the right, got up a very large tub, for the
exclusive use of himself, family, and household pets. The bath--like
nearly all cold water baths _extensively used since_--was a complete
success, killing off all who ventured into the water.

During the reign of the Roman emperor Caracalla (211-217) thermal baths
were extensively established at Rome, and Gibbon informs us that they were
open for the reception of both senators and people; that they would
accommodate three thousand persons at once. The enclosure exceeded a mile
in circumference. At one end there was a magnificent temple, dedicated to
the god Apollo, and at the reverse another, sacred to Æsculapius, the
tutelary divinities of the Thermæ. The Grecians also established cold,
warm, and hot baths; and in Turkey the bathing was a religious rite until
a very recent period. More recently, it is a source of diversion.
"Cleanliness is akin to godliness," and recreation is a religious duty;
therefore the warm bath, whether followed as a superstitious rite or as a
source of amusement, is nevertheless commendable as a sanitary measure.

Dr. Dio Lewis, of Boston, has a grand warm (Turkish) bathing
establishment. There are several hot, champooing, and cooling rooms for
ladies or gentlemen, and a grand plunge bath, containing sixteen thousand
gallons of water, warmed by a steam apparatus. If the Bostonians are dirty
hereafter, they must not blame the doctor. No man knows how dirty he is
till he tries one of these baths.

"Crosby's History of the English Baptists preserves the opinion of Sir
John Floyer, physician, that immersion was of great sanitary value, and
that its discontinuance, about the year 1600, had been attended with ill
effects on the physical condition of the population. 'Immersion would
prevent many hereditary diseases if it were still practised,' he said. An
old man, eighty years of age, whose father lived at the time while
immersion was the practice, said that parents would ask the priest to dip
well into the water that part of the child which was diseased, to prevent
its descending to posterity.

"Baxter vehemently and exaggeratedly denounced it as a breach of the sixth
commandment. It produced catarrh, etc., and, in a word, was good for
nothing but to despatch men out of the world."

"If murder be sin, then dipping ordinarily in cold water over head is a

So much for Dr. Floyer vs. Baxter. Surely the latter ought to have been

A western paper of respectability is responsible for the statement, that
an old lady followed up a bishop as he travelled through his diocese, in
that vicinity, and was confirmed several times before detected.

"Why did you do such a remarkable deed?" asked the bishop. "Did you feel
that your sins were so great as to require a frequent repetition of the

"O, no," replied the old lady, complacently; "but I heerd say it was good
for the rheumatiz."

The bishop didn't confirm her any more. She was really going to baptism as
the voters go to the polls and vote in New York--"early and often."


The prescriptions and doses of the old English doctors were "stunning."

Billy Atkins, a gout doctor of Charles II.'s time, who resided in the Old
Bailey, did an immense business in his specialty. His remarkable wig and
dress will find a place in our chapter on "Dress." He made a nostrum on
the authority of Swift, compounded of thirty different promiscuous

The apothecary to Queen Elizabeth brought in his quarter-bill, £83, 7s.
8d. Amongst the items were the following: "A confection made like a manus
Christi, with bezoar stone, and unicorn's horn, 11s. Sweet scent for
christening of Sir Richard Knightly's son, 2s. 6d. A conserve of
barberries, damascene plums, and others, for Mr. Ralegh, 6s. Rose water
for the King of Navarre's ambassador, 12s. A royal sweetmeat, with
rhubarb, 16d."

A sweet preparation, and a favorite of Dr. Theodore Mayerne, was "balsam
of bats." A cure for hypochondria was composed of "adders, bats,
angle-worms, sucking whelps, ox-bones, marrow, and hog's grease." Nice!

After perusing--without swallowing--his medical prescriptions, the reader
would scarcely desire to follow the directions in his "Excellent and
well-approved Receipts in Cooking." I should rather, to run my risk,
breakfast on boarding-house or hotel hash, than partake of food prepared
from Dr. Mayerne's "Cook Book."

According to Dr. Sherley, Mayerne gave violent drugs, calomel in scruple
doses, mixed sugar of lead with conserves, and fed gouty kings on
pulverized human bones.

"A small, young mouse roasted," is recommended by Dr. Bullyn, as a cure
for restlessness and nervousness in children. For cold, cough, and
tightness of the lungs, he says, "Snayles (snails) broken from the shells
and sodden in whyte wyne, with olyv oyle and sugar, are very holsome."
Snails were long a favorite remedy, and given in consumption for no other
reason than that "it was a _slow_ disease." A young puppy's skin (warm and
fresh) was applied to the chest of a child with croup, because he
_barked_! Fish-worms, sow-bugs, crab's eyes, fish-oil, sheep-droppings,
and such delicious stuff were, and still are, favorite remedies with some
physicians and country people. The following was one of Dr. Boleyn's royal

"_Electuarium de Gemmis._ Take two drachms of white perles; two little
peeces of saphyre; jacinth, corneline, emerauldes, garnettes, of each an
ounce; setwal, the sweate roote doronike, the rind of pomecitron, mace,
basel seede, of each two drachms; of redde corall, amber, shaving of
ivory, of each two drachms; rootes both of white and red behen, ginger,
long peper, spicknard, folium indicum, saffron, cardamon, of each one
drachm; of troch. diarodon, lignum aloes, of each half a small handful;
cinnamon, galinga, zurubeth, which is a kind of setwal, of each one drachm
and a half; thin pieces of gold and sylver, of each half a scruple; of
musk, half a drachm. Make your electuary with honey emblici, which is the
fourth kind of mirobalans with roses, strained in equall partes, as much
as will suffice. This healeth cold, diseases of ye braine, harte, stomack.
It is a medicine proved against the tremblynge of the harte, faynting, and
sounin, the weakness of the stomacke, pensivenes, solitarines. Kings and
noblemen have used this for their comfort. It causeth them to be
bold-spirited, the body to smell wel, and ingendreth to the face good

"Truly a medicine for kings and noblemen," says Jeaffreson, who gives the

"During the railroad panic of England (1846), an unfortunate physician
prescribed the following for a nervous lady:--

  [R]. Great Western, 350 shares.
       Eastern Counties,}
       North Middlesex, } a. a. 1050.

  M.   Haust. 1. Om. noc. cap.

"This direction for a delicate lady to swallow nightly (noc.) 2450
railway shares was cited as proof of the doctor's insanity, and the
management of his private affairs was placed in other hands."


"A humersome doctor," as Mrs. Partington would say, gives the following


  Tinc. Peruvii barki bitters, 1 oz.
  Sugari albi, vel sweetningus, considerabilibus.
  Spiritus frumenti, vel old repeus, ad lib.
  Waterus pumpus, non multum.
  Nutmegus, sprinklibus.


A physician of our acquaintance was called to a lady patient after she had
enjoyed a season of unusual domestic quarrels, who was not over long in
"turning herself wrong-side out"--as some females will insist upon doing,
for the edification of the medical man--telling, not only all about her
pains and aches, but her "trials with that man," her husband--her brutal
usage, her scanty wardrobe, her mortification on seeing Mrs. Outsprout
appear in a new blue silk, and a "love of a bonnet," and (after
entertaining the doctor with wine and good things) finally wind up in
hysterical sobs--for which he prescribed, as follows:--

  [R]. One new silk dress--first quality.
       One hat and feather.
       One diamond--solitaire--aq. prim.

    Apply to patient. And 1 coach and span, to Central Park, P. M.

The husband enjoyed the joke; the wife enjoyed the clothes, the diamond
pin, and the ride; and the doctor heard no more of their quarrels.


Just prior to the year 1800, two brothers, named Taylor, emerged from
obscurity in Yorkshire, and set up for doctors. They were farriers, and
from shoeing they advanced to doctoring and bleeding horses, thence to
drugging and butchering those of their fellow-creatures who naturally
preferred brute doctors to respectable physicians. Their system of
practice was a wholesale one.


"Soft chirurgions make foul sores," said Boleyn, the grandfather of the
beautiful and unfortunate Anne Boleyn. The Taylors struck no soft blows,
"but opened the warfare against disease by bombardment of shot and shell
in all directions. They bled their patients by the gallon, and drugged
them, as they did the cattle, by the stone. Their druggists, Ewbank &
Wallis, of York, supplied them with a ton of Glauber's salts at a time.
Scales and weights in their dispensary were regarded as bugbears of
ignoble minds. Everything was mixed by the scoop or handful. If they
ordered broth for a delicate patient, they directed the nurse to boil a
large leg of mutton in a copper of water, down to a strong decoction, and
administer a quart at stated intervals," _nolens volens?_

The little Abbe de Voisenon, the celebrated wit and dramatic writer
(1708-1775), was once sick at the chateau near Melum, and his physician
ordered him to drink a quart of ptisan (a decoction of barley and other
ingredients) every hour.

"What was the effect of the ptisan?" asked the doctor, on his next visit.

"None," replied the Abbe.

"Have you swallowed it all?"

"No; I could not take but half of it at once."

"No more than half! My order was the whole," exclaimed the doctor.

"Ah! now, friend," said the Abbe, "how could you expect me to swallow a
quart at a time, when I hold only a pint?"


As the next anecdote has had to do service for more than one physician, it
is immaterial which doctor it was. He was an irascible old fellow, at
least, and not at all careful in leaving orders.

"Your husband is very sick, woman," said the doctor to the wife of an
Irish laborer. "His fever is high, and skin as dry as a fish, or a parish
contribution box. You must give him plenty of cold water, all he will
drink, and to-night I'll see him again. There, don't come snivelling
around me. My heart is steeled against that sort of thing. But, as you
want something to cry for, just hear me. Your husband isn't going to die!
There, now, I know you are disappointed, but you brought it on to
yourself." Going away--"Mind, lots of water--"

"Wather, sir! Hoo much wather, docther dear? He shall have it, but, yer
honor didn't tell me hoo much wather I must give him."

"Zounds, woman, haven't I told you to give him all he will take? Hoo much?
Give him a couple of buckets full, if he will swallow them. Do you hear
now? Two buckets full."

"The Lord bless yer honor," cried the woman; and the doctor made his

At evening the doctor stopped, on his return, to ask after the patient.
"How is he, woman?" asked the doctor.

"O, he's been tuck away, save yer honor," cried the widow. "The wather did
him no good, only we couldn't get down the right quantity. We did our
best, doctor dear, and got down him better nor a pailful and a half, when
he slipped away from us. Ah, if we could oonly ha' got him to swaller the
other half pailful, he might not have died, yer honor."


It is sometimes painfully amusing to observe, not only the difference of
opinion expressed by medical men from one generation to another, but by
those of the same period, and same school.

In the "London Lancet" of July, 1864, there appeared a curious table. A
medical practitioner, who had long suffered from hay fever, had from time
to time consulted various other medical men by letter, and he gives us in
a tabular survey the opinions they gave him of the causes of this disease,
and the remedies, as follows:--

"Herewith," writes Dr. Jones, "I forward a synopsis of the opinions of a
few of the most eminent men, in various countries, that I have consulted.
I have substituted a letter for the name, as I do not think it prudent to
place before the general reader the names of those who have so disagreed."

  Consulted.      Opinion of Cause.              Recommended.

  Dr. A.  A predisposition to phthisis.    Quinine and sea voyage.
  Dr. B.  Disease of pneumogastric nerve.  Arsen., bell., and cinchona.
  Dr. C.  Disease of the caruncula.        Apply bell. and zinc.
  Dr. D.  Inflammation of Schneiderian     To paint with nitrate of
            membrane.                        silver.
  Dr. E.  Strumous diathesis.              Quinine, cod liver oil, and
  Dr. F.  Dyspepsia.                       Kreosote, henbane, quinine.
  Dr. G.  Vapor of chlorophyll.            Remain in a room from 11
                                             A. M. to 6 P. M.
  Dr. H.  Light debility, hay pollen.      Do., port wine, snuff, salt,
                                             and opium, and wear blue
  Dr. L. From large doses of iodine.
           (Never took any iodine.)        Try quinine and opium.
  Dr. M. Disease of iris.                  Avoid the sun's rays from 11
                                             A. M. to 6 P. M.
  Dr. N. Want of red corpuscles.           Try iron, port wine, and soups.
  Dr. O. Disease of optic nerve.           Phosph. ac. and quinine.
  Dr. P. Asthma from hay pollen.           Chlorodyne and quinine.
  Dr. Q. Phrenitis.                        Small doses of opium.
  Dr. R. Nervous debility, from heat.      Turkish baths.

This needs no comment.

The different opinions on doses of medicine is more absurd. We have
already mentioned cases wherein certain physicians administered calomel in
scruple, and even drachm doses. Before us is a work wherein it is
seriously asserted that a medicinal action was obtained from the two
hundredth trituration,--a dose so small, in comparison with the scruple
doses, as to be counted only by the _millionths_.

How many of us have had to wake up mornings, and swallow a table-spoonful
of sulphur and molasses, with mingled feelings of disgust at the sulphur,
and exquisite delight from the molasses, as we retired, lapping our
mouths, to get the last taste! Now, L. B. Wells, M. D., of New York,
informs us that he has cured an eruption of the skin by the use of the
four thousandth dilution of sulphur,--so comparatively small that I
cannot express it by figures. Well, these extremes have their uses, and we
may look for relief in the mediate ground. The smaller we can get the
dose, and still be reliable, the better we shall suit the people,--though
we shall seriously offend the apothecaries.

Dr. Francis, in his book, "Surgeons of New York," tells the following,
which illustrates how a desperate remedy may apply to a desperate disease.
The cases in reference were "peritonitis." Dr. Smith (our "plough-boy")
had charge of the lying-in wards, under Professor Clark.

"Dr. Smith, have you ever attended a common school?" asked Professor

"Yes, sir."

"Did you ever hear a teacher say, 'I will whip you within an inch of your
life?'" pursued Dr. Clark.

"Yes, sir; I have."

"Well, that is the way I wish you to give opium to these patients,--'to
within an inch of their lives.'"

Dr. Smith determined to follow implicitly his instructions, and gave to
one as high as twelve grains of opium an hour.

"At this extreme point the remedy was maintained for several days.

"The patient recovered, and remained in the hospital, attached to kitchen
service, for several months."

Certainly, the poor Irish, even, have their uses in New York city.


The writer, having spent much time at the various mineral springs
throughout the United States, and partaken of the water of some for weeks
in succession, is competent to give an opinion as to their merits.
Collectively, they are commendable, especially those located in country
places, away from scenes of dissipation and profligacy.

The only reliable way to expect benefit from spring waters is to select
one by the advice of your physician, and go direct to the spring.

Much of the bottled waters sold are "doctored," either by the retailer,
the wholesaler, or often at the springs from where they are exported. Who
is to know whether Vichy, Kissengen, Saratoga, or even Vermont mineral
water, as sold by the package, ever saw the respective springs from which
they are named? The various mineral waters are easily made, by adding to
carbonized water such peculiar minerals, or salts, as analysis has shown
exists in the natural springs. I knew a man who affirmed that he ruined a
suit of clothes, while employed at a certain spring, by the acids with
which he "doctored" the water, before it was shipped. Sulphuret of
potassium covers the properties of many springs; iron others.

It has been intimated that the waters of a celebrated spring which I
visited is indebted for its peculiar flavor to an old tannery, which,
within the memory of that mythical being, "the oldest inhabitant,"
occupied the site where this favorite spring "gushes forth." Having no
desire to be tanned inside,--after my boyhood's experience in that
delightful external process,--I respectfully declined drinking from this

By the immense quantities of "spring water" gulped down hourly and daily
by visitors, one is led to suppose the cure lies in a thorough washing
out. There is an excellent spring near Nashville, Tenn., from which I
drank for a week; also another at Sheldon, Vt. There are three different
springs at this latter place, but I prefer the "Sheldon" to either of the
other two. I discovered a good spring at Newport, Vt., and there are
others in that vicinity.


"Drink freely of cold water," says an author of no small repute, to
persons of a weak stomach, viz., dyspeptics.

When I was an apprentice, my master (Sir Charles Blicke) used to say, "O,
sir, you are faint: pray drink this water." "And what do you think was the
effect of putting cold water into a man's stomach, under these
circumstances?" asks the great Dr. Abernethy. "Why, of course, that it was
often rejected in his face." Never put cold water, or cold victuals, into
a weak stomach.

The above surgeon is responsible for the following advice.

An Irishman called in great haste upon the doctor, saying,--

"O, dochter--be jabers, me b'y Tim has swallowed a mouse."

"Then, Paddy, be jabers, let your boy Tim swallow a cat."


One can readily conceive the utility of a warm bath--even a cold water
bath, if the bather is robust--or a steam bath, a vapor, or a sun bath;
but the advantage of the absurdity which the nineteenth century has
introduced from antiquity, viz., the dry cupping, or pumping treatment, is
not so self-evident.

An old lady, suffering from "rheumatism, and a humor of the blood," was
persuaded to visit a "pump-doctor's" rooms.

"What's that hollow thing for?" she nervously inquired.

"That is a limb-receiver," replied the polite operator. "If the disease is
in the limb, we enclose it within this; the rubber excludes the air, and
to this faucet we affix the pump, and remove the air from the limb."

"Yes, yes; but I thought air was necessary to health; besides, I don't see
how that is going to cure the limb. Does it add anything to, or take
anything from the limb?" she inquired.

"Well--no--yes; that is, it draws the disease out from that part."

"Yes, yes; but suppose the disease is all over the person, as mine is."

"Then we place them in this," putting his hand upon an article which she
had not before discovered.

"That? Why, that looks like the case to a Dutchman's pipe, only a sight
times larger. And do tell if you shet folks up in that box," cautiously
approaching and examining it.

The operator assured her such was the case.

"Is the disease left in the box when you are done pumping? Does it really
suck all the disease into the thing by the process?" she inquired.

"Well, madam, you put your questions in a remarkable manner. But it
displaces the air around the person, and the vital principle within forces
out the disease. It is certain to benefit all diseases," he replied.

"Well, I don't see how it can, if it can't be seen. Does it act as physic,
emetic, a bath, or do the sores follow right out of the blood into the

"Neither, madam." The operator was very patient. "Just try the
limb-receiver first; then you can tell better about the whole treatment."

After much persuasion, and by the assistance of the female operator, the
old lady was seated, and the limb-receiver adjusted. Now the man in the
next room began to pump. The old lady was very nervous, and felt for her
snuff-box, and while so doing the man was still pumping. Having taken the
snuff, her mind again referred to the limb in the box, and the pressure
(suction) having naturally increased, her nervousness overcame her, and
with a scream and a bound she left the chair and rushed for the door,
dragging the receiver, which clung tight to the one limb, rather
outweighing the boot and hose of the other, drawing the gutta-percha pipe
after her, which only added to her fright, and with another scream for
"help," and "O, will nobody save me?--O, murder, murder!" she, like a
bound lion, went the length of her chain, and tumbled over in a heap on
the floor. The woman rushed from behind the screen, the man from the
pump-room, and rescued the old lady, who fled to her carriage in waiting;
and doubtless to her dying day she will continue to tell of how narrowly
she escaped "being sucked entirely through that gutta-percha pipe--only
for her having on a bustle."


A Canadian, of a nervous, consumptive diathesis, went down to Portland,
Maine, to consult a physician, and fell in with old Dr. F., whom he found
busily engaged in examining some papers. The old doctor heard his case,
and hurriedly wrote him a prescription. The chirography of the doctor was
none of the best, yet the Portland druggists, who were familiar with his
scrawls, could easily decipher his prescriptions. Not so the country
apothecary, to whom the patient took the recipe, to save expense, which
was something as follows: "Spiritus frumenti et valerianum," etc.; then
followed the directions for taking.

After much delay and consultation with the green-grocer boy, it was put up
as a painter's article, viz., "spirits turpentine and varnish."

The first glass-full satisfied the invalid.


A gentleman, knowing the parties in his boyhood, rehearsed to me the
following anecdote:--

Old Dr. Gallup, of ----, N. H., was an excellent physician, whose failing
lay in his propensity to imbibe more spirits then he could carry off.

"Are you drunk, or sober?" was no unusual question, put by those requiring
his services, before permitting the old doctor to prescribe.

[Illustration: "PUMPING" AN OLD LADY.]


"Sober as a judge. What--hic--do you want?" he would reply.

Mr. B., who had been a long time confined to his house, under the care of
an old fogy doctor, one of the "Gods of Medicine," with whom all knowledge
remains, and with whom all knowledge dies, after taking nearly all the
drugs contained in his Materia Medica, decided to change, and sent for Dr.

"Are you drunk, or sober, doctor?" was the first salutation.

"Sober as a judge. What's wanted?" was the reply, omitting the "hic."

"Can you cure me? I've been blistered and parboiled, puked and physicked,
bled in vein and pocket for the last three months. Now, can you cure me?"

Gallup looked over the case, and the medicine left by the other doctor,
threw the latter all out of the window, ordered a nourishing diet, told
Mr. B. to take no more drugs, took his fee, and left. Mr. B. recovered
without another visit.





  I met him again; he was trudging along,
    His knapsack with chickens was swelling;
  He'd "blenkered" these dainties, and thought it no wrong,
    From some secessionist's dwelling.
  "What regiment's yours, and under whose flag
    Do you fight?" said I, touching his shoulder;
  Turning slowly about, he smilingly said,--
    For the thought made him stronger and bolder,--
                    "I fights mit Siegel."

  The next time I saw him, his knapsack was gone,
    His cap and his canteen were missing;
  Shell, shrapnell, and grape, and the swift rifle-ball,
    Around him and o'er him were hissing.
  "How are you, my friend, and where have you been?
    And for what, and for whom, are you fighting?"
  He said, as a shell from the enemy's gun
    Sent his arm and his musket a-kiting,
                    "I fights mit Siegel."

  We scraped out his grave, and he dreamlessly sleeps
    On the bank of the Shenandoah River;
  His home and his kindred alike are unknown,
    His reward in the hands of the Giver.
  We placed a rough board at the head of his grave,
    "And we left him alone in his glory,"
  But on it we cut, ere we turned from the spot,
    The little we knew of his story--
                    "I fights mit Siegel."--GRANT P. ROBINSON.

If any of the little "life stories" which I here relate in this brief
chapter, have perchance before met the reader's eye, I can only say that
they cannot be read too often. We need no longer go back to remotest
history--to Joan d'Arc, Grace Darling, Florence Nightingale, nor to
revolutionary scenes--to find "cases of courage and devotion, for no
annals are so rich as ours in these deliberate acts of unquestioning
self-sacrifice, which at once ennoble our estimate of human nature, and
increase the homage we pay to the virtues of women."


Night gathered her sable mantle about earth and sky, and the cold, wintry
wind swept around the temporary hospital with a mournful wail, a rude
lullaby, and a sad requiem to the wounded and dying soldier boys who
crowded its rankling wards. Through the dark, sickly atmosphere, by the
flickering lamp-lights, are just discernible the long rows of suffering,
dying humanity. As the wind lulls, the sighs and groans of the unfortunate
sufferers greet your ears on every side. "Water, water!" is the general

Every moment new ones are added to the mangled and suffering throng, as
they are brought in from the battle-field and the amputating-room. The
surgeons are busily at work. Every able-bodied soldier must be at the
front, for the emergency is great. Ah! who shall give the "water" which
raging thirst momentarily demands? Who is to soothe the fearful anguish,
from lacerated nerve and muscle, by cruel shot and shell? And who shall
smooth the dying pillow, hear the last prayer, for self, and for loved
ones far away in the northern homes? And who will kindly receive the dying
messages for those dear ones,--wife, children, father, mother,--whom he
never will see again, and kiss the pallid cheek, commend the soul to God,
and close the eyes forever of the poor soldier boy, who died away from
home and friends, in the hospital?

God himself had raised up those to fill this sacred office, in the form of
frail women--woman, because no man could fill the hallowed sphere.
Flitting from couch to couch, like a fairy thing, noiselessly; like an
angel of mercy, administering, soothing; but like a _woman_, beautiful,
frail, and slender, with a cheering smile, and sympathy, as much expressed
in the light of the eye as the sound of the voice, she moistened the
parched lips, lightened the pillows, and the hearts, and seemed never to
tire in deeds of love and kindness to the distressed soldiers.

Next to the soldiers, the physicians know how to appreciate the true women
at the hospital couch. After the manifestations of skill, labor, anxiety,
and devotion to the cause by the physicians, thousands of men would have
perished but for the hand and heart of woman, and who now live to speak
her praise and cherish her memory forever.

"Ain't she an angel?" said a gray-haired veteran, as she gave the boys
their breakfast. "She never seems to tire; she is always smiling, and
don't seem to walk, but flies from one to another. God bless her."

"Ma'am, where did you come from?" asked a fair boy of seventeen summers,
as she smoothed his hair, and told him, with gleaming eyes, he would soon
see his mother, and the old homestead, and be won back to life and health.
"How could such a lady as you come way down here to take care of us poor,
sick, dirty boys?"

"I consider it an honor," she said, "to wait on you, and wash off the mud
you have waded through for me."

Said another, "Lady, please write down your name, that I may look at it,
and take it home, and show my wife who wrote my letters, combed my hair,
and fed me. I don't believe you're like other people."

"God bless her, and spare her life," they would say, with devotion, as she
passed on.

(These things were written of Miss Breckenbridge by Mrs. Hoge, of


She sat by the couch of a fair-haired boy, who was that day mortally
wounded. It was night now, and in the hospital before described. The poor
boy knew he must go, but before he died he wanted to leave a message of
love for his mother, away in the northern home.

"Tell me all you wish to have her know; I will convey your message to
her," said the lady, as she bent her slender young form over the dying
boy, and tenderly smoothed back the fleecy locks from his pallid brow.

[Illustration: THE DYING MESSAGE.]

"O, bless you, dear lady. You speak words of such joy to me. But it is
this. I left a good mother, and sister Susie, in the dear old home in A.
O, so much I have longed to see them during these last few hours! to see
them but for one moment! O God, but for one moment!" And while he took
breath she turned away her beautiful face to hide the falling tears,
which she must not let the poor boy see. "Tell her," he pursued,--"my
mother,--that I never found out how much I loved her till I came away from
her side to fight for my country. O, lady, tell her this, and Susie, and
poor father. I see it all now. And the old home comes back to my mind as
clear as though I left it but yesterday. There is the old house, with its
gabled roof, and the porch, all covered with clinging jessamines, and the
big house-dog lying under the porch, and the great old well-sweep; and off
in the meadow are the trees I used to climb. O, I never, never shall see
them again. I feel very weak. Can't I have some more of that drink?"

"Yes, poor, dear boy. Here; the surgeon said you could have all you

"O, thank you. I wish I could write. O, there; that is so refreshing. If I
could but write and tell her how good you have been to me! But write your
name to her, the whole of it. She will understand, if you don't tell her
how good you are. Well, I won't say any more, for you shake your head; but
tell her how I love her, and them all. Am I fainting?"

She arose from her knees, and taking some water, with her hand she
moistened his brow and his silky hair, and offered him some more of the
strengthening cordial. But he declined taking it. The boy was dying. He
made one more effort, and said,--

"Mother! Tell her, too, how I have kept her little Bible; and she can see
how it has been read, and marked, and worn. O for one sight of her dear
face, one look from her loving eyes, one kiss from her lips! I'd then die
in peace."

The beautiful lady softly smoothed his hair, wiped his face, whispered
words too sacred for sterner hearts, and kissed away her own tears from
his pallid cheeks.

"Mother! Was it you? Then good by. I die--happy, Mother!"

Thus he expired. The good lady wrote the above to the mother of the brave
lad, and thus I obtained the original.


"A lady in one of the hospitals of the west was much attracted by two
young men, lying side by side, all splintered and bandaged, so that they
could not move hand or foot, but so cheerful and happy looking, that she

"'Why, boys, you are looking very bright to-day.'

"'O, yes,' they replied, 'we're all right now; we've been turned this

"And she found that for six long weeks they had lain in one position, and
for the first time that morning had been moved to the other side of their

"'And were you among those poor boys who were left lying where you fell,
that bitter cold morning, till you froze fast to the ground?'

"'Yes, ma'am; we were lying there two days. You know they had no time to
attend to us. They had to go and take the fort.'

"'And didn't you think it was very cruel in them to leave you there to
suffer so long?' she inquired.

"'Why, no, ma'am; we wanted them to go and take the fort.'

"'But when it was taken, you were in too great agony to know or care for

"'O, no, ma'am,' they replied, with flashing eyes. 'There was a whole lot
of us wounded fellows on the hill-side, watching to see if they would get
the fort; and when we saw they had it, every one of us who had a whole
arm, or leg, waved it in the air, and hurrahed till the air rang again.'"

This is from a letter by Miss M. E. Breckenbridge, a lady who laid down
her life for the sick soldiers.


Under Dr. Vanderkieft's supervision, in Sedgwick's corps, there was one of
the noblest self-sacrificing women of the army of the Potomac. This lady
was unwearied in her efforts for the good of the soldiers.

While at Smoketown Hospital, there was a poor, emaciated soldier, whose
weak and pitiable condition attracted her attention. He could retain
nothing on his stomach. Mrs. Lee--for that was the lady--had tried all the
various dishes for which the meagre hospital supplies afforded materials,
but nothing afforded the patient relief and nourishment, until one day, in
overhauling the stores, she found a quantity of Indian corn meal.

"O, I have found a prize," she cried, in delight.

"What is it?" inquired the little fellow detailed as orderly.

"Indian meal," was her reply.

"Pshaw! I thought you had found a bag of dollars."

"Better than dollars. Bring it along." And she hastened away to the tent
where lay her poor patient.

"Sanburn," said she,--for that was the invalid's name,--"could you eat
some mush?"

"I don't know what that is. I don't like any of your fancy dishes."

"Why, it's pudding and milk," said a boy on the next cot.

"O, yes," exclaimed the starving soldier. "I think I could eat a bucket
full of pudding and milk."

Mrs. Lee was not long in giving him an opportunity for the trial. She at
first brought him a small quantity, with some sweet milk, and to her joy,
as well as that of the lean, hungry patient, it suited him. He ate it
three times a day, and recovered. Indeed, the sack of meal was worth more
than a sack of dollars, as she had said.

As strange as this may seem, there are instances on record where very
remarkable, yea, absurd articles of diet have cured where medicine


The Earl of Bath, when he was Mr. Pulteney, was very sick of the
pleuristic fever, in Staffordshire. Doctor after doctor had been called
down from London, till his secretary had paid out the sum of three
thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars. The last two physicians had
given him up. "He must die," said Drs. Friend and Broxholm. They, however
prescribed some simple remedies, and were about to leave, when the
invalid, just alive, was heard to mutter, "Small beer."

"He asks for small beer," said the attendants. "Shall we give him some?"

"Yes, give him 'small beer,' or anything," replied the doctors.

A great two-quart silver pitcher full was brought, and he drank the whole
contents, and demanded more. The request was granted, and, after drinking
the gallon, he fell asleep, perspired freely, and recovered.


There is a poetical side, as well as a prosy side, to the camp and
hospital. The following effusion of confusion was sent to the writer by a
brother who gave his life for his country. It was written by a rebel
soldier, who never realized his dream, and doubtless his "Amelia" mourns
his loss as sincerely as though he had fought in a better cause.


1. O, come, my love, and go away to the land up north; for there, they
say, it's rite good picketin' for rebel boys. And we'll take the land, and
sweep the band of New Yorkers into the bay.

2. I've heered of Delmonico's, and Barnum's Shows, and how many hotels the
land only knows. And we'll steer our bark for Centre Park. Here's a health
to ourselves, and away she goes. (Here I drank.)

3. Then come with your knight so true, and down with the boys that's
dressed in blue. Farewell to hoe-cake an' hominy, Richmond and Montgomery.
I'll lick the damn Yankees, an' marry you.

4. Here's a heart, I reckon, as firm's a rock; no truer ever beat neath a
gray or blue frock. So come, my love, and haste away. We'll moor our bark
in New York Bay, when I end this fighting work.

  Your true lover,

The next has been in print, and was written by Major McKnight, while a
prisoner. "He was a poet, musician, and joker, and used to run from grave
to gay, from lively to severe, on almost all mottoes. He was an especial
favorite with his guard, the Union boys."


  My love reposes in a rosewood frame;
        A bunk have I;
  A couch of feath'ry down fills up the same;
        Mine's straw, but dry.
  She sinks to rest at night without a sigh;
  With waking eyes I watch the hours creep by.

  My love her daily dinner takes in state;
        And so do I;
  The richest viands flank her plate;
        Coarse grub have I.
  Pure wines she sips at ease her thirst to slake;
  I pump my drink from Erie's limpid lake.

  My love has all the world at will to roam;
        Three acres I;
  She goes abroad, or quiet sits at home;
        So cannot I.
  Bright angels watch around her couch at night;
  A Yank, with loaded gun, keeps me in sight.

  A thousand weary miles stretch between
        My love and I;
  To her, this wintry night, cold, calm, serene,
        I waft a sigh,
  And hope, with all my earnestness of soul,
  To-morrow's mail may bring me my parole.

  There's hope ahead: we'll one day meet again,
        My love and I;
  We'll wipe away all tears of sorrow then;
        Her love-lit eye
  Will all my many troubles then beguile,
  And keep this wayward reb from Johnson's Isle.

[Illustration: STUCK!]


The Georgia contrabands were great on conundrums, says a soldier of
Sherman's army. One day one of these human "charcoal sketches" was
driving a pair of contrary mules hitched to a cart loaded with foraging
stuff. He was sitting on the load, saying to himself, "Now dat Clem ax me
dat cundrum to bodder dis nigger, and I done just make it out. 'Why ar
Moses like er cotton-gin?' I done see. I mighty 'fraid I hab to gib dat
up. Whoa! Git up? What de debble you doin'?"

While "cudgelling his brains" for a solution of Clem's conundrum, the
mules had strayed from the cart road, and were stuck hard and fast in the
mud. "Git up dar yer Balum's cusses!" piling on the whip and using some
"swear words" not to be repeated. "Dar, take dat, and dat, yer!"

Just then Chaplain C. rode up, and hearing the contraband swearing,

"Do you know what the great I Am said?"

"Look'er yer, masser," interrupted the negro; "done yer ax me none of yer
cundrums till I git out ob dis d---- hole; and I answer Clem's fust--'Why
am Moses like er gin-cotton?'"


When General Kelley was after Mosby's guerrillas, he captured a girl named
Sally Dusky, whose two brothers were officers in the guerrilla band. The
general tried in vain to induce the girl--who was not bad looking, by the
way--to reveal the rebs' hiding-places. Having failed in all other ways,
the general said,--

"If you will make a clean breast of it, and tell us truly, I will give you
the chances for a husband of all the men and officers of my command."

With this bait he turned her over to Captain Baggs. After some
deliberation she asked that officer if the general meant what he said.

"O, most assuredly; the general was sincere," was his reply.

The girl assumed a thoughtful mood for some moments, and then said,--

"Well, I wouldn't like to marry the whole regiment, or staff, but I'd as
lief have the old general as any of them."




    "Full well he knew, where food does not refresh,
    The shrivelled soul sinks inward with the flesh;
    That he's best armed for danger's rash career,
    _Who's crammed so full there is no room for fear_."

    "Strange! that a creature rational, and cast
    In human mould, should brutalize by choice
    His nature."--COWPER.


If I confine this chapter to modern physicians, it will be brief. Though
doctors are usually pretty good livers, they, at this day of the world,
too well know the deadly properties of the villanous concoctions sold as
liquors to risk much of it in their own systems.

There is a whole sermon on eating in our first text above, and, while we
admit that gluttony is reprehensible, we detest "the shrivelled soul" who
starves wittingly his body to heap up riches, or under the idle delusion
of starving out disease, or "mortifying the flesh." If not very
"mortifying," it is very depressing, to be bored by one of these "lean,
lank hypochondriacs,"--to have to entertain, or be entertained by, such.
O, give me the wide-mouthed, the round-faced, or abdomened, the cheerful,
laughing man, especially if he's a doctor.

[Illustration: A GOOD LIVER.]

"Ah, doctor," said a poor, emaciated invalid to me during my first year's
practice at ----, "you do me good like a medicine by your presence. Why,
the blue devils leave the house the moment you enter. I don't believe you
was ever blue."

"Hereafter my patients shall never know that I am."

Nor is it necessary to gulp down ardent spirits to keep the spirits up.
Stimulants produce an unnatural buoyancy of spirits, and the unnatural
destroys the natural habit of the system. A good and natural habit does
not grow upon a person to his injury; an unnatural one always does, ending
in his destruction. A good living gives good spirits; _cæteris paribus_, a
poor living low spirits.


Silenus, of the mythologists, was a demigod, who became the nurse, the
preceptor, and finally the attendant, of Bacchus. He was represented as a
fat, bloated old fellow, riding on an ass, and drunk every day in the

I knew a "bright and shining light" in the medical profession who turned
out a modern Silenus. This was Dr. G., of Plymouth, Conn. His father had
given him the best medical education which this country afforded. He was a
gentleman of superior address, as well as talent, tall, straight, and
handsome as an Apollo, with a dark, flashing eye, a massive brow, shaded
by a profusion of jet-black locks. How long he had practised medicine I do
not know. Throughout the county he had an excellent professional
reputation, particularly as a surgeon. His instruments were numerous, and
of the best and latest improvements. Alas that such a man should be lost
to the community, and to humanity! But his appetite for intoxicating drink
knew no bounds. His thirst was as insatiable as Tantalus'.

When I first knew him, he still was in practice, but the better portion of
the community had ceased to trust him. He never was sober for a day. He
occupied then a little office in the square, containing a front and a back
room. In the latter were his few medicines,--there was no apothecary in
town,--and a number of large glass jars, containing excellent anatomical
and foetal specimens. This room was not finished inside, and the walls
were full of nails, projecting through from the clapboards outside.

One day a Mr. Hotchkiss went after him, hoping to find the doctor
sufficiently sober to prescribe for a patient, in a case of emergency.

"What do you suppose I found him doing?" said Mr. Hotchkiss to me.

"Hiding from the snakes in his back room?" I suggested.

"No, sir; he had the tremens, and with his coat off, his hair standing
every way, his eyes glaring like a demon's, he had his case of forceps
strewn over the floor, and was diving at the ends of the clapboard nails,
which he called devils, that came through the boards, in the back office."

"Ah, there you are! Another devil staring at me!" he shouted; and with the
bright, gleaming forceps he dove at a nail, wrenched it from the wall, and
flinging it on the floor, he stamped on it, crying, "Another dead devil!
Come on. Ah, ha! there you are again!" and he dove at another. When he
broke a forceps he flung it on the floor, and caught a new pair. I tried
to stop him, but he only accused me of being leagued with his evil majesty
to destroy him.


[Illustration: PAYING FOR HIS WINE.]

Another day, after having pawned nearly all his instruments for money
with which to buy liquor to appease his raving appetite, he was seen to
unseal one of the jars containing a foetal specimen, pour out a quantity
of the diluted alcohol in which it had long been preserved, and drink it
down with the avidity of a starving man.

His last instrument and case pawned, he sold the coat from his back to buy
liquors. He could no longer get practice, no longer pay his board, and he
became an outcast from all respectable society, and a frequenter of
bar-rooms. A poor and simple old woman in the remote part of the town took
compassion on him, and gave him a home. But nothing could chain his
uncontrollable passion for intoxicating drinks.

[Illustration: A BAR-ROOM DOCTOR.]

The last time I saw him was in the month of December. He was in a grocery,
warming himself by the store fire. He wore a crownless hat, a woman's
shawl over his shoulders, and a pair of boy's pants partially covered his
legs; no stockings covered his ankles, and a pair of old, low shoes
encased his feet. The light had fled from his once beautiful, lustrous
eyes; great wrinkles furrowed his once manly brow; his hair, once dark and
glossy as the raven's wing, was now streaked with gray, uncombed and
unkempt, hanging, knotted and snarled, over his neck and bloated face.

"Don't you recollect me?" he asked, with a shaking voice and a distressing
effort at a smile. Ah, it was sickening to the senses.

Alas! Such another wreck may I never behold. What power shall awaken him
from his awful condition, and

  "Picture a happy past,
    Gone from his sight,
  Bring back his early youth,
    Cloudless and bright;
  Tell how a mother's eye
    Watched while he slept,
  Tell how she prayed for him,
    Sorrowed and wept.

  "Point to the better land,
    Home of the blest,
  Where she has passed away,
    Gone to her rest.
  O'er the departed one
    Memory will yearn;
  God, in his mercy, grant
    He may return."


Unfortunately, it is much easier to copy a great man's imperfections than
those qualities which give him his greatness. Too often, also, are their
defects mistaken for their marks of distinction,--vice for virtue,--and
copied by the young, who have not the ability to imitate their greatness.

"General Grant smokes!"

"_President_ Grant drinks!"

These two sentences, with the lamentable fact of their probable truth,
have made more smokers of young men in the military and civil walks of
life than all other texts in the English language. General or President
Grant is not responsible for the lack of brains in the community, to be
sure; but if "great men" will persist in bad habits, young men should be
taught the difference between them and their virtues, and cautioned to
shun them, or their bark will be stranded far out of sight of their
desired haven,--the port of their ambition,--and nothing but a worthless
wreck remains to tell what better piloting might have done for them. The
voyage ended cannot be re-commenced.

A student of medicine, in New York, brought a bottle of liquor to our
room. I told him where that bottle would carry him.

"Pshaw! It's only a pint of wine. Dr. Abernethy, the great English
surgeon, bought one hundred and twenty-six gallons at once, and he did not
_die a drunkard_," was his contemptuous reply.

"But you must remember that Abernethy lived in the days of _good_ port
wine, when every man had something to say of the sample his hospitality
produced of his popular beverage. The doctor, who never was intemperate,
was very hospitable.

"'Honest John Lloyd!'--what an anomaly when applied to a rum-seller--was a
great wine merchant of London, a particular friend of Abernethy's, and of
all great men of his day, who loved wines and brandies.

"One day I went to Lloyd's just as Dr. Abernethy left.

"'Well,' said Mr. Lloyd, 'what a funny man your master is.'

"'Who?' said I.

"Why, Mr. Abernethy. He has just been here and paid me for a pipe of wine,
and threw down a handful of notes and pieces of paper, with fees. I wanted
him to stop to see if they were all right, and said, 'Some of those fees
may be more than you think, perhaps.' 'Never mind,' said he; 'I can't
stop; you have them as I took them,' and hastily went his way.

"In occasional habits we may most safely recollect that faults are no less
faults (as Mirabeau said of Frederick the Great) because they have the
shadow of a great name; and we believe that no good man would desire to
leave a better expiation of any weakness than that it should deter others
from a similar error."

In fact, the doctor was opposed to drunkenness, and also gluttony,
although he himself "was a good liver," as the following anecdote will

A wealthy merchant who resided in the country had been very sick, and
barely recovered, when, from the same cause, he was again threatened with
a return of the like disease.

"I went to see him at home, and dined with him. He seemed to think that if
he did not drink deeply, he might _eat like a glutton_," said the doctor.
"Well, I saw he was at his old tricks again, and I said to him, 'Sir, what
would you think of a merchant, who, having been prosperous in business and
amassed a comfortable fortune, went and risked it all in what he knew was
an imprudent speculation?'

"Why, sir," he exclaimed, "I should say he was a great ass."

"'Nay, then, thou art the man,' said Abernethy."

The leopard does not change his spots. For the truth of this read the life
and fall of Uniac.

O, it is a fearful thing to become a drunkard.

The habit once acquired is never gotten entirely rid of. It sleeps--it
never dies, but with the death of the victim.

Young men, avoid the first drink. Never take that first fatal glass; thus,
and only thus, are you safe from a drunkard's grave, and the curse
entailed upon your progeny.


"Sir, I am advised that you have a barrel of beer in your room," said the
president of one of our New England colleges to a student, who, contrary
to rule and usage, had actually purchased a barrel of the delightful stuff
made from brewed hops, copperas, and filthy slops, and deposited it under
the bed, convenient for use.

"Yes, sir; such is the fact," replied the student.

"What explanation can you give for such conduct, sir?"

"Well," began the student with the boldest confidence, "the truth is, my
physician, in consideration of my ill health, advised me to take a little
ale daily; and not wishing to be seen visiting the beer-shops where the
beverage is retailed, I decided to buy a barrel, and take it quietly at my

"Indeed! and have you derived the anticipated benefit therefrom, sir?"
inquired the president.

"O, yes, sir; indeed I have. Why, when I first had the barrel placed in my
room two weeks ago, I could not move it. Now, sir, I can carry it with the
greatest of ease."

The president _smiled_, and ordered the barrel removed, saying that "in
consideration of his rapid convalescence the treatment could safely be


Soon after the completion of the Roberts Opera House, in Hartford, Conn.,
the Putnam Phalanx held a grand ball within its walls. The music was
exquisite; the prompters the best in the state; the ladies were the most
beautiful and dressy in the land; and all went splendidly, till the supper
was discussed. There had been a misunderstanding about the number for whom
supper was to be prepared, and it was found out, when too late, that there
were a hundred more guests than plates. The supper was spread in the
basement. When the writer went down with friends, the tables, which had
already been twice occupied, presented a disgusting scene--all heaped up
with dirty dishes, debris of "fowl, fish, and dessert," and great
complaint was made by the hungry dancers, while some unpleasant epithets,
and uncomplimentary remarks were hurled at the heads of the innocent

With our party were Dr. C., a great joker, and Dr. D., his match.

"If you don't like this fare you can go through into the restaurant," said
one of the waiters. "It is all the same," he added.

We required no second invitation. We did ample justice to the fare
provided, and retired, leaving Dr. C. to bring up the rear. In a half
minute he came running after us, saying,--

"The fellow told me I must pay for the supper in there, extra!"

"Well, what did you tell him?"

"Why, I told him to go to h----."

"Well, you did right; let him go; that is just the place for him."

On another occasion, the dinner not being forthcoming at a hotel where we
dined, the doctor "fell to," and soon demolished the best part of a
blanc-mange pudding before him.

"That, sir, is dessert," politely interrupted the waiter, in dismay at
seeing his dessert so rapidly disappearing.

"No matter," said the doctor, finishing it; "I could eat it if it were the
Great Sahara!"


The widow Wealthy lived in the country. She was a blooming widow, fair,
plump, and--sickly. She owned a valuable farm, just turning off from the
main thoroughfare,--broad acres, nice cottage house, great barn and
granary, and she was considered, by certain eligible old bachelors, and a
widower or two, as "a mighty good catch."

Dr. Filley practised in the country. He was a bachelor, above forty. He
was a short, thick-set man, with a fair practice, which might have been
better, but for certain whispers about a growing propensity to--drinking!
That's the word. Of course he denied the insinuation, and defied any one
to prove that he was ever the worse for liquor. The doctor was attendant,
professionally, upon the widow, and--well you know how the gossips manage
that sort of a thing in the country. But who was to know whether "the
doctor made more visits per week to the widow Wealthy than her state of
health seemed to warrant"? or who knew that "the widow was 'sweet' towards
the little doctor, and that she intended he should throw the bill all in
at the end of the year--himself to boot?" Never mind his rivals; they do
not come into our amusing story.

John, the widow's hired man, was sent very unexpectedly, one day in
autumn, for the doctor to call that afternoon, to see the invalid. Very
unexpectedly to the widow, and greatly to her mortification, two gossiping
neighbors called at her residence just as the doctor was expected to
arrive. "O, she was so glad to see Mrs. ---- and Mrs. ----!"

Dr. Filley rode a scraggy little Canadian horse,--a fiery, headstrong
beast, but a good saddle horse. Somehow, the unexpected call, at that
hour, slightly "flustered" the little doctor; but he threw his saddle-bags
over his shoulder, mounted the beast, and turned his head towards the
widow's residence.

"I b'lieve I am a little nervous over this colt; I wonder what's the
matter!" And he tried to rein up the headstrong little beast, to give
himself time to--sober off!

"I reary bl'eve I'm a little--taken by surprise--ho, Charley! Why, what's
got inter--pony? Goes like 'r devil. Ho, ho, boy."

Pretty soon the beast struck into a gallop; and now he reached the lane
that led into Mrs. Wealthy's farm. The pony knew the lane as well as his
master, and the barn better. The said lane led by the barn-yard and
out-buildings, the house being beyond. The barn-yard bars were down, and
the pony made for the opening, in a clean gallop, over the fallen bars,
right in amongst the cattle, the sheep, and the swine. A big ox gave a
bellow at the sudden arrival, and, with tail and head in air, ran to the
opposite side of the yard, intruding upon the comfort of a big old sow,
that was dozing in the mud. With a loud snort, the discomfited porker
rushed from the mire just in time to meet the horse, and in attempting to
pass on both sides at once, she went between the short fore legs of the
pony, and brought up with a loud squeal, and a shock that sent the rider
over the horse's head, down astride the hog. The pony reared, wheeled, and
ran out of the yard at one pair of bars, and the sow went pell-mell out
of the other, bearing the doctor and saddle-bags swiftly along towards the

The hired man witnessed the sudden change of steeds, and gave the alarm.
The widow--not so very sick--was just graciously showing her two unwelcome
lady callers out, after being worried nearly an hour by their company; and
taking an anxious look towards the lane, she saw the doctor coming on a
clean--no, dirty--gallop, on her old sow.

She lost no time in giving a loud scream. What else should she do?

"O, goodness gracious! What is that?"

"O Lord, save and defend us! What is it?" exclaimed the two ladies, in

"A man on a hog!"

"The doctor on a sow!" again in chorus.

Now the pony and the swine met, the doctor still clinging to the sow's ear
with one hand, and to the tail with the other; of course, having turned a
clean summersault from the pony, facing towards the sow's hind quarters.
The swine, beset on all sides, sheered off, and made directly through a
large duck-pond in the field, scattering the geese and ducks every way,
which, crying out, "Quack, quack!" made off as fast as feet and wings
could carry them. Half way across the pond the doctor lost his balance,
and, with his saddle-bags, fell splashing into the water.

Another scream from the ladies,--only two of them.

The widow, like a sensible woman, when she saw the doctor's danger, ran
for the well-pole. "Here, John, here! Take this well-hook, and fish him
out quick, before he drowns."

John obeyed, and in an instant the doctor was safely landed.

The doctor was sobered.

The widow, seeing no further danger, like a true woman, fainted.

[Illustration: THE DOCTOR ON A SOW.]

[Illustration: RESCUE OF THE DOCTOR.]

Leaving the muddy and half-drowned doctor, who looked like a well-wet-down
bantam cock, John turned to his mistress, whom he picked up from the
grass, and carried into the house. The two ladies, who had witnessed her
discomfiture, assisted in loosening the stays, and administering some
salts, which revived the widow.

"O, did you ever see such a comical sight?"

"Never. O, wasn't it horrid? The little doctor riding backward, on a
horrid, dirty, old pig! O, if I ever!"

And the ladies laughed in unison, in which the widow actually joined.

"But what has become of the poor, wet fellow? And did John rescue the
saddle-bags?" inquired the widow.

John, meantime, had returned to the doctor's assistance. He now fished out
the saddle-bags, and the unfortunate doctor started on foot for home,
whither the pony had long since fled.

The story, in the mouth of one servant and three ladies, was anything but
a secret, and--you know how it is in the country.

       *       *       *       *       *

The widow still holds the farm in her own name, in a town in New England.

Dr. Filley practises physic in California.


Our familiar friend, "A Book about Doctors," which we have before
introduced to your notice as the only amusing work in the English
language, upon the subject, gives a long list of _bon vivants_ of the old
school, amongst whom are some eminent names in the medical profession. In
fact, the abstemious doctors during the past centuries would seem to have
been far in the minority. Even Harvey was accused of being fond of brandy.

"Dr. George Fordyce was fond of substantial fare, like Radcliffe, who was
a _gormand_. For above twenty years Fordyce dined at Dolly's chop-house.
The dinner he there consumed was his only meal during the four and twenty

"Four o'clock was his dinner hour. Before him was set a silver tankard of
strongest ale, a bottle of port wine, and a quarter pint of brandy.

"The dinner was preluded by a dish of broiled fowl, or a few whitings.
Having leisurely devoured this plate, the doctor took a glass of brandy,
and ordered his steak, which was always a prime one, _weighing one and a
half pounds_. Of course, vegetables, etc., accompanied the steak.

"When the man of science had devoured the whole of this, the bulk of which
would have kept a boa constrictor happy a twelvemonth, he took the rest of
his brandy, drank off the tankard of ale, and topped off by sipping down
his bottle of port wine.

"Having thus brought his intellects, up or down, to the standard of his
pupils, he rose, and walked down to Essex Street, and delivered his six
o'clock lecture on chemistry." (He lived to the age of sixty-six.)

Another glutton, in contrast with whom Fordyce was an abstinent, was Dr.
Beauford. In 1745 he was summoned to appear before the privy council, to
answer some questions relative to Lord B., with whom the doctor was

"Do you know Lord Barrymore?" asked one of the lords.

"Intimately, _most_ intimately," replied the doctor.

"You were often with him?"

"We dine together almost daily when his lordship is in town," answered the
doctor, with expressions of delight.

"What do you talk about?"

"Eating and drinking."

"Eating and drinking! What else?" asked his lordship.

"O, my lord, we never talk about anything but eating and

"Except what, sir?"

"_Except drinking and eating_, my lord."

The council retired, greatly disappointed, for they had expected to worm
some important secret from the doctor.

At Finch Lane Tavern, where Dr. Beauford used to receive the apothecaries
at half fee, he was represented as sitting over his bottles and glasses,
from which he drank deeply, never offering one of his clients a drop,
though they often sat opposite, at the same table, looking with anxious
countenances and watering mouths upon the tempting cordials, as the doctor
tossed them off.


"Not many years since, in a fishing village on the eastern coast, there
flourished a doctor in great repute amongst the poor, and his influence
over the humble patients literally depended on the fact that he was sure,
once in the twenty-four hours, to be handsomely intoxicated.

"Dickens has told us how, when he bought the raven immortalized in
'Barnaby Rudge,' the vender of that sagacious bird, after enumerating his
various accomplishments, said, in conclusion,--

"'But, sir, if you want him to come out strong, you must show him a man

"The simple villagers of Flintbeach had a firm faith in the strengthening
effect of looking at a tipsy doctor. They usually postponed their visits
to Dr. Mutchkins till evening, because they then had the benefit of the
learned man in his highest intellectual condition.

"'Doorn't go to 'im i' the morning; he can't doctor no ways to speak on
till he's had a glass,' was the advice usually given to strangers not
aware of the doctor's little peculiarities."


An amusing description is given of one Dr. Butler, of London, who, like
the above, used to get drunk nightly. He was the inventor of a beer which
bore his name, something like our Ottawa, "with a stick in it," by one Dr.
Irish. We once saw a drunken fellow holding on to a lamp post, while he
held out one hand, and was arguing with an imaginary policeman that he was
not drunk,--only had been taking a "little of that--hic--beverage, Dr.
Waterwa's Irish beer, by the advice of his physician."

[Illustration: "ONLY IRISH BEER."]

Dr. Butler had an old female servant named Nell Boler. At ten o'clock,
nightly, she used to go to the tavern where the doctor was, by that hour,
too drunk to go home alone, when, after some argument and a deal of
scolding from Nell for his "beastly drunkenness," she would carry the
inebriated doctor home, and put him to bed.

"Notwithstanding that Dr. Butler was fond of beer and wine for himself, he
was said to approve of water for his patients. Once he occupied rooms
bordering on the Thames. A gentleman afflicted by the ague came to see
him. Butler tipped the wink to his assistant, who tumbled the invalid out
of the window, slap into the river. We are asked to believe that the
surprise actually cured the patient of his disease."

[Illustration: CURE FOR THE AGUE.]

Water did not cure the doctor, however, but beer did.

Dr. Burrowly was stricken down in his prime, and just as he was about to
succeed to the most elevated position in the medical profession.

The doctor was a politician, as well as an excellent surgeon. When Lords
Gower and Vandeput were contesting the election for Westminster, in 1780,
the doctor was supporting the latter. One Weatherly, who kept a tavern,
and whose wife wore the ---- belt, was very sick. Mrs. Weatherly deeply
regretted the fact of the sickness, as she wanted her husband to vote for
Lord T. Late on election day, Dr. Burrowly called round to see his
patient, quite willing that he should be sufficiently sick to keep him
from going to the polls. To his surprise he found him up, and dressed.

"Heyday! how's this?" exclaimed the doctor, in anger. "Why are you up,
without my permission?"

"O, doctor," replied Joe Weatherly, feebly, "I am going to vote."

"Vote!" roared the doctor, not doubting that his wife had urged him to
attempt to go to the polls to vote for Lord J. "To bed. The cold air would
kill you. To bed instantly, or you're a dead man before nightfall."

"I'll do as you say, doctor; but as my wife was away, I thought I could
get as far as Covent Garden Church, and vote for Sir George Vandeput."

"For Sir George, did you say, Joe?"

"O, yes, sir; I don't agree with my wife. She's for Lord Trentham."

The doctor changed his prognosis.

"Wait. Let me see; nurse, don't remove his stockings;" feeling the man's
pulse. "Humph! A good firm stroke. Better than I expected. You took the
pills? Yes; they made you sick? Nurse, did he sleep well?"

"Charmingly, sir;" with a knowing twinkle of the eye.

"Well, Joe, if you are bent on going to the polls, it will set your mind
better at ease to go. It's a fine sunny afternoon. The ride will do you
good. So, bedad, I'll take you along in my chariot."

Weatherly was delighted with the doctor's urbanity, resumed his coat, went
to the election, and voted for Sir George, rode back in the chariot, _and
died two hours afterwards_, amidst the reproaches of his amiable spouse.

"Called away from a dinner table, where he was eating, laughing, and
drinking deeply, Dr. B. was found dead in the coach from apoplexy, on the
arrival at the place of destination."




    "Here comes the trout that must be caught with tickling."

    "To patient study, and unwearied thought,
      And wise and watchful nurture of his powers,
      Must the true poet consecrate his hours:
    Thus, and thus only, may the crown be bought
    Which his great brethren all their lives have sought;
      For not to careless wreathers of chance-flowers
      Openeth the Muse her amaranthine bowers,
    But to the few, who worthily have fought
      The toilsome fight, and won their way to fame.
    With such as these I may not cast my lot,
      With such as these I must not seek a name;
    Content to please a while and be forgot;
    Winning from daily toil--which irks me not--
      Rare and brief leisure my poor song to frame."


Apollo,--the father of Æsculapius, the "father of physicians"--was the god
of poetry and of music, as well as the patron of physicians. He presented
to Mercurius the famous caduceus, which has descended in the semblance of
the shepherd's crook--he being the protector of shepherds and the
Muses--and the physician's cane and surgeon's pole. Apollo is represented
with flowing hair,--which the Romans loved to imitate, with an effort also
at his graces of person and mind. Students at this day who court the
Muses begin by allowing, or coaxing their hair to grow long, forgetting,
as they nurse a sickly goatee or mustache, assisting its show by an
occasional dose of nitrate of silver, that their god was further
represented as a tall, _beardless_ youth, and instead of a bottle or
cigar, he held a lyre in his hand and discoursed music.

[Illustration: AN EMBRYO APOLLO.]

I think Dr. Apollo a very safe pattern for our students to imitate, those
particularly who are "fast," and who only think, with _Bobby Burns_,--

  "Just now we're living sound and hale;
  Then top and maintop crowd the sail;
        Heave care owre side!
  And large, before enjoyment's gale,
        Let's tak the tide."

It is quite impossible to mention all, even of the most celebrated of our
physicians, who have contributed to the literary and musical world. But I
shall quote a sufficient number to disprove the assertion that "literary
physicians have not, as a rule, prospered as medical practitioners."

Who has developed and promulgated the knowledge relative to anatomy,
chemistry, physiology, botany, etc., but the physicians? The true
representation of sculpture, of painting, of engraving, and most of the
arts, depends upon the learned writing of the doctors.

Da Vinci owed his success as a portrait painter to his knowledge of
anatomy and physiology derived from study under a physician, as also did
Michael Angelo. How would our Powers have succeeded as a sculptor, without
this knowledge, or Miss Bonheur as a painter of animals? Dr. Hunter says
"Vinci (L.) was at the time the best anatomist in the world."

Crabbe, to be sure, failed as a physician, but succeeded as a literary
man; but then Crabbe was no physician, and was unread in medicine and
surgery. Arbuthnot also failed in the same manner, and for the same cause.
All who have so failed may attribute it to the fact they _did not succeed
in what they were not, but did succeed in what they were_--as Oliver
Goldsmith. He squandered at the gaming table the money given him by his
kind uncle to get him through Trinity College, and though spending two
years afterwards in Edinburgh, and passing one year at Leyden, ostensibly
reading medicine, he totally failed to pass an examination before the
surgeons of the college at London, and was rejected "as being
insufficiently informed." He had previously been writing for the
unappreciative booksellers, and authorship now became, per force, his only
means of livelihood.

Goldsmith was an excellent, kind-hearted man; and if he had only got
married and had a good wife to develop him, he would have been a greater
man than he was.

It has been intimated in these pages that Shakspeare was prejudiced
against medicine,--throwing "physic to the dogs;" but it is evident from a
careful perusal of his works that Shakspeare was ignorant, and also
superstitious, as respects this much abused science. Of the superstitions
we need not further treat, but refer the intelligent reader to any of his
plays for the truth of our intimation.

In Act II., Scene 1, of Coriolanus, he says by Menenius Agrippa, the
friend of Coriolanus, "It gives me an estate of seven years' health, in
which time I will make a lip at the physician; the most sovereign
prescription of Galen is but empirical," etc. Coriolanus was banished from
Rome, and died in the fifth century before Christ (about 490), and Galen
was not born till six hundred years afterwards, viz.,--A. D. 130.

We should smile to see the Apollo Belvedere with "glasses on his
nose,"--as many of our young ape-ollos now wear for _effect_; but it would
scarcely be less ridiculous than Gloster saying in Lear, "I shall not want
spectacles." King Lyr reigned during the earliest period of the
Anglo-Saxon history, and spectacles were not introduced into England until
the beginning of the fourteenth century. It is said that the painter
Cigoli in his representation of the aged Simeon at the circumcision of
Christ, made this same error by placing spectacles on the patriarch's

More ludicrous than either of the above is the painting by Albert Durer,
the German artist (about 1515), of his scene, "Peter denying Christ,"
wherein he represents a Roman soldier leaning against the door-post
comfortably smoking a tobacco pipe. The pipe, to which Germans are
particularly partial, was just being introduced during Durer's latter
years. The tobacco was not introduced into Europe until 1496, and was,
when first burned, twisted together.[8]

The Spaniards, in their report on their return from the first voyage of
Columbus said that "the savages would twist up long rolls of tobacco
leaves, _and lighting one end, smoke away like devils_." (The primitive


Nearly all the ancient Greek physicians were authors of no mean calibre,
considering the age in which they lived.

Pherecydes, a Greek philosopher and physician, wrote a book on diet during
the sixth century before Christ. Pythagoras, his illustrious pupil, was
said to be the first who dissected animals. He wrote, and taught anatomy
and physiology, in the school of Crotona. Herodotus was a great teacher
and writer; also Herophilus, his pupil. (B. C. 4th century.) There were
four physicians named Hippocrates. The second of that name has nearly
eclipsed all the others. The period in which he lived was highly favorable
to the development of the qualities of the great Hippocrates. He was
contemporary with Plato, Herodotus, who was his teacher, Pericles,
Socrates, Thucydides, etc.

The most notable works of Hippocrates are 1st and 3d "Books on Epidemics,"
"Prognostics," "Treatise on Air and Water," "Regime of Acute Diseases,"
and "Treatise on Wounds."

Heraclitus, of Ephesus, is conjectured to be the first who dissected the
human body. "The principle of his theory is the recognition of the fire of
life and the ethereal element of wisdom as the ground of all visible
existence." Fragments of his writings, only, have been preserved. He
imitated Pythagoras.

Theophrastus wrote a book on plants. He lived to be one hundred and seven
years old.

Herophilus first made diagnosis by the pulse, upon which he wrote a book.

Celsus was the author of eight works, yet Pliny makes no mention of him.
Galen spoke of him as an excellent physician and writer; also Bostock.

Galen was a man of great talent and education. Suidas--11th century--says
he wrote no less than five hundred books on medicine, and half as many on
other subjects. His native tongue was Greek, but he also wrote in Latin
and Persic.

Besides medicine, the above famous physicians wrote on philosophy,
history, religion, etc. Poetry in those days was little more than heroic,
or epic, prose.


Since I am not writing a medical history, I need not go on to quote the
long list of the names of those who from the old Greek days to the present
time have been both authors and successful medical practitioners. Their
bare names would fill a large volume, and who would care to read them? To
the general reader they would be quite unwelcome. The reason why medical
authors are so little known is, that their writings have been too
wearisome for the general reader. Such English authors as the satirical
Wolcot (Peter Pindar), the courteous essayist Drake, the poetical and
nature-loving Davy, and the "single-hearted, affectionate" Dr. Moir, are
remembered, while greater and deeper thinkers and writers are, with their
works, buried in oblivion.

When the Duke of Kent was last in America (1819), he was one day taking
observations in the country, when he entered a cosy little farm-house,
where he noticed a pretty young girl, reading a book.

"Do you have books here, my dear?" he asked, contemptuously.

"O, yes, sir," replied the girl naively, "_we have the Bible and Peter

That was a model house. The Bible and fun-provoking "Peter Pindar!" Under
such a roof you will find no guile. Here you will avoid the extremes of
"_all_ work and no play," for the mind, "that makes Jack a dull boy," and
"all play and no work," which "makes him a mere toy."

I have visited some houses in New England where the Bible, and "Baxter's
Call to the Unconverted," were the only books to be seen; others where
nothing was to be found upon the shelves but a vile collection of novels,
such as Mrs. Partington has termed "yaller-cupboard literature." These
need no comment, in either case.


Our only excuse for copying this from Pindar will be found in reading the
poem, slightly abbreviated. The pilgrims were ordered by the priest to do
penance by walking fifty miles with peas in their shoes.

  "The knaves set off upon the same day,
  Peas in their shoes, to go and pray;
    But very different their speed, I wot;
  One of the sinners galloped on,
  Light as a bullet from a gun,
    _The other limped as though he'd been shot_.

  "One saw the Virgin soon, '_Peccavi!_' cried,
    Had his soul whitewashed, all so clever,
  When home again he nimbly hied,
    Made fit with saints above to live forever!
  In coming back, however, let me say,
  He met his brother rogue about half way,
  Hobbling with outstretched hand and bending knees,
  Cursing the souls and bodies of the peas!
  His eyes in tears, his cheeks and brows in sweat,
  Deep sympathizing with his groaning feet.
  'How now?' the light-toed, whitewashed pilgrim broke;
    'You lazy lubber!'
  'You see it,' cried the other. ''Tis no joke.
  My feet, once hard as any rock,
    Are now as soft as blubber.'

  "'But, brother sinner, do explain
  How 'tis that you are not in pain;
  How is't that you can like a greyhound go,
  Merry as if nought had happened, burn ye?'
  'Why,' cried the other, grinning, 'you must know
  That just before I ventured on my journey,
  To walk a little more at ease,
  _I took the liberty to boil my peas_!'"

[Illustration: THE PILGRIM CHEAT.]


Sir Humphry Davy lived from 1778 to 1829. Coleridge said of him, "Had not
Davy been the first chemist, he probably would have been the first poet of
the age." He made some important chemical discoveries, overworked his body
and brain, and took the pen "to amuse" and recreate himself, but too late,
telling us of "the pleasures and advantages of fishing," etc.

The following verses are from the poem of Dr. David Macbeth Moir, on the
death of his darling little boy, who died at the age of five years:--

  "Gem of our hearth, our household pride,
    Earth's undefiled,
  Could love have saved, thou hadst not died,
    Our dear, sweet child!
  Humbly we bow to Fate's decree;
  Yet had we hoped that time should see
  Thee mourn for us, not us for thee,
                          Casa Wappy![9]

  "The nursery shows thy pictured wall,
    Thy bat, thy bow,
  Thy cloak, thy bonnet, club, and ball;
    But where art thou?
  A corner holds thine empty chair;
  Thy playthings, idly scattered there,
  But speak to us of our despair,
                          Casa Wappy!

  "Yet 'tis a sweet balm to our despair,
    Fond, fairest boy,
  That heaven is God's, and thou art there,
    With him in joy!
  There past are death and all its woes,
  There beauty's stream forever flows,
  And pleasure's day no sunset knows,
                          Casa Wappy!"

"The sole purpose of poetry," says the author of the above beautiful poem,
"is to delight and instruct; and no one can be either pleased or profited
by what is unintelligible. Mysticism in law is quibbling; mysticism in
religion is the jugglery of priestcraft; mysticism in medicine is
quackery; and these often serve their crooked purposes well. But mysticism
in poetry can have no attainable triumph." Again he says,--

"The finest poetry is that which is most patent to the general
understanding, and hence to the approval or disapproval of the common
sense of mankind."

Dr. Moir enriched the pages of Blackwood's Magazine for thirty years with
his beautiful poems, and occasional prose, which, according to Professor
Wilson, "breathed the simplest and purest pathos." He practised medicine
and surgery in his native village, six miles from Edinburgh, till the day
of his death, which occurred in consequence of a wound caused by the
upsetting of his carriage.

I find four physicians by the name of Abercromby, who were excellent
physicians, and authors of no little note. One, Patrick, a Scotchman, and
physician to James II., had a library second to few physicians of his
day. Lancisi, an Italian physician who lived at the same time, possessed a
splendid library consisting of thirty thousand volumes. He discovered a
set of lost plates of Eustachius, from which he published tables. Lancisi
was physician to several popes, and was a master of polite literature, and
an author of great distinction.


Dr. Richard Blackmore (Sir)--our "schoolmaster turned doctor"--was an
author of no small note. "A poet of the time of Dryden in better repute as
an honest man and a physician," says a biographer.

He should have been a man of importance, since Swift was pitted against
him in "brutal verse." Steele and Pope scribbled about the pedagogue
Blackmore. Dryden, who was unable to answer him, called him "a pedant, an
ass, a quack, and a cant preacher," and he was ridiculed by the whole set
of "petty scribblers, professional libellers, coffee-house rakes, and
literary amateurs of the Temple who formed the rabble of the vast army
against which the doctor had pitted himself in defence of public decency
and domestic morality." We have already referred to the "forty sets of
ribald verses taunting him of his early poverty, which caused him to
become a schoolmaster."

Amongst his works were "Alfred," a poem of twenty books; another of twelve
books; "Hymn to Light," "Satire against Wit," "The Nature of Man;"
"Creation," in seven books; "Redemption," in six books, etc.

Dr. Johnson says of Dr. Blackmore, "And let it be remembered for his honor
that to have been a schoolmaster is the only reproach which all the
perspicacity of malice animated by wit has ever fixed upon his private

Heinrich Stilling, "a pseudonyme adopted by Heinrich Jung, in one of the
most remarkable autobiographies ever written," was born about the year
1740, in Nassau. He was bred a tailor, and with his father followed his
occupation until the son, by his own efforts and by the aid of his
remarkable natural abilities, raised him to a more exalted position. By
great efforts and diligent study he acquired a knowledge of Latin and
Greek, and something of medicine, when he proceeded to the University of
Strasburg. Here he remained prosecuting his studies with much diligence
and zeal until he obtained not only his degree, but succeeded to the
appointment of a professorship, and raised himself to eminence both by his
ability as a lecturer and as an operator.

He was also an author of considerable renown, not only on medical
subjects, but as a miscellaneous writer. His novel named "Theobold" is
still read. He wrote a treatise on minerals.

His most remarkable production, however, was his autobiography entitled
"Jugend, Junglingjahre, Wanderschaft und Alter Von Heinrich Stilling."

Cabanis, physician to Napoleon I., was a writer of note, particularly on
physiology and philosophy. His complete works were recently published in
Paris, and a portion of them have been translated into English.

Bard (Samuel), physician to Washington, was an author, but his writings
were principally on medicine. His father was Dr. John Bard, who, with Dr.
Middleton, made at Poughkeepsie the first dissection in America.

Dr. Valentine Mott, of New York, was not only the first surgeon in
America, but he was an excellent lecturer and a voluminous writer, but, as
far as I can learn, having before me a complete list of his writings,
almost entirely on medical subjects. Having been to Europe repeatedly, a
book of travels ought to have been added to the list.

One day, in Paris, the celebrated surgeon Dr. R. ---- asked Dr. Mott to
visit his hospital and see him perform his peculiar operation. Dr. Mott
assured the surgeon that he accepted with great pleasure.

"But," said the Frenchman, "on reflection I find there is no patient there
requiring such an operation. However, that makes no difference, my dear
sir. You shall see. There is a poor devil in one of the wards who is of no
use to us, himself, or friends; and so come along, and I will operate upon
him beautifully, beautifully," said the famous butcher. Dr. Mott, being a
humane man, declined seeing the operation on such barbarous terms.


In "Surgeons of New York" Dr. Francis gives the following:--

"On asking Dr. Batchelder (then eighty-one years of age), if he had to
live over his eventful life, if he would again be a doctor, he replied,--

"Yes, sir;" most positively.

Dr. Hosack's favorite branch of practice has been general surgery. On
asking him the question if he would again be a surgeon, his reply was
condensed into a comprehensive


Dr. Hosack was present as examining physician to Colt, who committed
suicide in the city prison. It is believed to this day, in certain
circles, that Colt escaped, leaving another body smuggled into prison over
night to represent him. The writer was induced once in Hartford to believe
this to be true, as persons stated that they had really seen Colt in
California. Dr. Hosack's testimony makes the case clear. Colt did not
escape. "It seems that when the prisoner found, at the last moment, that
there was neither possibility of escaping nor the least probability of a
reprieve, he induced some friend to send him a coffee-pot of hot coffee in
which the dagger was concealed, and which he drove into his heart even
_beyond the handle_."

Dr. Hosack (Alex. Eddy) was also physician to Aaron Burr.


"Do you never experience any contrition, at times, for the deed?" (viz.,
shooting Hamilton), asked Dr. H. of his patient.

"No, sir; I could not regret it. Twice he crossed my path. He brought it
upon himself," was Burr's reply.

Mrs. H., the doctor's mother, not unfrequently took tea and played chess
of an evening with Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was a funny old gentleman.
He used to amuse himself by giving ether to the children of the
neighborhood and letting them out under its influence to laugh at their


The most ingenious of the Puritan poets was the Rev. Michael Wigglesworth,
whose "Day of Doom" is the most remarkable curiosity in American
literature. "He was as skilled," says one of his biographers, "in physic
and surgery as in diviner things;" and when he could neither preach nor
prescribe for the physical sufferings of his neighbors,--

  "In costly verse, and most laborious rhymes,
  He dished up truths right worthy our regard."

He was buried in Malden, near Boston, and his epitaph was written by


  _Remembered by some good tokens._

  "His pen did once _meat from the eater fetch_;
  And now he's gone beyond the _eater's_ reach.
  His body, once so _thin_, was next to _none_;
  From hence he's to _unbodied spirits_ flown.
  Once his rare skill did all _diseases_ heal;
  And he does nothing now uneasy feel.
  He to his Paradise is joyful come,
  And waits with joy to see his _Day of Doom_."

The last epitaph for which we have now space is from the monument of Dr.
Clark, a grandson of the celebrated Dr. John Clark, who came to New
England in 1630.

  "He who among physicians shone so late,
  And by his wise prescriptions conquered Fate,
  Now lies extended in the silent grave;
  Nor him alive would his vast merit save.
  But still his fame shall last, his virtues live,
  And all sepulchral monuments survive:
  Still flourish shall his name: nor shall this stone
  Long as his piety and love be known."


  "Such graves as his are pilgrim shrines,
    Shrines to no code or creed confined--
  _The Delphian vales, the Palestines,
    The Meccas of the mind_."


Mr. Mundella, of the British Parliament, recently said,--

"American authors are now among the best writers in the English language.
Among the poets were Longfellow, Holmes, Whittier, Bryant, and
Lowell--five men whom no other country in the same generation could
surpass, if, indeed, they could match. Never were purer or nobler men than
they." He had the honor of knowing some of the greatest literary men in
England, and could say that the American authors could compare with them
in every way. O. W. Holmes was the most brilliant conversationalist it was
ever his good fortune to meet.

As a poet, "his style is brilliant, sparkling, and terse," says Hillard.

I can only find space for the following from the pen of Dr. Holmes:--

  Have you heard of the wonderful one-hoss shay,
  That was built in such a logical way,
  To run a hundred years to a day,
  And then, of a sudden, it--ah, but stay,
  I'll tell you what happened without delay:
  Scaring the parson into fits,
  Frightening people out of their wits,
  Have you heard of that, I say?

  Seventeen hundred and fifty-five,
  _Georgius Secundus_ was then alive,--
  Snuffy old drone from the German hive!
  That was the year when Lisbon town
  Saw the earth open and gulp her down,
  And Braddock's army was done so brown,
  Left without a scalp to its crown.
  It was on the terrible Earthquake day,
  That the deacon finished the one-hoss shay.

  Now, in building of chaises, I tell you what,
  There is always _somewhere_ a weakest spot;
  In hub, tire, felloe, in spring or thill,
  In panel or cross-bar, or floor or sill,
  In screw, bolt, thoroughbrace, lurking still,
  Find it somewhere you must and will,
  Above or below, or within or without;
  And that's the reason, beyond a doubt,
  A chaise _breaks down_, but doesn't _wear out_.
  But the deacon swore (as deacons do,
  With an "I dew vum," or an "I tell yeou")
  He would build one shay to beat the taown,
  'n' the keounty, 'n' all the kentry raoun';
  It should be so built that it _couldn't_ break down:
  "Fur," said the deacon, "'tis mighty plain
  That the weakes' place mus' stan' the strain;
  'n' the way t' fix it, uz I maintain,
              Is only jest
  T' make that place uz strong uz the rest."

  So the deacon inquired of the village folk
  Where he could find the strongest oak,
  That couldn't be split, nor bent, nor broke,--
  That was for spokes, and floor, and sills;
  He sent for lancewood to make the thills;
  The cross-bars were ash, from the straightest trees;
  The panels of white-wood, that cuts like cheese,
  But lasts like iron for things like these;
  The hubs of logs from the "Settler's Ellum,"--
  Last of its timber--they couldn't sell 'em;
  Never an axe had seen their chips,
  And the wedges flew from between their lips,
  Their blunt ends frizzled like celery-tips;
  Step and prop-iron, bolt and screw,
  Spring, tire, axle, and linchpin too,
  Steel of the finest, bright and blue;
  Thoroughbrace bison skin, thick and wide;
  Boot, top, dasher, from tough old hide
  Found in the pit when the tanner died.
  That was the way he "put her through."
  "There!" said the deacon, "naow she'll dew!"

  Do! I tell you, I rather guess
  She was a wonder, and nothing less!
  Colts grew horses, beards turned gray,
  Deacon and deaconess dropped away;
  Children and grandchildren--where were they?
  But there stood the stout old one-hoss shay
  As fresh as on Lisbon Earthquake day!

  Eighteen hundred: it came and found
  The deacon's masterpiece strong and sound.
  Eighteen hundred increased by ten:
  "Hansum kerridge" they called it then.
  Eighteen hundred and twenty came,--
  Running as usual; much the same.
  Thirty and forty at last arrive,
  And then came fifty and _fifty-five_.

  Little of all we value here
  Wakes on the morn of its hundredth year
  Without both feeling and looking queer.
  In fact, there's nothing that keeps its youth,
  So far as I know, but a tree and truth.
  (This is a moral that runs at large;
  Take it. You're welcome. No extra charge.)
  _First of November_,--the Earthquake day,--
  There are traces of age in the one-hoss shay,
  A general flavor of mild decay,
  But nothing local, as one may say.
  There couldn't be,--for the deacon's art
  Had made it so like in every part
  That there wasn't a chance for one to start.

  For the wheels were just as strong as the thills,
  And the floor was just as strong as the sills,
  And the panels just as strong as the floor,
  And the whippletree neither less nor more,
  And the back cross-bar as strong as the fore,
  And spring, and axle, and hub _encore_.
  And yet, _as a whole_, it is past no doubt,
  In another hour it will be _worn out_.

  First of November, fifty-five!
  This morning the parson takes a drive.
  Now, small boys, get out of the way!
  Here comes the wonderful one-hoss shay,
  Drawn by a rat-tailed, ewe-necked bay.
  "Huddup!" said the parson. Off went they.

  The parson was working his Sunday's text,
  Had got to _fifthly_, and stopped perplexed,
  And what the--Moses--was coming next?
  All at once the horse stood still,
  Close by the meet'n'-house on the hill.
  First a shiver, and then a thrill,
  Then something decidedly like a spill,--
  And the parson was sitting upon a rock,
  At half past nine by the meet'n'-house clock,--
  Just the hour of the Earthquake shock!
  What do you think the parson found,
  When he got up and stared around?
  The poor old chaise in a heap or mound,
  As if it had been to the mill and ground!
  You see, of course, if you're not a dunce,
  How it went to pieces all at once,--
  All at once and nothing first,--
  Just as bubbles do when they burst.

  End of the wonderful one-hoss shay.
  Logic is logic. That's all I say.



The curative power of music is little understood. Our medical men would do
well to devote more time and attention to music and its beneficial
influences upon themselves and patients. In Paris, music is being
introduced at the chief asylum for the benefit of the insane, the
hypochondriacs, and such like patients. Its introduction at the
"Retreat," at Hartford, Conn., has been attended with happy results.

The writer attributes the primary step towards recovery of several
patients of his, suffering under great mental, nervous, and bodily
prostration, to his ordering the piano or melodeon reopened.

Not long since I visited a patient at a distance. She was young and fair,
and "supposed to be in consumption," which is usually a flattering
disease, while this patient was laboring under great despondency,
bordering on despair. Her parents could not account for her dejection.

Determined not to hurry over the case, and seeing a closed piano in the
room, I asked if it was not used.

"No," replied the mother; "she has not touched it for more than three
months; she takes no interest in anything."

I looked upon the sad, fair face, and thought I had never seen a picture
of such utter hopelessness in a young maiden. I approached the piano, and
raised its lid. The ivory keys were all dusty. The mother dusted them off,
and with a great, deep sigh, whispered to me, "The dust will soon gather
on her coffin. She will never touch these keys again."

"Pooh!" I exclaimed. "You, madam, discourage her. Let me sing something
that will awaken her from her lethargy."

No matter how I played, or what I sang. It was the right key, the
sympathetic chord. The first notes aroused her. She lifted her great, dark
eyes for the first time. Great tears burst their bonds, thawing out the
winter-locked senses, awakening the spring-time flowers of hope, that led
to a summer season of health and happiness....

I know this was decidedly unprofessional; but what care I? The young girl
was aroused from her despondency, and her precious life saved. Medicine,
which before was of no avail, now took effect. O, I pity the poor fool
who _only_ has learned to cram drugs by the scruple, dram, and ounce down
the unwilling throats of his more pitiful patients because musty books
tell him to.

Dr. Mason F. Cogswell, a graduate of Yale, was a man eminent for piety and
benevolence, a scholar, and a successful practitioner, which none can
gainsay. "In music he was a proficient," said Professor Knight. While
practising medicine in Stamford, Conn., he was said to have instructed the
choir in psalm tunes and anthems, and other music, and adapted one to
every Sabbath in the year. He possessed a great library, and was for ten
years president of the State Medical Society. Dr. Cogswell had a deaf and
dumb daughter, and he originated the design of an asylum, which was more
fully developed by Mr. Gallaudet, in the Hartford asylum for the deaf and
dumb. He died in 1830, at the age of seventy.

I know of a great many excellent physicians who are musicians and lovers
of music. Guilmette is a first-class primo basso.

Who does not love to listen to the beautiful heart and home songs of Dr.
J. P. Ordway, such as "Home Delights," "Come to the Spirit Land," etc.?
"The twinkling Stars are laughing, Love," has been sung in every land, and
arranged into band music by all the best leaders of the world. A Boston
musician said to the writer recently, "After the audience had been
disgusted a whole hour by classic music, the house came down
enthusiastically on hearing one of Dr. Ordway's touching melodies."

The Germans seldom die of consumption. They are all musicians. There are
many authors and poets among the German doctors. The following gem, it is
needless to add, is not by one of the best authors:--

  "December's came, and now der breezes
  Howls vay up amidst der dreeses;
  Now der boy mit ragged drouses
  Shivering feeches home der cowses.
  His boots vas old, und dorn his gloze is,
  Und bless my shdars, how blue his nose is!"


Some wild animals are easily caught and readily tamed by the assistance,
of music. "Whistle the rabbit and he'll stop," is as true as trite. The
most common exhibition of the influence of music on animals is, perhaps,
that witnessed in circuses, and other equestrian entertainments, where the
horse is affected in a lively and exhilarating manner by the performances
of the band, often waltzing and prancing, and keeping perfect time with
the music.

Dogs are affected by music, but it is difficult to determine whether
agreeably or otherwise. Many naturalists believe it to be disagreeable to
them. Owls have been known to die from the effect of music. On the other
hand, it is well known that many kinds of birds are affected in a very
agreeable manner, often approaching as near as possible the instruments,
or persons, and remaining as long as the music continues, and then
flapping their wings, as we should clap our hands, in approbation of the

Many of the wild animals are said to be fond of, and even charmed by,
music. The hunters in the Tyrol, and some parts of Germany, often entice
stags by singing, and the female deer by playing the flute. Beavers and
rats have been taught to dance the rope, keeping time to music.

Among the insects, spiders are found to be very fond of music. As soon as
the sounds reach them, they descend along their web to the point nearest
to that from which the music originates, and there remain motionless as
long as it continues. Prisoners sometimes tame them by singing or
whistling, and make companions of them.

[Illustration: "MUSIC, THE SOUL OF LIFE."]

[Illustration: THE MUSICAL MICE.]

But perhaps the most remarkable instance of the influence of music on
animals occurred at a menagerie in Paris a few years ago, when a
concert was given, and two elephants were among the auditors. The
orchestra being placed out of their sight, they could not perceive whence
the harmony came. The first sensation was that of surprise. At one moment
they gazed eagerly, at the spectators; the next they ran at their keeper
to caress him, and seemed to inquire what these strange sounds meant; but
at length, perceiving that nothing was amiss, they gave themselves up to
the impression which the music communicated. Each new tune seemed to
produce a change of feeling, causing their gestures and cries to assume an
expression in accordance with it. But it was still more remarkable that,
after a piece had produced an agreeable effect upon them, if it was
incorrectly played, they would remain cold and unmoved.


The writer used to amuse himself and friends by attracting a pair of mice
into his room by means of a guitar. The following, relating to the same,
is from the "American," 1856:--

"We called upon our friend, and found him alone in his room, 'touching the
guitar lightly.' He arose, greeted us with his bland smile, and said,--

"'Perhaps you would like to see my pupils. If you will be seated, and
remain very quiet, I will call them out.'

"We did so. He resumed his seat, and, taking his splendid-toned guitar,
touched some beautiful chords from an opera, and, in a moment, two or
three mice ran out from the corner of the room, pointed on a 'bee line'
towards the sound of the instrument. They stopped and listened for a
moment or two, and, as the music glided up and down, they would move to
and fro some inches on the floor, reminding one of a Schottische. In
various passages of the music I saw one jump up two or three inches from
the floor. Thus they manoeuvred till the music ceased, when they scampered
away to their holes again."


Let patients amuse themselves by music. It is conducive to health. I
cannot select music for you; choose for yourself, only don't get the
"Hark! from the tombs a doleful sound" style. Get church music, if you
like, but select a cheering class. O, it is a very mistaken idea that all
music and mirth must cease in a house because a member of the household is
an invalid. Try my suggestion. Re-open the piano or organ; or, if you
haven't an instrument, re-tune your voices, and let music again "flow
joyfully along," and see if happy results do not follow.

Physicians, I pray you, if you have never investigated this matter
personally, do so. It is not adopted by any particular school of physic.
It is not secured by letters patent. You will not be accounted outside of
the Asclepiadæ, nor sued for infringement, if you prescribe music for the
despondent patient. You need not turn "minstrels," burnt-cork fellows,
etc., nor make comic actors of yourselves by so doing.

Your judgment will suggest the kind of patient who most needs this sort of
"soul and spirit" stimulus. It is better than slop porter; better than
sulphuric acid brandy, or strychnine whiskey, and you well know the basis
of those liquors. Don't think me officious in these strong suggestions.
Try my advice, and you will agree with me.







Bread and butter and the Bible are synonymous with civilization and
Christianity. Bread and the Bible, civilization and Christianity, have
kept step together since the history of each began.

Two shipwrecked sailors, floating on a spar, after long privation and
suffering, were thrown upon an unknown land. After looking about very
shyly,--for every thing looked wild and uncivilized,--they came suddenly
upon a hut. Jack was afraid to advance, but his hungry companion
cautiously approached, and finally entered the hut. In a moment he came
rushing out, exclaiming,--

"Come on, Jack. It's all right. Nobody at home; but it's civilized land
we're grounded on. I found a loaf of bread."

This was conclusive evidence, next to finding a Bible, that it was a
civilized country; and Jack waited for no further proof, but followed
Captain Duncan into the cabin, where the two soon appeased their hunger.

Wheaten bread was never an article of diet amongst savages. "Take away
wheat bread and butter from our families for a few generations, and who is
prepared to say that civilization would not glide easily to a state of
barbarism? There is sound philosophy in this suggestion, because there is
no other kind of human food that is so admirably adapted to the
development of the human frame, including a noble brain, as good wheat
bread." It contains phosphates in just sufficient quantities to keep up a
healthful supply for brain work. Fish contains more phosphorus; but are
fish-eating Esquimaux,[10] or coast-men, the more intellectual for having
made fish their principal diet?

In five hundred pounds of wheat, there are,--

  Muscle material,                  78 pounds.
  Bone (and teeth) material,        85   "
  Fat principle,                    12   "

Ground to a fine flour:--

  Muscle material,                  65   "
  Bone material,                    30   "
  Fat principle,                    10   "

Cereal food will keep off hunger longer than animal food. By experience I
have found that buckwheat will satisfy the cravings of hunger longer than
wheat, rye, or corn. Dr. R. B. Welton, of Boston, says,--

"A lady of culture, refinement, and unusual powers of observation and
comparison, became a widow. Reduced from affluence to poverty, with a
large family of small children dependent on her manual labor for daily
food, she made a variety of experiments to ascertain what articles could
be purchased for the least money, and would, at the same time, "go the
farthest," by keeping her children longest from crying for something to
eat. She soon discovered that when they ate buckwheat cakes and molasses,
they were quiet for a longer time than after eating any other kind of


"A distinguished judge of the United States District Court observed that
when he took buckwheat cakes for breakfast, he could sit on the bench the
whole day without being uncomfortably hungry. If the cakes were omitted,
he felt obliged to take a lunch about noon. Buckwheat cakes are a
universal favorite at the winter breakfast table, and scientific
investigation and analysis have shown that they abound in the heat-forming
principle; hence nature takes away our appetite for them in summer."

Another writer says,--

"We find the lowest order of intelligences standing on a potato. Only one
step above this class, another order is found on a hoe-cake. One degree
above this we meet with the class that has risen in the scale of being as
high as it is possible for mortals to rise on a pancake. Head and
shoulders above all of these classes we find the highest order of
intelligences, with large and well-developed brains, and noble characters,
standing securely on their wheaten loaf."

Since bread, then, is the "staff of life," the sin of its adulteration is
the greatest of all wrongs to the human family.

Flour is often adulterated with plaster, white earth, alum, magnesia, etc.

To detect plaster, burn some of the bread to ashes, and the white grains
will be discovered.

Alum is a very pernicious ingredient of adulteration, intended to make the
bread white and light. It is often mixed in inferior flour. It is
detected thus: Soak the loaf till soft in water, adding sufficient warm
water to make it thin; stir it well, and set it a few hours; then strain
it and boil it, to evaporate most of the water. After it stands a while,
and cools, the crystals of alum will be precipitated. You may then tell it
by taste.

Magnesia, so often mixed with inferior flour, to make the bread appear
light, is injurious to children and invalids. You may detect it by burning
the bread, and finding the magnesia in the ashes.

Soda, or potash. Much soda produces dyspepsia, sour stomach, and burning.
To find potash, or soda, break up the bread, and pour upon it sufficient
hot water to cover it. When it is cool, take a piece of litmus paper
(obtained at the apothecary's), wet it in vinegar, and put it into the
dish with the bread and water. The potash will turn the litmus blue again.
The more potash, the sooner it changes. In some countries it is known that
bread is adulterated by copper.


Butter stands next to bread, as an article of diet. It is adulterated,
with difficulty, with lard; but the usual way is to mix very cheap butter
with a quantity of good butter. Butter is colored by carrots, yellow
ochre, and yolks of eggs, and "adulterated by sand and chalk." To detect
all of these, melt the butter in hot water. The coloring will separate and
join the water, and the other adulterations settle to the bottom.


"There's chalk in the milk," is all nonsense. Chalk will not remain in
solution, but will settle. Hence milk is not adulterated with chalk. Milk
is reduced by water, and if the body is again made up which the water has
reduced, it is done by adding corn starch, or calves' brains!

_Pure Milk contains_

  Water,                862.8
  Solid particles,      137.2
           To parts      1000

  Butter,                43.8
  Sugar,                 52.7
  Caseine,               38.0
  Saline,                 2.7
      Solid matter,     137.2

_Grass-fed Cows' Milk._

  Water,                  868
  Solid,                  132
           To parts      1000

  Butter,                  44
  Sugar,                   46
  Caseine,                 39
  Salt,                     3
      Solid matter,       132

_Swill Milk of New York._

  Water,                  930
  Solid particles,         70
           To parts      1000

  Butter,                  18
  Sugar,                    8
  Caseine,                 34
  Salt,                    10
       Solid matter,       70

[Illustration: SWILL MILK (MAGNIFIED).]

The reader will perceive by these quotations (from Dr. Samuel R. Percy's
report to the Academy of Medicine, New York), that it requires twice as
much swill milk to give the same amount of nourishment as of a pure
article. Furthermore, the swill milk is diseased, and, when magnified,
appears as represented in the illustration. It contains corrupt matter,
and pieces of _diseased udder_, with broken-down rotten globules.

The result of feeding children on this pernicious article of diet is to
generate scrofula, skin diseases, rickets, diarrhoea, cholera infantum,
and consumption, or marasmus--wasting away.

[Illustration: PURE MILK.]

[Illustration: WATERED MILK.]

[Illustration: "WHAT'S IN THE MILK?"]

Some children in cities literally starve to death on this sort of milk.

Starch in milk may be detected by putting a drop of iodine into a glass of
milk, when the starch will give off a blue color; or, by boiling such
milk, it will thicken. _Animals' brains_, which are sometimes mixed in
milk, may be detected with the microscope. Soda is often put in cans of
milk that are to be transported, to keep the milk sweet.

We once saw a milkman _picking a pair of mice out of his big milk can_;
but these little accidents, with hairs and dirt from the animals, are not
to be mentioned, in view of the above greater facts of "what's in the

During the late run on the ---- Bank, New York, a gentleman said that a
Westchester milkman named Thompson W. Decker had purchased sixteen
thousand dollars worth of books at a discount, not because he wanted to
speculate, as he was a millionnaire, but to show he had confidence in the
institution, and wished to enhance its credit. Profitable business!


  A cute old dairyman, who lived on a farm,--
  To tell you the place is no good, nor no harm,--
  Kept three or four cows--"Fan," "Molly," and "Bess,"
  With one not yet mentioned, whose name you can't guess.

  Two teams he kept running by night and by day,
  But where all the milk came from nobody could say;
  His cows were no better than those of his neighbor,
  Who kept just as many with equal the labor.

  And as for paying! he built a great house,
  And barns, and granaries that would keep out a mouse;
  He drove fast horses, and was said to live high,
  But his neighbors looked on, and couldn't tell why.

  "_Old Bess kicked the bucket!_ Now let's see," said they,
  "If he runs his two carts in the same style to-day."
  But the 'cute old farmer was not to be beat,
  For the best to give down was the cow with one teat!

  But since old "Bess" died the milk had grown thinner,
  And the fact _leaked_ out now that the old sinner
  Had a cow with one teat, and fixed near the rump
  Was a handle which worked like any good pump!


"Poison is sometimes generated in curds, and cheese prepared too damp,
without sufficient salt."

Hall, of the Recorder, has been presented with some Limburger cheese; and
this is how he acknowledges it: "Our friend, Wm. F. Belknap, of Watertown,
sends us some _choice_, _fragrant_, Limburger cheese. Although of Dutch
_descent_, we 'pass.' _Our_ 'offence is _not_ rank!' and does not 'smell
to Heaven.' That _distinct_ package of Limburger could give the ninety and
nine little 'stinks of Cologne' ten points, and 'skunk' 'em--just as
e-a-s-y. We generously offered the package to a man who slaughters skunks
for their hide and ile; but he said he didn't admire the odor, and guessed
he'd worry along without it; and we finally passed it on a German, who
lives over the hill five miles to leeward of the village. We suppose there
_are_ some people who eat Limburger. It's just as a man is brought up.
'None for Joseph,' thank you."


Tea was introduced into England in the year 1666, and sold for sixty
shillings per pound. It was first boiled till tender, and sauced up with
butter in large dishes, the "broth" being thrown away: An excellent way
for using the article!

All imported tea is black, unless colored before leaving China, and is
colored by prussiate of potash--a poison so deleterious as to require
labelling in drug stores as "POISON." It makes one very nervous,--good tea
does not, unless used to excess,--and acts as a slow poison on the system.
By its over-action on the liver, it makes one yellow, and will spoil the
fairest complexion. All teas contain tannic acid, which, combining with
milk, makes excellent leather of one. Black teas are sometimes colored
with gypsum and Prussian blue.

I obtained these facts from a retired tea merchant of Philadelphia. He
spent some time in China.

Coffee is adulterated with mahogany sawdust, acorns, peas, beans, roasted
carrots, but more commonly with dandelion root and chiccory. I have
obtained some samples of these from a large coffee-grinder in this city.
But what is more repulsive still, baked horses' and bullocks' livers are
often mixed with cheap coffees, to _give them more body_! Pure coffee is
the less injurious. All these substances may be detected, _as they become
soft by boiling, which coffee-bean does not_. Coffee browned in
silver-lined cylinders retains its flavor more perfectly than in iron.


This is not a temperance lecture. I have only to tell you of impure
liquors. Excepting alcohol I know of no pure liquors. I can find none. I
have offered one hundred dollars for an ounce of pure brandy.

_Wines._--The following articles are used to make or adulterate wine:
water, sugar, arsenic, alum, cochineal and other coloring matter, chalk,
lime, sulphur, lead, corrosive sublimate, etc.

To detect arsenic, put some pure lime-water in a glass, and drop the
wine,--say a teaspoonful,--into it. If white clouds arise, expect that it
contains arsenic. A positive test of arsenic in liquids is the
ammonio-nitrate of silver, which precipitates a rich yellow matter, the
_arseniate of silver_, and this quickly changes to a greenish-brown color.
No elder or deacon should use wine, unless domestic, without having a
sample of it analyzed by a disinterested chemist. The thought to me is
perfectly shocking, that the villanous concoctions sold by even honest and
Christian druggists, and used for communion purposes, to represent the
blood of Christ, should be composed of _alum, arsenic, and bugs_!
(cochineal). Of bread I say the same. A deacon's wife, not a hundred miles
from Lowell, buys baker's bread, _sour and yellow_, for communion
purposes. A lady showed me a sample of it, very unlike what my old
grandmother, a deaconess, used to make for that purpose. It requires too
much space to give tests of the various poisons in wines. I have no
confidence in _any_ foreign wines.

Alcohol has been distilled from the brain and other parts of the dead body
of drunkards.


An American traveller in the streets of Paris, seeing the words, "Wine
Baths given here," exclaimed,--

"Well, these French are a luxurious people;" when, with true Yankee
curiosity and the feeling that he could afford whatever any one else did,
he walked in and demanded a "wine bath."

Feeling wonderfully refreshed after it, and having to pay but five francs,
he asked, in some astonishment, how a wine bath could be afforded so
cheaply. His sable attendant, who had been a slave in Virginia, and
enjoyed a sly bit of humor, replied,--

"O, massa, we just pass it along into anudder room, where we gib bath at
four francs."

"Then you throw it away, I suppose."

"No, massa; den we send it lower down, and charge three francs a bath.
Dar's plenty of people who ain't so berry particular, who will bathe in
it after this at two francs a head. Den, massa, we let the common people
have it at a franc apiece."

"Then, of course, you throw it away," exclaimed the traveller, who thought
this was going even beyond Yankee profit.

[Illustration: A CHAMPAGNE BATH.]

"No, indeed, massa," was the indignant reply, accompanied by a profound
bow; "no, indeed, massa; we are not so stravagant as dat comes to; we just
bottle it up den, and send it to 'Meriky for champagne."


Dr. Hiram Cox, an eminent chemist of Ohio, states that during two years he
has made five hundred and seventy-nine inspections of various kinds of
liquors, and has found nine tenths of them imitations, and a quarter
portion of them poisonous concoctions. Of brandy, he found one gallon in
one hundred pure; of wine, not a gallon in a thousand, but generally made
of whiskey as a basis, with poisonous articles for condiments. Not a drop
of Madeira wine had been made in that island since 1851. Some of the
whiskey he inspected contained sulphuric acid enough in a quart to eat a
hole through a man's stomach.



Brandy usually contains sulphuric acid. I obtained a "pure article"
yesterday, from an honest, Christian druggist. In an hour I found
sulphuric acid in it. Acids are easily detected in liquors, by placing in
it for an hour a bright steel spatula. The acids have an affinity to
steel, and the spatula soon turns black, separating the acid from the
liquid supposed to be brandy. If the brandy is sharp to the throat on
swallowing it, be sure that it is not pure, but contains capsicum,
horseradish, or fusel oil. Good brandy will be smooth and oily to the
throat. To detect lead in wine or brandy, suspend a piece of pure zinc in
the glass, and if the lead is present, delicate fibrils of that metal will
form on the zinc.

All malt liquors may be adulterated. Bitter herbs are used instead of
hops. Copperas is used in lager beer; tobacco, nux vomica, and cocculus
indicus in London porter--brown stout. To avoid them, _drink no beer_. It
is of no earthly or heavenly use. A patient who would die without beer
will certainly die with its use. _Spanish flies_ are said to be used in
liquors sometimes.

The strychnine--of whiskey--directs its action to the superior portion of
the spinal cord: hence paralysis, insanity, and sudden death of whiskey

Drinkers often suffer from gravel, from the lime, or chalk, or other
minerals contained in liquors. Alcohol itself will _not digest_, yet
ignorant physicians prescribe alcoholic drinks for dyspeptics.

Vinegar is often made from sulphuric acid. Good vinegar will not burn on
your lips. To detect acid-sulphuric, drop a little of solution of sugar of
lead in your vinegar; the lead precipitates a whitish sediment.


"There's nine men standin' at the dore, an they all sed they'd take sugar
in there'n. Sich, friends and brethering, was the talk in a wurldli' cens,
wonst common in this our ainshunt land, but the dais is gone by and the
sans run dry, and no man can say to his nabur, Thou art the man, and will
you take enny more shugar in your kaughey? But the words of our tex has a
difrunt and more pertikelur meenin than this. Thar they stood at the dore
on a cold winter's mornin, two Baptiss and two Methodies and five
Lutharians, and the tother was a publikin, and they all with one vois sed
they wouldn't dirty their feet in a dram shop, but if the publikin would
go and get the drinks they'd pay for 'em. And they all cried out and sed,
'I'll take mine with shugar--for it won't feel good to drink the stuff
without sweetenin'.' So the publikin he marched in, and the bar-keeper
said, 'What want ye?' and he answered and sed, 'A drink.' 'How will ye
have it?' 'Plain and strate,' says he, 'for it ain't no use in wastin'
shugar to circumsalvate akafortis. But there's nine more standin' at the
dore, and they all sed they'd take shugar in ther'n.' Friends and
brethering, it ain't only the likker or the spirits that is drunk in this
roundabout and underhanded way, but it's the likker of all sorts of human
wickedness in like manner. There's the likker of mallis that menny of you
drinks to the drugs; but you're sure to sweetin' it with the shugar of
self-justification. Ther's the likker of avris that some keeps behind the
curtain for constant use, but they always has it well mixt with the
sweetin' uv prudens and ekonimy. Ther's the likker of self-luv that sum
men drinks by the gallon, but they always puts in lots of the shugar of
Take Keer of Number One.

"An' lastly, ther's the likker uv oxtorshun, which the man sweetins
according to circumstances.... And ther's nine men at the dore, and they
all sed they'd take shugar in ther'n. But, friends and brethering, thar's
a time comin' and a place fixin' whar thar'll be no 'standin' at the
door,' to call for 'shugar in ther'n.' But they'll have to go rite in and
take the drink square up to the front, and the bar-keeper'll be old Satun,
and nobody else; and he'll give 'em 'shugar in ther'n,' you'd better
believe it; and it'll be shugar of lead, and red-hot at that, as shure as

       *       *       *       *       *

ALCOHOL contains no life-supporting principle. It has no iron or salts for
the blood, no lime for bone, phosphorus for brain, no nitrogen for vital
tissue. Burton's "_Old Pale Ale_" is given to invalids, but (by Dr.
Hassal's analysis of one gallon), one must swallow 65,320 parts (grains)
of water, 200 of vinegar, 2,510 of malt gum, etc., in order to get 100 of
sugar, which is the only nourishing quality therein.

FISH is a good and wholesome article of diet, and salt water fish are
never poisonous, if fresh. I once knew of fresh water fish being
poisonous. The following article appeared in the Daily Courant of Hartford
in 1864.


Something got into the fish in Little River yesterday morning, "and raised
the mischief" with them. They came to the top of the water, hundreds of
them, and acted as if they were in the last stages of a premature decline.
"Want of breath," such as boys say dogs die with, seemed to be the
trouble. Never were the finny tribe so anxious to get out of water, and
they poked their noses above the surface in the most beseeching way
possible. The appeal was too strong to resist, and hundreds of men, women,
and children, with sudden inventions for furnishing relief, such as
baskets, coal-sifters, bags, etc., fixed at the end of long poles, lined
the banks of the stream, and such luck in fishing has not been witnessed
in this vicinity for years. What produced all this commotion among the
inhabitants of the deep, is only conjectured. Some say a beer brewery,
whose flavoring extracts (one of which is said to be cockle), after being
relieved of their choicest qualities, are sent through a sewer into the
stream, was the fountain head from which the trouble flowed. But beer
drinkers look upon the idea as preposterous; they say it casts an
unwarranted reflection upon a most respectable article of beverage.
Perhaps so. Another claim is that somebody had thrown acid into the water;
and another that decayed vegetable matter, occasioned by the long drought,
has been liberally distributed in the river, from small streams which the
late rains have swollen. We express no opinion about it, for, as the
sensationist would say in speaking of something on a grander scale, "The
whole matter is wrapped in the most profound mystery." It is a sure
thing, however, that the fish had a high old time, and were considerably
puzzled themselves to know what was up. Wouldn't advise anybody to invest
in dressed suckers for a day or two, at least.

Since writing the above, Dr. Crabtre, coroner, informs us that he has
secured several of the fish, and finds, by analyzing, that they were
poisoned by sulphuric acid. The evidence of it is very strong in the fish
that died before being taken from the water. Acid is used at Sharp's
factory, and is thrown in considerable quantities into the river. It will
not be very healthy business to eat fish which have been thus "tampered
with," and, as we are informed that many were dressed yesterday and sent
into market, we caution the public against buying "small fry," unless they
know where they were caught.


Foul wells, from an accumulation of carbonic acid gas, may be purified by
a horse-shoe. But the horse-shoe, or other iron, or a brick, must be red
hot. The vapor thus immediately absorbs the poison gas.

"Drink no water from streams or rivers on which, above, there are
manufactories, etc.," says a medical writer. But if such water is filtered
through charcoal, it will be tolerably pure. Even stagnant water may be
purified by pulverized charcoal. Dead rats, cats, and dogs are sometimes
found in wells. The taste of the water soon reveals such offensive
presence. Clean out the well, and sift in some charcoal and dry earth, and
the water will be all right again.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHARCOAL will purify, but it will also defile, as the following will

"A small boy, not yet in his teens, had charge of a donkey laden with
coals, on a recent day in spring; and in a Midland Lane, far away from any
human habitation, the wicked ass threw off his load--a load too heavy for
the youngster to replace. He sat down in despair, looking alternately at
the sack and the cuddy--the latter (unfeeling brute!) calmly cropping the
roadside grass. At last a horseman hove in sight, and gradually drew
nearer and nearer.


"'Halloa, thee big fellow!' cried the lad to the six-feet Archdeacon of
----, 'I wish thee'dst get off thy 'oss, and give us a lift with this here
bag of coals.'

"The venerable rider had delivered many a charge in his life, but never
received such a one as this himself--so brief and so brusque. He was taken
aback at first, and drew himself up; but his good nature overcame his
offended dignity, and dismounting, he played the part, not of the Levite,
but of the Samaritan. The big priest and the small boy tugged and tumbled
the sack, and hugged and lifted it, till the coals were fairly _in statu
quo_--the archdeacon retiring from his task with blackened hands and
soiled neck-tie.

"'Well,' exclaimed the small boy as his venerable friend remounted his
horse, 'for such a big chap as thee art, thee's the awkwardest at a bag o'
coals I ever seed in all my born days! Come op, Neddy!'"


Pork is one of the vilest articles ever introduced into the dietetic
world. It is a food for the generation and development of scrofula. The
word _scrofa_ (Latin), from which _scrofula_ is derived, means a breeding
sow. Pork is the Jew's abomination. I have never seen but one Jew with the
scrofula. The Irish worship a pig. They die by the wholesale of scrofula
and consumption. Tubercles are often found in pork, sometimes in beef. We
had the gratification of adding to the health of Hartford for two summers
by abating the swine nuisance. Previous to our war on them, the hogs
_rooted and wallowed in the streets_!


It is pleasantly supposed that sugar is the basis of all candies; and
originally this was doubtless true.

It would be better for the rising generation if the original prescription
was still carried out, and nothing of a more injurious nature than sugar
was added to it, in the innumerable varieties of confectionery which are
daily sold in our shops, or in richly decorated stores, "gotten up
regardless of expense," over elegant marble counters, and from tempting
cut and stained glass jars, or from little stands upon the street corners,
to our children, old and young.

Sugar, pure and in moderate quantities, is a very harmless confection.

Professor Morchand and others affirm that a solution of pure sugar has no
injurious effect upon the teeth, the popular notion to the contrary
notwithstanding. Neither is pure or refined sugar, taken in moderate
quantities, injurious to the blood, or the stomach, _unless the stomach be
very weak_. In order to cure my children of an inordinate appetite for
sugar, I have repeatedly obtained a pound of pure white lump, and set it
before each, respectively, allowing it to eat as much as it chose.
Failing, in one case out of three, to surfeit the child with one pound, I
purchased six pounds in a box, and taking off the cover, I placed the
whole temptingly before her. This cloyed her, and now she does not take
sugar in her tea.


I have never known serious results accruing from children eating large
quantities of purified sugar; yet I would not advise it to be given them
in excess, excepting for the above purpose, viz., "to cure them of an
inordinate appetite for sugar."

Now try to break the child of an excessive appetite for candy by giving it
large quantities at once, and nine times out of ten you will have a sick
or dead child in the house for your rash experiment.

Hence your candies, "nine times out of ten," will be found to contain
injurious or poisonous substances.


Sugar is an aliment and condiment. It is also, medically, an alterative
and a demulcent. Finely pulverized loaf sugar and gum arabic, in equal
proportions, form an excellent and soothing compound for inflamed throats,
catarrh, and nasal irritations, to be taken dry, by mouth and nostrils,
and often repeated.

Pure loaf sugar is white, brittle, inodorous, permanent in the air, and of
a specific gravity of 1.6. It is chemically expressed thus: C24, H22, O22.
It is nutritious to a certain extent, but alone will not support life for
an unlimited length of time. This is owing to the entire absence of
nitrogen in its composition. By analysis, sugar is resolved into carbon,
oxygen, and hydrogen.

Pulverized sugar is often adulterated with starch, flour, magnesia, and
sometimes silex and terra alba. Loaf sugar, however, is usually found to
be pure.


Brown sugar changes under atmospheric influences, and loses its sweetness.
This change is attributed to the lime it contains. The best grade of brown
sugar is nearly dry, of yellowish color, and emits less odor than the
lower grades. It consists of cane sugar, vegetable and gummy matter,
tannic acid, and lime. Put your hand into a barrel containing damp brown
sugar, press a quantity, and suddenly relax your grasp, and it moves as
though it was alive. It is alive! Place a few grains under a powerful
microscope, and lo! you see organized animals, with bodies, heads, eyes,
legs, and claws!

Poor people, who purchase brown sugar in preference to white, miss a
figure in their selection, by the sand, water, and other foreign
substances which the former contains.

Brown sugar is not so wholesome as the refined. I have attributed several
cases of gravel that have come under my observation to the patients'
habitual use of low grades of brown sugar.


Confectionery and sweetmeats used to be manufactured from sugar, flour,
fruit, nuts, etc., and flavored with sassafras, lemon, orange, vanilla,
rose, and the extracts of various other plants or vegetables. When
competition came in the way of profits on these articles, the avaricious
and dishonest manufacturer began to substitute or add something of a
cheaper or heavier nature to these compositions, which would enable him to
sell at a lower price, with even a greater profit. Candy cheats were not
easily detected, the sweets and flavors hiding the multitude of sins of
the confectioner.

It seemed all but useless for the would-be honest manufacturer to attempt
to either compete with his rival or to expose his rascalities, which
latter would only serve to advertise the wares of his competitor. Hence
he, too, adopted the same practice of adulterating his manufactures. One
dishonest man makes a thousand. I do not affirm that there are no honest
confectioners,--this would be as ungenerous as untrue,--or that we must
use no confectionery. But let us hereby learn to avoid that which is


This is the principal article used in the manufacture of impure candies.
The first intimation that the writer had of terra alba being mixed with
sugar in candy, was when one confectioner placed a sample of the _white
earth_ in a dish upon his counter, with a sample of confectionery made
therefrom, to expose the cheat of his rivals. "But as for me, I make only
pure candies," etc., was his affirmation. Well, perhaps he did.

What is the nature of gypsum, terra alba, or white earth? Gypsum, or
sulphate of lime, is a white, crystalline mineral, found in the excrement
of most animals. Hence gypsum is extensively used as an artificial manure.
It is found in peat soil, also used for manure, and is a natural
production, occurring in rocky masses, under various names, as alabaster,
anhydrate, and selenite.

The natural gypsum, or plaster of commerce, consists of

  Water,               21 per cent.
  Lime,                33    "
  Sulphuric acid,      46    "

Plaster was used as a fertilizer by the early Roman and British farmers.
It was introduced into America in 1772. It may here be worthy of notice,
that when Dr. Franklin desired to exhibit its utility to his unbelieving
countrymen, he sowed upon a field near Washington, in large letters, with
pulverized gypsum, the following words: "This has been plastered."

The result is supposed to have been highly convincing. But this was as a
manure. Dr. Franklin did not recommend it as a condiment.

You may know children who have been sown with plaster--though that plaster
was modified by the smaller admixture of sugar--by their pale, puny,
weakly appearance. Sugar has a tendency to increase the fatty and warming
matter of the system; gypsum, or terra alba, to destroy it.

Gypsum is used in confectionery without being calcined. Calcined plaster,
after being wet, readily "sets," or hardens. Heating gypsum deprives it of
the percentage of water, when it is known to commerce as "plaster of
Paris." It is cheap as manure; hence it is used instead of sugar.

Terra alba taken into the system absorbs the moisture essential to health,
and disposes the child to weakness of the joints and spinal column, to
rickets, marasmus, and consumption. There are other diseases to which its
habitual use exposes the user; but if parents will not heed the above
warning, it is useless to multiply reasons for not feeding children upon
cheap or adulterated confectionery.


Take no man's _ipse dixit_ when the health or lives of your precious ones
are at stake. "Prove all things."

To detect mineral substances in candy, put a quantity--particularly of
lozenges, peppermints, or cream candy--into a bowl, pour on sufficient hot
water to cover it well. Sugar is soluble in boiling water to any extent.
Terra alba is not. The sugar will all disappear; the plaster, sand, etc.,
will settle to the bottom; the coloring matter will mix in or rise to the
top of the water. _Pure candies leave no sediment when dissolved in hot

I have seen some "chocolate cream drops" which were half terra alba; nor
were these purchased upon the street corners, where the worst sorts are
said to be exhibited. Boston dealers complain that some New York houses
send drummers to Boston who offer confectionery at a less price, at
wholesale, than it costs to manufacture a fair grade of the same by any
process yet known, in Boston. Chocolate drops are made by a patent process
at about seventeen cents per pound when sugar is fourteen, and chocolate
thirty-five cents per pound.

Gum arabic drops have been sold for seventeen cents when sugar cost
almost twice that sum, and pure gum arabic nearly three times seventeen
cents. I asked an extensive confectioner how this could be explained, and
he said, "By using glucose in place of gum arabic."

Now, glucose is a sugar obtained from grapes, a very nice substitute for
the above, though less sweet than other sugars--as cane, beet, etc.

"What do you call glucose?" I asked this confectioner.

"It is mucilage made from glue," was his reply.

Glue is a nasty substance, at best. It is extracted by no very neat
process from the refuse of skins, parings, hoofs, entrails, etc., of
animals, particularly of oxen, calves, and sheep. It usually lies till it
becomes stale and corrupt before being made into glue.

A confectioner showed me some "gum arabic drops" made from this patent
"glucose" which cost but thirteen cents per pound. Jessop exhibited some
extra pure gum drops which actually cost fifty cents to manufacture. I
found all his costlier candies to be pure.

Gum drops are a luxury, and are excellent for bronchial difficulties,
inflammation of the throat, larynx, and stomach. How shall we, then, tell
a pure gum arabic drop from those nasty glue drops? First, the cheap
article is usually of a darker color. The pure gum arabic drops are light
color, like the gum. Take one in your fingers and double it over. If it
possesses sufficient elasticity to bend on itself thus without breaking
the grain, you may feel pretty sure it is gum arabic. The glue drop is
brittle, and breaks up rough as it bends.

Do not purchase the colored drops. Pure sugar and gum arabic are white, or
nearly so, and require no coloring.

Purchase only of a reliable party. Avoid colored confectionery, also all
cheap candies. Even maple sugar makers _have heard_ of sand and gypsum.


The following poisonous coloring materials are sometimes used in
confectionery, says "The Art of Confectionery," but should be avoided:
Scheele's green, a deadly poison, composed of arsenic and copper;
verdigris (green), or acetate of copper--another deadly poison; red oxide
of lead; brown oxide of lead; massicot, or, yellow oxide of lead; oxide of
copper, etc.; vermilion, or sulphuret of mercury; gamboge, chromic acid,
and Naples yellow. "Litmus, also, should be avoided, as it is frequently
incorporated with arsenic and the per-oxide of mercury."

Ultramarine blue is barely admissible, and blue candies are less liable to
be injurious than green, yellow, or red. Marigolds and saffron are
sometimes used for coloring; but the cost of these, particularly the
latter, compared with the minerals, as French and chrome yellows, is so
high, rendering the temptation to substitute the latter so great, that
purchasers should give themselves the benefit of the fear, and use no
yellow candies of a cheap quality. Green candy is the most dangerous. Buy
none, use none; they are mostly very dangerous confections.


About the nastiest of all candies are the licorice and the chocolate
conglomerations. Glue, molasses, brown sugar, plaster, and lampblack, are
among their beauties, with, for the latter, just sufficient real chocolate
to give them a possible flavor. Licorice is cheap enough and nasty enough,
but the addition of refuse molasses, glue, and lampblack, which is no
unusual matter, makes it still more repulsive.

Metcalf & Company, extensive wholesale and retail druggists, kindly gave
me the figures of cost on the first, second, and lower grades of gum
arabic, glucose, etc. The first quality of gum arabic costs, by the cask,
about sixty to seventy-five cents per pound; the lowest about twenty-two.
There is a new manufacture in New York, with a "side issue," wherein they
necessarily turn out large quantities of glucose,--refuse from grain,--and
this is sold for eight to thirteen cents a pound, to confectioners. It is
much better than glue, but still the glue is used to-day, and I have on my
table at this moment a sample of "gum drops" made this week in Boston from
cheap glue, brown sugar, and a little Tonka bean flavor. The Tonka bean
represents vanilla. These cost thirteen cents a pound, and are sometimes
known, with the mucilage or glucose drops, to wholesale buyers, as "A. B."
drops, to distinguish them from pure gum arabic. The unfortunate consumer,
however, is not informed regarding the difference.


"Sour drops," or lemon drops, are sometimes flavored with lemon; but oil
of lemon is costly, and sulphuric and nitric acids are cheap, and more
extensively used in confectionery. I recently sat down with a friend, in a
first-class restaurant, to a piece of "lemon pie," etc. I took St. Paul's
advice, and partook of what was set before me, asking no questions for
conscience' sake. The next morning, meeting the friend,--a physician, by
the way,--I asked him how he liked tartaric acid. He replied, "Very well
in a drink, but not in pies."

These acids are not only injurious to the teeth, but to the tender mucous
membranes of the throat and stomach, engendering headache, colic-like
pains, diarrhoea, and painful urinary diseases. Spirits of turpentine, or
oil of turpentine, is extensively used in "peppermints;" also in essence
of peppermint, often sold by peddlers, and in shops, as "pure essence." I
question if any druggist would retail such impure and dangerous articles,
since he would know it at sight, and ought to be familiar with its evil
effects when used freely, as people use essence of peppermint. What I
have stated respecting the flavoring of soda syrups is applicable to


[Illustration: A STREET CANDY STAND.]

Hydrocyanic acid, or prussic acid, which is mentioned as being used to
represent "wild cherry," in syrup or medicines, is employed in candies to
give an "almond" flavor. Oil of bitter almonds is very costly, which is
the excuse for substituting the much cheaper article, prussic acid.

The temptations set in the way of children to purchase candies are so
great, and the adulterations so common, that I have devoted more space to
the _exposé_ of these cheats than I at first intended; but I hope that the
public will hereby take warning, and mark the beneficial results which
will accrue from an avoidance of cheap, painted, and adulterated
confectioneries. These are sold everywhere, but most commonly upon the

Near a stand upon a public street of this city, sandwiched by the thick
flying dust on the one hand, and the warning, "Dust thou art," on the
other, my attention was attracted to a little ragged urchin, who stood
holding under his left arm a few dirty copies of a daily paper, while the
right hand wandered furtively about in his trousers pocket, and his eyes
looked longingly upon the tempting confectionery spread upon the dusty
board and boxes before him. Indecision dwelt upon his pale, thin
countenance, and drawing nearer, I awaited this conflict of mind and
matter with a feeling of no little curiosity.

Finally, he seemed to have decided upon a purchase of some variegated
candy, and making a desperate dive with the hand deeper into the pocket,
he drew forth some pennies, which were quickly exchanged for the coveted
painted poison,--none the more poisonous for having been sold upon a
street stand, however.

His sharp, bluish-pale face lighted up with an unnatural glow of delight
as he seized the tempting prize; and as he turned away, I said, kindly,--

"Have you been selling papers, sonny?"

"Yes, sir; buy one?" he replied, with an eye yet to business.

"Yes; and have you any more pennies?"

"No, sir." And he dropped his head in confusion.

"How much have you made to-day?" I next inquired.

"Seventeen cents, sir."

"And expended it all for candy, I suppose."

Receiving an affirmative reply, I next kindly questioned him respecting
his family. His mother was a widow, very poor, and I asked him,--

"What will she say when you return with no money to show for your day's

The tears started from his blue eyes, and I knew that I had made a
"point." After some further conversation, I persuaded him to show me where
he lived. Up the usual "three flight, back," in a low attic room, I beheld
a picture of abject misery. The mother was sick, and lay uncomfortably
upon an old sofa, which, with two rickety chairs and a large box, which
served the double purpose of table and cupboard, were the only furniture
of the apartment. She was totally dependent upon her little son's earnings
for a sustenance. She had nothing in the house to eat; no money with which
to obtain anything. Her boy's earnings had fallen off unaccountably, and
for two days they had not tasted food. When she learned that he had
brought in no money (for it was now near nightfall), she fell to weeping
and upbraiding "the lazy, idle wretch for not bringing home something to
eat." The boy began to cry bitterly, and acknowledged his error in
spending his earnings for confectionery. I then exacted a solemn promise
from him that he never would buy another penny's worth of the poison, gave
him some change to purchase a bountiful meal, and left with a
determination to ventilate street candy stands.

[Illustration: THE NEWSBOY'S MOTHER.]



    "The doctors admit snuff's a hurtful thing,
      And troubles the brain and sight,
    But it helps their trade; so they do not say
      Quite as much as they otherwise might."--L. H. S.



Do you know how much money is being squandered to-day, in the United
States, in the filthy, health-destroying use of tobacco?


Only $410,958! That's all.

In Commissioner Wells's report, it is shown that in the fiscal year ending
June 30, 1868, the amount received from the tax on chewing and smoking
tobacco was, in round numbers, fifteen million dollars. Add to this the
cost of production, and dealers' profits, which are five times more than
the revenue tax, amounting to seventy-five million dollars. The number of
cigars taxed was six hundred millions. It is calculated as many more are
used through smuggling, making a grand total yearly expenditure in the
United States of one hundred and fifty millions of dollars for tobacco


Give me $410,958 a day, and I will go into the pauper houses of these
United States, and bring forth every pauper child; I will go down into the
dark, damp cellars, and away into the cobweb-hung attics, and bring forth
every ragged child of crime and poverty. I will take all these little
bread-and-gospel-starved children, feed, clothe, and send them to school
and Sabbath school, the year round, with $410,958 a day.

Christian ministers and professors, think of it! Young men and boys, think
of it!

Yes, the Americans smoke, snuff, and chew one hundred and fifty million
dollars in tobacco annually. The Chinamen consume $38,294,200 worth of
opium in a year. The Russians stuff and glut over an unmerciful amount of
lard and candles in a year; and the Frenchmen disgust the rest of mankind
by eating all the frogs they can catch. Then there are the cannibals of
the South Seas--they love tender babies to eat, but not an old
tobacco-soaked sailor will they masticate.

Tobacco kills lice, bugs, fops, small boys, and other vermin.

Tobacco fees doctors, and fills hospitals.

Tobacco fills insane asylums and jails.

Tobacco fills pauper houses and graveyards.

Tobacco makes drunkards.

Tobacco and rum go hand and hand; they are one, inseparable; they are
twins, yea, Siamese twins, the Chang and Eng of all villanies. I never saw
a drunkard who did not first use tobacco. Did you?

John H. Hawkins, the father of Washingtonians, said he never was able to
find a drunkard who had not first used tobacco.


Since writing the above I have been variously informed that my figures are
too low. The national revenue derived from tobacco in the States for the
year ending June, 1871, was $31,350,707.


"According to General Pleasonton, who collected the tax on them, there
were 1,332,246,000 cigars used in the United States last year. This one
billion three hundred and thirty-two million two hundred and forty-six
thousand cigars were undoubtedly retailed at ten cents apiece. So we
smoked up in this country, last year, $133,224,600 worth of tobacco."

This does not include pipe-smoking nor chewing tobacco.

The total amount of the vile weed produced in the world annually is as

  Asia,                309,900,000 pounds.
  Europe,              281,844,500   "
  America,             248,280,500   "
  Africa,               24,300,100   "
  Australia,               714,000   "
  Making a total of,   865,039,100   "


It is estimated that there are two hundred millions of tobacco-users in
the world. What a splendid regiment of sneezers, spewers, smokers, and
spitters they would make! They would form a phalanx of five deep, reaching
entirely around the world.

Wouldn't they look gay? Forty millions, with filthy old tobacco pipes
stuck in their mouths, "smoking away 'like devils!'" Eighty millions, with
best Havana cigars, made in Connecticut and New York, from cabbage leaf,
waste stumps of cigars, and "old soldiers," thrown away by Irish, Dutch,
Italians, French, and Chinese, out of cancerous mouths, whiskey mouths,
syphilitic and ulcerous mouths, rotten-toothed
mouths--splendid!--protruding from between their sweet lips! Forty
millions with pigtail and fine cut, sweet "honey dew," made as above,
scented, grinding away in their forty million human mills! Forty millions,
including five millions in petticoats, holding cartridge boxes (of snuff)
in their delicate hands, from which they distribute death-dealing
ammunition to--their lovely noses!

See them "marching along, marching along," to the tune that never an "old
cow died on" yet, or hogs, or any animal, except he unfortunately became
mixed up involuntarily with viler humans,--with jolly banners, blacked in
the smoke and stench of great battles, bearing the words "Death to
Purity!" "War to the Hilt with Health!" "All hail, Disease, Drunkenness,
and Death!"

Splendid picture!

Alas! true picture!

And what do they leave in their wake?

Death to all animal and vegetable life!

The vile spittle and debris dropped by the way have killed all vegetable
life. There's nothing vile and filthy that they have not cursed the ground

The following are a few of the articles mixed with various brands of
tobacco, as though the original poisonous weed was not sufficiently
deleterious: Opium, copperas, iron, licorice,--blacked with
lampblack,--the dirtiest refuse molasses, the offal of urine, etc.

The effluvia and smoke arising have killed the foliage and the birds by
the wayside, and miles of beautiful forests have been burned away. Nothing
but a broad strip of blackened, cursed, and barren waste, remains. To
offset this evil there is--nothing.

Now, this army is daily on its march through our land, and I have only
_begun_ to mention its depredations. Who will stop it?


Tobacco is a native of the West Indies. Romanus Paine, who accompanied
Columbus on his second voyage, seems to have been the first to introduce
tobacco into Europe as an article of luxury. Paine is said to have lived a
vagabond life, and died a miserable death.

The natives called it _Peterna_. The name tobacco is derived from the town
of Tabaco, New Spain. The Latin name, Nicotiana Tabacum, is from Jean
Nicot, who was a French ambassador from the court of Francis I. (born the
year tobacco was introduced by Paine) to Portugal. On the return of
Nicot, he brought and introduced to the French court the narcotic plant,
and popularized it in France. Thence it was introduced all over Europe,
but encountered great opposition. Sir Walter Raleigh introduced tobacco
into England about 1582.

History informs us that a Persian king so strongly prohibited its use, and
visited such severe penalties upon its votaries, that many of his subjects
fled away to the caves, forests, and mountains, where they might worship
this matchless deity free from persecution. The czar prohibited its use in
Russia under penalty of death to smokers, mitigating snuff takers' penalty
to _merely slitting open their noses_.


In Constantinople a Turk found smoking was placed upon a donkey, facing
the beast's rump, and with a pipe-stem run through his nose, was rode
about the public streets, a sad warning to all tobacco smokers. King James
thundered against it. The government of Switzerland sounded its voice
against it till the Alps echoed again.

But in spite of opposition and the vileness of the article, it has worked
itself into a general use,--next to that of table salt,--and to-day a
majority of the adult male population of our Christianized and enlightened
United States are its acknowledged votaries.


In the year 1850 I saw in a house in Sedgwick, Me., individuals of four
different generations smoking. The old grandmother was eighty-five years
old. She smoked. A grandmother, sixty-three, with her husband, smoked.
Their son smoked, and had very weak eyes. His two nephews smoked and
chewed tobacco. The elder lady died with scrofulous sore eyes, not having,
for years before her death, a single eyelash, and her swollen, inflamed
eyelids were a sight disgusting to view. All her grand and great
grandchildren whom I saw were scrofulous. Some suffered with rheumatism,
and all were yellowish or tawny.


I once saw a father teaching his little three-year-old boy to smoke. I
knew a boy at Ellsworth who learned to smoke before he could light his
pipe. His father, who taught him the wicked habit, was not at all
respectable, and had often been jailed for selling rum.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following is a sample of the modern John Hay's style of teaching:--


  "I come into town with some turnips,
    And my little Gabe come along--
  No four-year-old in the county
    Could beat him for pretty and strong;
  Peart, and chipper, and sassy,
    Always ready to swear and fight,
  And I'd larnt him to chaw terbacker,
    Jest to keep his milk teeth white.

  "The snow come down like a blanket
    As I passed by Taggart's store;
  I went in for a jug of molasses,
    And left the team at the door.
  They scared at something and started--
    I heard one little squall,
  And hell-to-split over the prairie
    Went team, Little-Breeches and all.

  "Hell-to-split over the prairie!
    I was almost froze with skeer;
  But we rousted up some torches,
    And sarched for 'em far and near.
  At last we struck hosses and wagon,
    Snowed under a soft white mound:
  Upsot, dead beat--but of little Gabe
    No hide nor hair was found.

  "And here all hopes soured on me
    Of my fellow-critters' aid--
  I jest flopped down on my marrow bones,
    Crotch-deep in the snow, and prayed.
  By this the torches was played out,
    And me and Isrul Parr
  Went off for some wood to a sheep-fold,
    That he said was somewhar thar.

  "We found it at last, and a little shed
    Where they shut up the lambs at night;
  We looked in, and seen them huddled thar,
    So warm, and sleepy, and white.

  "And thar sot Little-Breeches, and chirped
    As peart as ever you see:
  'I want a chaw of terbacker,
    And that's what's the matter of me.'"

[Illustration: "I WANT A CHAW OF TERBACKER."]


In London, in 1721, Thomas Hearne tells us school children were compelled
to smoke. "And I remember," he says, "that I heard Tom Rogers say that
when he was yeoman beadle that year, when the plague raged, being a boy
at Eaton, all the boys of his school were obliged to smoke in the
school-room every morning, and that he never was whipped so much in his
life as he was one morning for not smoking."

[Illustration: YOUNG SMOKERS.]

Some boys, nowadays, would gladly undergo the "flogging" if they could be
permitted to enjoy a smoke afterwards.

There are but few people inhabiting the eastern coast, and following
fishing for a vocation, who do not smoke or chew tobacco; and their wives
and children also smoke.

Sailors are proverbially addicted to smoking and chewing. Their love of
tobacco far exceeds their appetite for grog.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following letter from a sailor below port to his brother in London
explains itself:--

    NEAR GRAVESEND, on board Belotropen.


    DEAR BOB: This comes hopin' to find you well, as it leaves me safe
    anchored here yester arternoon. Voyge short an' few squalls. Hopes to
    find old father stout, and am out of pigtail.

    Sight o' pigtail at Gravesend but unfortinately unfit for a dog to
    chor. I send this by Capt'n's boy, and buy me pound best pigtail and
    let it be good--best at 7 diles (Dials), sign of black boy, and am
    short of shirts--only took two, whereof one is wored out and tother

    Capt'n's boy loves pigtail, so tie it up when bort an' put in his
    pocket. Aint so partick'ler about the shirts as present can be washed,
    but be sure to go to 7 diles sign of Black boy and git the pigtail as
    I haint had a cud to chor since thursday. Pound'll do as I spect to be
    up tomorrow or day arter. an' remember the pigtail--so I am your
    lovin' brother

    Tom ----.

    P. S. dont forget the pigtail.


When a young man is about to be "taken into society," the question
naturally arises, Is the young man, or the society, to be benefited by the
accession? As the young man seems anxious to make his _debut_ there, we
presume _he_ is to be benefited by the initiation into pure society.


Since nine tenths of the young men are tobacco-users, we will presume
safely enough that this young man is one of them. He has used it from
five to seven years,--sufficient time to admit of its becoming part and
parcel of him.

The young man--"John" is his name--is before the examining committee, who,
not being blind or obtuse from the use of the weed themselves, and knowing
no young man is fit to enter pure society who uses, or has used, tobacco,
without being purified, they submit him to the test, with the following

"His clothes are impregnated with tobacco," the examiner reports.

"Let them be removed and purified," is the command.

[Illustration: PURIFYING HIS BLOOD.]

They are soaked in alkalies, and soap, and water. They are washed, and
boiled, dried, aired, and pressed and pronounced clean, and fit for

The committee next examine John's skin. "It is full of nicotine. It must
be cleansed." So John is taken to the Turkish bath, the most likely place
to remove the filth permeating his every pore. Dr. Dio Diogenes puts him
through; he is "sweated," and the great room is scented throughout by the
tobacco aroma arising from the ten thousand before clogged-up pores of his
skin. He is all but parboiled, then soaped and scrubbed, rubbed, and then
goes into the plunge bath. The fishes are instantly killed. The canary
bird in the next room is suffocated by the effluvia penetrating to his
cage. The young man is wiped again, dried, and cooled.

Again the committee smell. John is not yet pure. The nicotine is "in his
blood," says Dr. Chemistry. A faucet is introduced into John's aorta, and
his blood drawn off into a bucket for the chemist to analyze and purify of
tobacco. Still the flesh is full of nicotine, and it must be removed and
purified. It is too late for John to object, and the fact cannot be denied
that the poison _is_ in his muscle; so he is stripped of the integuments
to his framework.

[Illustration: CLEANSING HIS BONES.]

The committee now examine the bony structure.

In Germany they have recently dug up the bones of tobacco-users who have
been dead years, and found nicotine (tobacco principle) in them. May not
this man's bones be full of nicotine, which will come out through, if we
replace the integuments, blood, and garments?

"The bones must be subjected to purification," said the judge.

They are soaked in alkalies, boiled in acids, and sufficient nicotine is
extracted to kill five men not hardened in the tobacco service.

Thus, and only thus, could John have been purified from his vile habit and
its results, and fitted for decent male society, female society, and
Christian society. There is said to be one other place where John can
possibly have the nicotine of seven years' deposit taken out of him. It is
a very warm place, and the principal chemical ingredient used is said to
be sulphuric, and kept up to a boiling point by means of infernal great


Nicotine is the active principle of tobacco, expressed chemically thus:
C10 H8 N. One fourth of a drop will kill a rabbit, one drop will kill a
large dog. It is a virulent poison, the intoxicating principle of
_prepared_ tobacco. It is not in the natural leaf. _It results from
fermentation._ Two little boys were overheard discussing tobacco merits
and demerits. One was in favor of tobacco, the other "anti." "Why," said
anti, "it's so poisonous that a drop of the oil, put on a dog's tail, will
kill a man in a minute." It is the opium in the best Havanas which
enslaves the smokers more than the tobacco. Those cigars, also American
manufactured cigars, are dipped in a solution of opium. It is said that
twenty thousand dollars' worth of opium is used annually in one cigar
manufactory in Havana.


  "I knew, by the smoke that so lazily curled
    From his lips, 'twas a loafer I happened to meet;
  And I said, "If a nuisance there be in the world,
    'Tis the smoke of cigars on a frequented street."

  "It was night, and the ladies were gliding around,
    And in many an eye shone the glittering tear;
  But the loafer puffed on, and I heard not a sound,
    Save the sharp, barking cough of each smoke-stricken dear."

[Illustration: THE SMOKER.]

Here is a "blow" from Horace Greeley. "I do not say that every chewer or
smoker is a blackguard; but show me a blackguard who is not a lover of
tobacco, and I will show you two white blackbirds." Good enough for

Now, admitting that there are gentlemen who smoke and chew on the streets,
how are ladies, or the people, to know that they are such, since the
loafer, the blackguard, the thief, the pickpocket, the profaners of God's
name (all), the blackleg, the murderers bear the same insignia of their
profession? At one time, every man incarcerated in the Connecticut state
prison was a tobacco-user; nearly all, also, at the Maine, Vermont, and
Massachusetts prisons.

It is quite lamentable to see how liable tobacco-using is to convert a
thorough gentleman into a selfish, dirty blackguard, who will promenade
the streets, chatting with some boon companion, while the pair go
recklessly along, blowing their offensive smoke directly into ladies'
faces, their ashes into their beautiful eyes, and spitting their filthy
saliva directly or indirectly over costly dresses, thinking only of self!


  Behold the picture of the man who chews!
  A human squirt-gun on the world let loose.
  A foe to neatness, see him in the streets,
  His surcharged mouth endangering all he meets.
  The dark saliva, drizzling from his chin,
  Betrays the nature of the flood within.
  Where, then, O where, shall Neatness hope to hide
  From this o'erwhelming of the blackened tide?
  Shall she seek shelter in the house of prayer?
  A hundred squirting mouths await her there.
  The same foul scene she's witnessed oft before,--
  A _solemn cud_ is laid at every door!
  The vile spittoon finds place in many a pew,
  As if one part of worship were to _chew_!

[Illustration: THE CHEWER.]


Speaking of President Grant and his cigar, a writer says,--

"Not only do smoky editors take advantage of this weakness of our
president, but tobacconists, greedy of gain, are subjecting it to their
sordid purposes. Hitherto these gentlemen have insulted the public taste
by posting at their shop doors some savage, some filthy squaw, or some
unearthly image, to invite attention to their cigars and 'negro head
tobacco.' And all this seemed appropriate. But cupidity is audacious, and
they now insult American pride by installing at their doors a full,
life-like, wooden bust of General Grant offering to passing travellers a
cigar. Emblems of majesty are not rare. We have Jupiter with his
thunderbolt, Hercules with his club, Ahasuerus with his sceptre,
Washington with his Declaration of Independence, Lincoln with his
Proclamation of Liberty to four millions, and now, in this year of our
Lord, we have President Grant and his cigar!

[Illustration: SIGN OF THE TIMES.]


Sir Benjamin Brodie, a distinguished physician of London, says, "A large
proportion of habitual smokers are rendered lazy and listless, indisposed
to bodily and incapable of much mental exertion. Others suffer from
depression of the spirits, amounting to hypochondriasis, which smoking
relieves for the time, though it aggravates the evil afterwards....

"What will be the result, if this habit be continued by future

Tobacco is ruining our nation. Its tendency is to make the individual user
idle, listless, and imbecile. Individuals make up the nation. Those
nations using the most tobacco are the most rapidly deteriorating.

Once the ships of Holland ploughed the waters with a broom at the
mast-head, emblematic of her power to sweep the ocean. Behold her now!
"Her people self-satisfied, content with their pipes, and the glories once
achieved by their grandfathers." Look at the Mexicans, and the lazzaroni
of Italy. "Spain took the lead of civilized nations in the use of tobacco;
but since its introduction into that country, the noble Castilian has
become degenerated, his moral, intellectual, and physical energies
weakened, paralyzed, and debased. The Turks, descendants of the warlike
Saracens, are notoriously known as inveterate smokers. And to-day they are
characterized as an enervated, lazy, worthless, degenerate people."

Go about the shops, and bar-rooms, and billiard-halls of our own
community, and see _our_ lazzaroni. What class do they principally
represent--the active and virtuous, or the idle and vicious?


A young man greatly addicted to smoking, and who, to my knowledge, was
exceedingly lazy, was seated by the writer's fireside, listless and idle,
save barely drawing slowly in and out the tobacco smoke of an old pipe,
when, after repeated requests of his sister that he should go out to the
shed and bring in some wood to replenish the dying embers, she got out of
patience with him, and exclaimed,--

"There, Ed, you're the laziest fellow I ever saw, sitting there and
smoking till the fire has nearly gone out, on a cold day like this."

"Ugh!" he grunted, and slowly added, "I once heard tell of a lazier boy
than I am, sister."

"How could that be possible? Do tell me," she exclaimed, impatiently.

"Well, you see,"--spitting on the floor,--"when he came to die, he
couldn't do it. He was too lazy to draw his last breath, and they had to
get a corkscrew to draw it for him."



  "You think it smart and cunning, John,
    To use the nauseous weed;
  To make your mouth so filthy then,
    It were a shame indeed.
  To smoke and chew tobacco, John,
    Till your teeth are coated brown,
  Making a chimney of your nose,
    And of yourself a clown,--

  "Yes, that would be so cunning, John,--
    The girls will love you so;
  Your breath will smell so sweet,
    They'll want you for a beau.
  Because you use tobacco, John,
    You think yourself a man;
  But the girls will find it out, John,
    Disguise it all you can."

"Shall I assist you to alight?" asked one of those nice young men who loaf
about country hotel doors, smoking a villanous cigar, of a buxom country
lass, on arrival of the stage.

"Thank you, sir," said the girl, with irony, and a jump, "but I never


An American traveller visiting the greatest cigar manufactory in Seville,
Spain, says, amongst other things,--

"Here were five thousand young girls, all in one room,--and Sevillians,
too,--in the factory. They are all old enough to be mischievous, and 'put
on airs.' I doubt if as many black eyes can be seen in any one place as in
this factory. Their fingers move rapidly, and their tongues a little
faster. The manufactories consume ten thousand pounds of tobacco per day.

"I have often heard that a woman's weapon is her tongue, and that the sex
were notorious for using it; but, like many other unkind statements
against Heaven's best, last gift to man, I doubted it until I peeped into
the Fabrico de Tabacos of Seville. What must be the weight of mischief
manufactured each day along with the cigars, I don't know, but I feel safe
in stating that it is at least equal with the tobacco. This factory was
erected in 1750, is six hundred and sixty feet long by five hundred and
twenty-five wide, and is surrounded by a mole. It is the principal factory
in the kingdom, as every one uses tobacco in some shape in Andalusia, not
excepting the ladies; but it is when they are on the shady side of forty
that they puff and cogitate. Snuff, cigars, and cigarettes are all
manufactured here. The best workers among the girls earn about forty cents
per day, the poorest about half that amount. Every night they are all


Tobacco helps to fill our insane asylums. Dr. Butler, of Hartford, and
others, have assured me of the fact. "I am personally acquainted with
several individuals, now at lunatic asylums, whose minds first became
impaired by the use of tobacco."

"In France, the increase in cases of lunacy and paralysis keeps pace,
almost in exact ratio, with the increase of the revenue from tobacco. From
1812 to 1832, the tobacco tax yielded 28,000,000f., and there were 8000
lunatic patients. Now the tobacco revenue is 180,000,000f., and there are
44,000 paralytic and lunatic patients in French asylums. Napoleon and
Eugenie, assisted by their subjects, smoked out five million pounds of
tobacco the year before they went on their travels. Take notice. As ye
sow, so also reap."

Sir Benjamin Brodie, before quoted, says, "Occasionally tobacco produces a
general nervous excitability, which in a degree partakes of the nature of
_delirium tremens_."


  "The gorgeous glories of autumnal dyes;
    The golden glow that haloes rare old wine;
    The dying hectic of the day's decline;
  The rainbow radiance of auroral skies;
  The blush of Beauty, smit with Love's surprise;
    The unimagined hues in gems that shine,--
    All these, O Nicotina, _may_ be thine!
  But what of thy bewildered votaries?
    How fares it with the more precious human clay?
  Keeps the _lip_ pure, while wood and ivory stains?
    Stays the _sight_ clear, while smoke obscures the day?
  Works the _brain_ true, while poison fills the veins?
  Shines the _soul_ fair where Tophet-blackness reigns?
    Let shattered nerves declare! Let palsied manhood say!"
                                              J. IVES PEASE.


In our opening remarks on tobacco, we stated some of the uses of tobacco,
such as killing bugs and lice on plants, vermin on cattle, etc. It
prevents cannibals from eating up our poor sailors; and, in the Mexican
war, it was ascertained that the turkey buzzards would not eat our dead
soldiers who were impregnated with tobacco!

Dean Swift published a pamphlet, in his day, showing how the superfluity
of poor children could be made an article of diet for landlords who had
already consumed the parents' substance. All may not admit that there _is_
a superfluity of children and youth in the larger towns and cities of our
country. A New York paper says that "five thousand young men might leave
New York city without being missed." Now for our argument. "Like begets
like." The lamb feeds upon pure hay or sweet grass. It is the emblem of
purity; it represented Christ. The lion and tiger have _only_ tearing
teeth, and subsist upon animal food, and they are of a wild, ferocious
nature. Man stuffs himself with tobacco poison. It becomes a part of
him,--muscle, blood, bone! Like begets like, and behold the tobacco-user's
children, puny, yellow, pale, scrofulous, rickety, and consumptive. Many
years ago it was estimated that twenty thousand persons died annually in
the United States from the use of tobacco. Nine tenths begin with tobacco
catarrh, go on to consumption, and death.

"The diseased, enfeebled, impaired, and rotten constitution of the parent
is transmitted to the child, which comes into the world an invalid, and
then, being exposed more directly to the poisonous effects of this
pernicious habit of the parent, its struggle for life is exceedingly
short, and in less than twelve months from its birth it sickens, droops,
and dies, and the milkman's adulterated milk, especially in cities, is
often made the scape-goat for this uncleanly, if not sinful habit of the

If it is true that the wicked mostly make up the tobacco-consumers, you
perceive by this, that like the prisons and gallows, tobacco catches and
kills off the superfluous wicked population and their offspring. The sins
of the parents are visited upon their children, and what a host of puny,
wretched, and wicked little children tobacco helps to rid the world of.


Tobacco is worse than rum because, by its begetting a dryness of the
throat and fauces, it creates an appetite for strong drink. It is too
evident to need corroboration. 1. "Rum intoxicates." So does tobacco.
"Intoxication" is from the Greek _en_ (in) and _toxicon_ (poison).
Therefore, when any perceptible poison is in the person, he is
intoxicated. 2. "Alcohol blunts the senses, and ruins many a fair
intellect." So does tobacco. But since the ruined drunkard used tobacco,
how do you know it was not tobacco which ruined him? Come, tell me! 3.
"Rum makes a man miserable." So does tobacco. The user is in Tophet the
day he is out of the weed. 4. "Whiskey makes paupers." So does tobacco. I
knew a whole family who went to the Brooklyn, Me., pauper house one
winter, when, if the father and mother had not used tobacco, they could
have been in health and prosperity. 5. "Rum makes thieves." So does
tobacco. Men have been known to steal tobacco when they would not have
stolen bread. 6. "It makes murderers." Where is the murderer of the
nineteenth century who was not a tobacco-user, and an excessive user at
that, from George Dennison, who on the drop asked the sheriff for a chew
of tobacco, to Stokes, in his New York cell, surrounded by a cloud of
tobacco smoke, awaiting the decision of the jury to ascertain if it was
really he who shot the "Prince of Erie"?

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: WHAT KILLED THE DOG?]

You can't always tell just what kills a man, or a dog, as the following
story proves:--

"An old farmer was out one fine day looking over his broad acres, with an
axe on his shoulder, and a small dog at his heels. They espied a
woodchuck. The dog gave chase, and drove him into a stone wall, where
action immediately commenced. The dog would draw the woodchuck partly out
from the wall, and the woodchuck would take the dog back. The old farmer's
sympathy getting high on the side of the dog, he thought he must help him.
So, putting himself in position, with the axe above the dog, he waited the
extraction of the woodchuck, when he would cut him down. Soon an
opportunity offered, and the old man struck; but the woodchuck gathered up
at the same time, took the dog in far enough to receive the blow, and the
dog's head was chopped off on the spot. Forty years after, the old man, in
relating the story, would always add, with a chuckle of satisfaction, 'And
that dog don't know, to this day, but what the woodchuck killed him!'"

We regret our want of space to ventilate tobacco more thoroughly.




    The fish called the Flounder, perhaps you may know,
    Has one side for use, and another for show;
    One side for the public, a delicate brown,
    And one that is white, which he always keeps down.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Then said an old Sculpin--"My freedom excuse,
    But you're playing the cobbler with holes in your shoes;
    Your brown side is up,--but just wait till you're _fried_,
    And you'll find that all flounders are white on one side."
                                          DR. O. W. HOLMES. 1844.


"All personal gossip is interesting, and all of us like to know something
of the men whom we hear talked of day by day, and whose works have
delighted or instructed us; how they dressed, talked, or walked, and
amused themselves; what they loved to eat and drink, and how they looked
when their bows were unbent."

Most famous men have had some peculiarity of dress or address, or both.
Our first impression of Goliah--by what we heard of his size--was that he
was as high as a church steeple; and of Napoleon, that he was as short as
Tom Thumb. But when we read for ourselves, we found that Goliah was much
less in stature than Xerxes and some modern giants, and Napoleon was of
medium size.

No man can become truly great in any capacity unless he has the innate
qualities of greatness within his composition. These qualities, if
possessed, will appear in his face,--for face, as well as acts, indicate
the character.

There seem to be elements of character in all great men--almost the
identical basis of character in the one as in the other, the different
vocations explaining any minor differences that are to be found in them.
Thus we find precisely the same features in the character of Michael
Angelo and the Duke of Wellington--two men living three centuries apart,
in different countries--one a great artist, and the other a great warrior.
Compare Washington and Julius Cæsar; you will find them surprisingly alike
in many particulars. In them, as in every instance I have yet studied, the
distinguishing feature is an intense love of work--work of the kind that
fell to the lot of each to do. Another feature is indomitable courage; and
the last is a never-dying perseverance. Though I have carefully studied
the histories of many of the greatest men, in order, if I could, to
discover the source of their greatness, I have never yet come upon one
great life that has lacked these three features--love of work, unfailing
courage, and perseverance.

"To be a good surgeon one should be a complete man. He should have a
strong intellect to give him judgment and enable him to understand the
case to be operated on in all its bearings. He needs strong perceptive
faculties especially, through which to render him practical, to enable him
not only to know and remember all parts, but to use instruments and tools
successfully; also large constructiveness, to give him a mechanical cast
of mind. More than this, he must have inventive power to discover and
apply the necessary mechanical means for the performance of the duties of
his profession. He must have large Firmness, Destructiveness, and
Benevolence, to give stability, fortitude, and kindness. He must have
enough of Cautiousness to make him careful where he cuts, but not so much
as to make him timid, irresolute, and hesitating; Self-esteem, to give
assurance; Hope, to inspire in his patients confidence, and genial
good-nature, to make him liked at the bedside.


"In the group of eminent men whose likenesses are herewith presented, we
find strongly marked physiognomies in each. There is nothing weak or
wanting about them. All seem full and complete. Take their features
separately--eyes, nose, mouth, chin, cheeks, lips--analyze closely as you
can, and you will discover strength in every lineament and in every line.
In Harvey we have the large perceptives of the observer and discoverer. He
was pre-eminently practical in all things. In Abernethy there is naturally
more of the author and physician than of the surgeon, and you feel that he
would be more likely to give you advice than to apply the knife. In
Hunter, strong, practical common sense, with great Constructiveness,
predominates. See how broad the head between the ears. His expression
indicates 'business.' Sir Astley Cooper looks the scholar, the operator,
and the very dignified gentleman which he was. (He was the handsomest man
of his day.) Carnochan, the resolute, the prompt, the expert, is large in
intellect, high in the crown, and broad at the base; he has perhaps the
best natural endowment, and by education is the one best fitted for his
profession, among ten thousand. He is, in all respects, 'the right man in
the right place.'

"Dr. Mott, the Quaker surgeon, has a large and well-formed brain, and
strong body, with the vital-motive temperament, good mechanical skill, and
great self-control, resolution, courage, and sound common sense. Jenner,
the thoughtful, the kindly, the sympathetical, and scholarly, has less of
the qualities of a surgeon than any of the others."

For the above interesting facts we are indebted to the "Phrenological

Professor Bigelow, of Harvard, has all the requisites in his "make up" of
a great surgeon. As a lecturer, Dr. Bigelow is easy and off-handed. He
comes into the room without any fuss or airs. He takes up a bone, a femur,
perhaps, and after looking at it and turning it round and upside down as
though he never saw it before, he finally says, "This is a bone--yes, a
bone." You want to laugh outright at the quaintness of the whole prelude.
Then he goes on to tell all about "the bone." We have not space for more
than a mere line sketch of even great men like the above, and but few of


The country doctor of the past is interesting in both dress and address.
He is almost always, somehow, an elderly gentleman. He devotes little time
and attention to dress. We have one in our "mind's eye" at this
moment,--the dear old soul! His head was as white as--Horace Greeley's;
not so bald. His hair he combed by running his fingers though it mornings.
His eyes, ears, and mouth were ever open to the call of the needy. His
clothes looked as though they belonged to another man, or as if he had
lodged in a hotel and there had been a fire, and every man had put on the
first clothes he found. His coat belonged to a taller and bigger man, also
his pants, while the vest was a boy's overcoat. His boots were not mates.
His lean old spouse looked neat and prim, but as though she had been used
for trying every new sample of pill which the doctor's prolific brain


I knew another, kind, benevolent old doctor, who started off immediately
on a call, without adding to or changing his dress. I once saw him seven
miles from home in his shirt sleeves in November, driving fiercely along
in his gig, as dignified as though dressed in his Sunday coat. If a friend
reminded him of his omission, he would smile benevolently, swear as
cordially, and drive on. He did not mean to be odd, he did not mean to
swear; and the minister, who had talked with him on the subject more than
once, had come to that charitable conclusion--for the doctor always made
due acknowledgment, and did not forget the contributions and salaries. The
doctor was like an innocent old backwoods deacon we have heard of, who,
chancing at a village tavern for the first time, heard some extraordinary
swearing; and being fascinated by this new accomplishment, he went home,
and looking about for an opportunity to put to practical use the new
vocabulary, he finally electrified his amiable wife by exclaiming,--

"Lord-all-hell, wife; shut the doors by a dam' sight!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: PHYSICIANS COSTUME IN 1790.]

In regard to shirts, a reliable author tells us that Dr. H. Davy adopted
the following plan _to save time_. "He affected not to have time for the
ordinary decencies of the toilet. Cold ablutions neither his constitution
nor his philosophic temperament required; so he rarely ever washed
himself. But the most remarkable fact was on the plea of saving time. When
one shirt became too indecently dirty to be seen longer he used to put a
clean one on over it; also the same with stockings and drawers. By spring
he would look like the 'metamorphosis man' in the circus--big and rotund.

"On rare occasions he would divest himself of his superfluous stock of
linen, which occasion was a feast to the washerwoman, but it was a source
of perplexity to his less intimate friends, who could not account for his
sudden transition from corpulency to tenuity."

The doctor's stock of shirts must have equalled Stanford's.

A California paper tells us that "twenty years ago Leland Stanford arrived
in that state with only one shirt to his back. Since then, by close
attention to business, he has contrived to accumulate a trifle of ten

What possible use can a man have for _ten million shirts_?

The Earl of Surrey, afterwards eleventh Duke of Norfolk, who was a
notorious gormand and hard drinker, and a leading member of the Beefsteak
Club, was so far from cleanly in his person that his servants used to
avail themselves of his fits of drunkenness--which were pretty frequent,
by the way, for the purpose of washing him. On these occasions they
stripped him as they would a corpse, and performed the needful ablutions.
He was equally notorious for his horror of clean linen. One day, on his
complaining to his physician that he had become a perfect martyr to
rheumatism, and had tried every possible remedy without success, the
latter wittily replied, "Pray, my lord, did you ever try a clean shirt?"

Dr. Davy's remarkable oddity of dress did not end here. He took to
fishing: we have noticed his writing on angling elsewhere. He was often
seen on the river's banks, in season and out of season, "in a costume that
must have been a source of no common amusement to the river nymphs. His
coat and breeches were of a bright green cloth. His hat was what Dr. Paris
describes as 'having been intended for a coal-heaver, but as having been
dyed green, in its raw state, by some sort of pigment.' In this attire
Davy flattered himself that he closely resembled vegetable life"--which
was not intended to scare away the fishes.

[Illustration: HOW POOR TOMMY WAS LOST.]

This reminds me of Mrs. Pettigrew's little boy "Tommy." Never heard of it?
"Well," says Mrs. Pettigrew, "I never again will dress a child in green.
You see,"--very affectedly,--"I used to put a jacket and hood on little
Tommy all of beautiful green color, till one day he was playing out on the
grass, looking so green and innocent, when along came a cow, and eat poor
little Tommy all up, mistaking him for a cabbage."

Mrs. H. Davy was as curious in dress as the doctor. "One day"--it is told
for the truth--"the lady accompanied her husband to Paris, and walking in
the Tuileries, wearing the fashionable London bonnet of the
period,--shaped like a cockle-shell,--and the doctor dressed in his green,
they were mistaken for _masqueraders_, and a great crowd of astonished
Parisians began staring at the couple.

"Their discomfiture had hardly commenced when the garden inspector
informed the lady that nothing of the kind could be permitted on the
grounds, and requested a withdrawal.

"The rabble increased, and it became necessary to order a guard of
infantry to remove '_la belle Anglaise_' safely, surrounded by French


A Portland paper tells how a servant girl there mended her stockings.
"When a hole appeared in the toe, Bridget tied a string around the
stocking below the aperture and cut off the projecting portion. This
operation was repeated as often as necessary, each time pulling the
stocking down a little, until at last it was nearly all cut away, when
Bridget sewed on new legs, and thus kept her stockings always in repair."


For the space of about three centuries the physician's wig was his most
prominent insignia of office. Who invented it, or why it was invented, I
am unable to learn. The name _wig_ is Anglo-Saxon. Hogarth, in his
"Undertaker's Arms," has given us some correct samples of doctors' wigs.
Of the fifteen heads the only unwigged one is that of a woman--Mrs. Mapp,
the bone-setter. The one at her left is Taylor, the "quack oculist;" the
other at her right is Ward, who got rich on a pill. Mrs. Mapp is sketched
in our chapter on Female Doctors. Isn't she lovely? And how Taylor and
Ward lean towards her!


  "Each son of Sol, to make him look more big,
  Wore an enormous, grave, three-tailed wig;
  His clothes full trimmed, with button-holes behind;
  Stiff were the skirts, with buckram stoutly lined;
  The cloth-cut velvet, or more reverend black,
  Full made and powdered half way down his back;
  Large muslin cuffs, which near the ground did reach,
  With half a dozen buttons fixed to each.
  Grave were their faces--fixed in solemn state;
  These men struck awe; their children carried weight.
  In reverend wigs old heads young shoulders bore;
  And twenty-five or thirty seemed threescore."


I think Harvey should have been represented in a wig. They were worn by
doctors in his day, though John Aubrey makes no mention of Dr. Harvey's
wearing one. He (Aubrey) says, "Harvey was not tall, but of a lowly
stature; round faced, olive complexion, little eyes, round, black, and
very full of spirit. His hair was black as a raven, but quite white twenty
years before he died. I remember he was wont to drink coffee with his
brother Eliab before coffee-houses were in fashion in London.

"He, with all his brothers, was very choleric, and in younger days wore a
dagger, as the fashion then was; but this doctor would be apt to draw out
his dagger upon very slight occasions.

[Illustration: THE UNDERTAKER'S ARMS.]

"He rode _on horseback, with a foot-cloth, to visit his patients, his
footman following, which was then a very decent fashion, now quite

It was not unusual to see a doctor cantering along at a high rate of
speed, and his footman running hard at his side, with whom the doctor was
keeping up a _lively_ conversation.


Jeaffreson tells the following story of Dr. Brocklesby, also the
proprietor of an immense wig. The doctor was suddenly called by the
Duchess of Richmond to visit her maid. The doctor was met by the husband
of the fair patient, and valet to the duke.

In the hall the doctor and valet fell into a sharp discussion. On the
stairs the argument became hotter, for the valet was an intelligent
fellow. They became more excited as they neared the sick chamber, which
they entered, declaiming at the top of their voices.

The patient was forgotten, though no doubt she lifted her fair head from
the pillow to see her undutiful lord disputing with her negligent doctor.
The valet poured in sarcasm and irony by the broadside. The doctor, with
true Johnny Bull pluck, replied volley for volley, and the battle lasted
for above an hour. The doctor went down stairs, the loquacious valet
courteously showing him out, when the two separated on the most amiable

Judge of the doctor's consternation, when, on reaching his own door, the
truth flashed across his mind that he had neglected to look at the
patient's tongue, feel her pulse, or, more strange, look for his fee. The
valet was so ashamed, when he returned to the chamber, that his invalid
wife, instead of scolding him, as he deserved, fell into a laughing fit,
and forthwith recovered from her sickness.

I have seen many a patient for whom I thought a right hearty laugh would
do more good than all the medicine in the shops.

One William--known as "Bill"--Atkins, a gout doctor, used to strut about
the streets of London, about 1650, with a huge gold-headed cane in his
hand, and a "stunning" big three-tailed wig on his otherwise bare head.
Gout doctoring was profitable in Charles II.'s time.

"Dr. Henry Reynolds, physician to George III., was the Beau Brummell of
the faculty, and was the last of the big-wigged and silk-coated doctors.
His dress was superb, consisting of a well-powdered wig, silk coat, velvet
breeches, white silk stockings, gold-buckled shoes, gold-headed cane, and
immaculate lace ruffles."

Benjamin Franklin had often met and conversed with Reynolds.


Nathaniel Hawthorne relates an anecdote of the origin of Franklin's
adoption of the customary civil dress, when going to court as a
diplomatist. It was simply that his tailor had disappointed him of his
court suit, and he wore his plain one, with great reluctance, because he
had no other. Afterwards, gaining great success and praise by his mishap,
he continued to wear it from policy. The great American philosopher was as
big a humbug as the rest of us.


"When I first saw him," says a writer of his day, "he was dressed in blue
coat, yellow buttons and waistcoat, buskins, well-polished boots, with
handsome silver spurs. His wig, after the fashion, was done up in a club,
and he wore a broad-brimmed hat."


An old English gentleman told me an amusing story of a wig. A Dr. Wing,
who wore a big wig and a long queue, visited a great lady, who was
confined to her bed. The lady's maid was present, having just brought in a
bowl of hot gruel. As the old doctor was about to make some remark to the
maid, as she held the bowl in her hands, he felt his queue, or tail to his
wig, moving, when he turned suddenly round towards the lady, and looking
with astonishment at his patient, he said,--

"Madam, were you pulling my tail?"

"Sir!" replied the lady, in equal astonishment and indignation.

Just then the tail gave another flop.

Whirling about like a top whipped by a school-boy, the doctor cried to the

"Zounds, woman, it was _you_ who pulled my wig!"

"Me, sir!" exclaimed the affrighted lady's maid.

"Yes, you, you hussy!"

"But, I beg your pardon--"

"Thunder and great guns, madam!" And the doctor whirled back on his
pivoted heels towards the more astonished lady, who now had risen from her
pillow by great effort, and sat in her night dress, gazing in profound
terror upon the supposed drunken or insane doctor. Again the wig swung to
and fro, like a clock pendulum. Again the old doctor, now all of a lather
of sweat, spun round, and accused the girl of playing a "scaly trick" upon
his dignified person.

[Illustration: A WIG MOUSE.]

"Sir, do you see that I have both hands full?"

Away went the tail again. The lady saw it moving as though bewitched, and
called loudly for help. The greatest consternation prevailed, the doctor
alternating his astounded gaze between the two females; when the queue
gave a powerful jerk, and out leaped a big mouse, which went plump into
the hot porridge. The maid gave a shrill scream, and dropped the hot
liquid upon the doctor's silk hose, and fled.

The poor, innocent mouse was dead; the doctor was scalded; the lady was in
convulsions--of laughter; when the room was suddenly filled by alarmed
domestics, from scullion to valet, and all the ladies and gentlemen of the


"What's the matter?" sternly inquired the master of the house, approaching
the bed.

"O, dear, dear!" cried the convalescent, "a mouse was in the doctor's wig,

"A mouse!" exclaimed the doctor, jerking the offensive wig from his bald
pate. "A d--d mouse! I beg a thousand pardons, madam," turning to the
lady, holding the wig by the tail, and giving it a violent shake. He had
not seen the mouse jump, and till this moment thought that the lady and
maid had conspired to insult him.


Old Dr. Standish was represented by our authority as "a huge, burly,
surly, churlish old fellow, who died at an extremely advanced age in the
year 1825.

"He was as unsociable, hoggish an old curmudgeon as ever rode a stout
hack. Without a companion, save, occasionally, 'poor Tom, a Thetford
breeches maker,' 'he sat every night, for fifty years, in the chief parlor
of the Holmnook, in drinking brandy and water, and smoking a "church
warden."' Occasionally his wife, 'a quiet, inoffensive little body,' would
object to the doctor's ways, and, forgetting that she was a woman, offer
an opinion of her own.

"On such occasions, Dr. Standish thrashed her soundly with a dog-whip."

In consequence of too oft repetition of this unpleasantness, she ran away.

"Standish's mode of riding was characteristic of the man. Straight on he
went, at a lumbering, six-miles-an-hour gait, _dash, dash, dash_, through
the muddy roads, sitting loosely in his saddle, heavy and shapeless as a
bag of potatoes, looking down at his slouchy brown corduroy breeches and
clay-colored boots, the toes of which pointed in opposite directions, with
a perpetual scowl on his brow, never vouchsafing a word to a living

"'Good morning to you, doctor; 'tis a nice day,' a friendly voice would

"'Ugh!' Standish would grunt, while on, _dash, dash, dash!_ he rode.

"He never turned out for a wayfarer.

"A frolicsome curate, who had met old Standish, and received nothing but a
grunt in reply to his urbane greeting, arranged the following plan to make
the doctor speak.


"When riding out one day, he observed Standish coming on with his usual
'_dash, dash, dash_,' and stoical look. The clerical gentleman put spurs
to his beast, and charged the man of pills and pukes at full tilt. Within
three feet of Standish's horse's nose, the young curate reined suddenly
up. The doctor's horse, as anticipated, came to a dead halt, when the
burly body of old Standish rolled into the muddy highway, going clean over
the horse's head.

"'Ugh!' grunted the doctor.

"'Good morning,' said the curate, good-humoredly.

"The doctor picked himself out of the mire, and, with a volley of
expletives 'too numerous to mention,' clambered on to his beast, and
trotted on, _dash, dash, dash!_ as though nothing had happened."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: DR. CANDEE.]

The dress of the modern physician is a plain black suit, throughout, with
immaculate linen, and possibly a white cravat.

Occasionally one will "crop out" in some oddity of dress, but usually as a
medium for advertising his business. With the better portion of the
community, such monstrosities do not pass as indications of intelligence
in the exhibitor.

This engraving represents Dr. Candee, a western magnetic doctor. He was
formerly from the "nutmeg state," and is a fair specimen of the travelling
doctors who secure custom from their oddities and eccentricities of dress.





There are on the earth about one billion of inhabitants.

They speak four thousand and sixty-four languages.

Only one person in a thousand reaches his allotted years,--threescore and

Between the ages of sixteen and forty-five, there are more females than

Lawyers live the longest, doctors next, ministers least of the three

There are more insane among farmers than of any other laborers.

Caucasians live longer than Malays, Hindoos, Chinese, or Negroes.

Light-skinned, dark-haired persons with dark or blue eyes live the

Red or florid complexioned, gray or hazel eyes, shortest.

One half of the people die before the age of seventeen; one fourth before

About 91,824 die each day; one every second.

The married live longer than the single.

Tall men live longer than short ones. (No pun.)

Short women live longer than tall ones.

Three quarters of the adults are married.

Births and deaths are more frequent by night than day.

The cost of the clergy of the United States is six million dollars yearly.

Lawyers receive about thirty-five million dollars.

Crime costs the United States about nineteen million dollars.

Tobacco one hundred and fifty million dollars. (That's crime, also.)

Liquors one billion four hundred and eighty-three million four hundred and
ninety-one thousand eight hundred and sixty-five dollars. (Text-book of
Temperance, p. 188.)

Opium is eaten in the world by one hundred and twenty million people.

Hasheesh is used by some twenty millions.

The temperate live longer than the intemperate.


[Illustration: A GERMAN BEER GIRL.]

The Hon. Francis Gillette, in a speech in Hartford, Conn., in 1871, said
that there was "in Connecticut, on an average, one liquor shop to every
forty voters, and three to every Christian church. In this city, as stated
in the _Hartford Times_, recently, we have five hundred liquor shops, and
one million eight hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars were, last
year, paid for intoxicating drinks. A cry, an appeal, came to me from the
city, a few days since, after this wise: 'Our young men are going to
destruction, and we want your influence, counsel, and prayers, to help
save them.'"

In New London, report says, the young men are falling into drinking habits
as never before. So in New Haven, Bridgeport, and the other cities and
large places of the state.

"The pulse of a person in health beats about seventy strokes a minute, and
the ordinary term of life is about seventy years. In these seventy years,
the pulse of a temperate person beats two billion five hundred and
seventy-four million four hundred and forty thousand times. If no actual
disorganization should happen, a drunken person might live until his pulse
beat this number of times; but by the constant stimulus of ardent spirits,
or by pulse-quickening food, or tobacco, the pulse becomes greatly
accelerated, and the two billion five hundred and seventy-four million
four hundred and forty thousand pulsations are performed in little more
than half the ordinary term of human life, and life goes out in forty or
forty-five years, instead of seventy. This application of numbers is given
to show that the acceleration of those forces diminishes the term of human

"In New York, Mr. Greeley states that 'a much larger proportion of adult
males in the state drink now than did in 1840-44.' After speaking of the
adverse demonstrations all over the country, he adds, 'I cannot recall a
single decisive, cheering success, to offset these many reverses.'

"Massachusetts is moving to build an asylum for her twenty-five thousand
drunkards. Lager beer brewers at Boston Highlands have three millions of
dollars invested in the business, manufactured four hundred and
ninety-five thousand barrels last year, and paid a tax of half a million
to the general government. The city of Chicago, last year, received into
her treasury one hundred and ten thousand dollars for the sale of
indulgences to sell intoxicating drinks.

"The same rate of fearful expenditure for intoxicating drinks extends
across the ocean. In a speech before the Trades' Union Congress, last
October, at Birmingham, 'on the disorganization of labor,' Mr. Potter
shows drunkenness to be the great disorganizer of the labor of Great
Britain, at a yearly cost of two hundred and twenty-eight million pounds,
equal to one billion one hundred and forty million dollars; enough," he
adds, "to pay the public debt of Great Britain in less than five years,
and greatly diminish taxation forever."


In one block near the New Bowery, New York, are huddled fifteen hundred
and twenty persons. Eight hundred and twelve are Irish, two hundred and
eighteen Germans, one hundred and eighty-nine Poles, one hundred and
eighty-six Italians, thirty-nine Negroes, sixty-four French, two Welsh,
only ten American. Of these, ten hundred and sixty-two are Catholic, two
hundred and eighty-seven Jews, etc. There are twenty grog-shops and fifty
degraded women. Of six hundred and thirteen children, but one hundred and
sixty-six went to school.

New York city consumes nine thousand six hundred dollars' worth of flour a
day (twelve hundred barrels), and uses ten thousand dollars' worth of
tobacco per day.


We have mentioned some physicians who lived to an extreme old age--the
Doctors Meade; one lived to be one hundred and forty-eight years and nine
months. Thomas Parr, an English yeoman, lived to the remarkable age of
_one hundred and fifty-three years_; and even then Dr. Harvey, who held a
_post mortem_ on the body, found no internal indication of decay. One of
his descendants lived to be one hundred and twenty. The Rev. Henry Reade,
Northampton, England, reached the age of one hundred and thirty-two.

There was a female in Lancashire, whose death was noticed in the Times,
called the "Cricket of the Hedge," who lived to be one hundred and
forty-one years, less a few days. The Countess Desmond arrived at the
remarkable age of one hundred and forty years.

One might suppose the allotted threescore and ten years a sufficiently
long time to satisfy one to live in poverty in this world; but Henry
Jenkins lived and died at the age of _one hundred and sixty-nine years_,
in abject penury. He was a native of Yorkshire, and died in 1670.


But few of the human race die of old age. Besides the thousand and one
diseases flesh is heir to, and the disease which Mrs. O'Flannagan said her
husband died of, viz., "Of a Saturday 'tis that poor Mike died," very many
die of disappointment. More _fret_ out. Mr. Beecher said, "It is the
fretting that wears out the machinery; friction, not the real wear."

"Choked with passion" is no chimera; for passion often kills the
unfortunate possessor of an irritable temper, sometimes suddenly. Care and
over-anxiety sweep away thousands annually.

Let us see how long a man should live. The horse lives twenty-five years;
the ox fifteen or twenty; the lion about twenty; the dog ten or twelve;
the rabbit eight; the guinea-pig six or seven years. These numbers all
bear a similar proportion to the time the animal takes to grow to its full
size. But man, of all animals, is the one that seldom comes up to his
average. He ought to live a hundred years, according to this physiological
law, for five times twenty are one hundred; but instead of that, he
scarcely reaches, on the average, four times his growing period; the cat
six times; and the rabbit even eight times the standard of measurement.
The reason is obvious. Man is not only the most irregular and the most
intemperate, but the most laborious and hard-worked of all animals. He is
also the most irritable of all animals; and there is reason to believe,
though we cannot tell what an animal secretly feels, that, more than any
other animal, man cherishes wrath to keep it warm, and consumes himself
with the fire of his secret reflections.

"Age dims the lustre of the eye, and pales the roses on beauty's cheek;
while crows' feet, and furrows, and wrinkles, and lost teeth, and gray
hairs, and bald head, and tottering limbs, and limping, most sadly mar the
human form divine. But dim as the eye is, pallid and sunken as may be the
face of beauty, and frail and feeble that once strong, erect, and manly
body, the immortal soul, just fledging its wings for its home in heaven,
may look out through those faded windows as beautiful as the dewdrop of
summer's morning, as melting as the tears that glisten in affection's eye,
by growing kindly, by cultivating sympathy with all human kind, by
cherishing forbearance towards the follies and foibles of our race, and
feeding, day by day, on that love to God and man which lifts us from the
brute, and makes us akin to angels."


There's nothing like it. Get married early. The majority of men save
nothing, amount to nothing, until they are married. Don't get married _too
much_. There was a man up in court recently for being too much married. A
well-matched, temperate couple grow old, to be sure, but they "grow old
gracefully." When people venture the second and third time in the
"marriage lottery," it is fair to presume the first experience was a happy
one. Here is a case:--


"Married, in Gerry, Chautauqua County, New York, November 6, 1864, by
Elder Jonathan Wilson, aged eighty-eight, Silvanus Fisher, a widower, aged
eighty-two, to Priscilla Cowder, a widow, aged seventy-six, all of Gerry."

What were their habits? Did they drink, smoke, or chew? Did they dissipate
in any way? Who will tell us how these aged people managed to keep up
their youthful spirits so long?. We should like to publish the recipe for
"the benefit of whom it concerns."


A Maryland paper tells the story of a marriage under difficulties, where
first the bridegroom failed to appear at the appointed time through
bashfulness, and was discovered, pursued, and only "brought to" with a
shot gun. The bride then became indignant, and refused to marry so
faint-hearted a swain. And finally, the clergyman, who is something of a
wag, settled the matter by threatening to have them both arrested for
breach of promise unless the ceremony was immediately performed--which it

[Illustration: AN INDIGNANT BRIDE.]


The origin of the honeymoon is not generally known.

The Saxons long and long ago got up the delightful occasion. Amongst the
ancient Saxons and Teutons a beverage was made of honey and water, and
sometimes flavored with mulberries. This drink was used especially at
weddings and the after festivals. These festivals were kept up among the
nobility sometimes for a month--"monath." The "hunig monath" was thus
established, and the next moon after the marriage was called the

Alaric, about the fifth century king of the Saxons and Western Goths, is
said to have actually died on his wedding night from drinking too freely
of the honeyed beverage,--at least he died before morning,--and it
certainly would seem to be a charitable inference to draw, since he
partook very deeply of the "festive drink." It was certainly a sweet
oblivion, "yet it should be a warning to posterity, as showing that even
bridegrooms may make too merry."

Dr. Blanchet recently read a paper before the Academy of Science, Paris,
relative to some cases of "long sleep," or lethargic slumber. One of them
related to a lady twenty years of age, who took a sleeping fit during her
_honeymoon_, which lasted fifty days.

"During this long period a false front tooth had to be taken out in order
to introduce milk and broth into her mouth. This was her only food; she
remained motionless, insensible, and all her muscles were in a state of
contraction. Her pulse was low, her breathing scarcely perceptible; there
was no evacuation, no leanness; her complexion was florid and healthy.
The other cases were exactly similar. Dr. Blanchet is of opinion that in
such cases no stimulants or forced motion ought to be employed.

"The report did not say whether the husband was pleased or not with her
long silence."

There is too much talk in the world about woman's "_jaw_." As for me, give
me the woman who can _talk_; the faster and more sense the better.


There are in the United States about thirty-five thousand physicians. Of
this number about five thousand are Homeopathists, and nearly thirty
thousand are what is wrongly termed Allopathists.

Allopathic--Allopathy.--The dictionaries say this term means "the
employment of medicines in order to produce effects different from those
resulting from the disease--a term invented by Hahnemann to designate the
ordinary practice as opposed to Homeopathy." The term is not acknowledged
by physicians, only as a nick, or false one, given by the Hahnemannites to
regular practitioners. "Never allow yourself," says Professor Wood, author
of the American or U. S. Dispensatory, "to be called an Allopath. It is an
opprobrious name, given by the enemies of regular physicians." It is,
moreover, very inappropriate, for we give other remedies besides those of
counter-irritation; as, for instance, an emetic for nausea.

The first regular physicians of Boston were Dr. John Walon, Dr. John
Cutler, and Dr. Zabdal Boylston. Some of the earlier doctors had acted in
the double capacity of minister and physician, as previously mentioned.

Massachusetts has now twelve hundred "regular" doctors, three hundred, or
more, homeopathists, and some hundred botanics, etc. Boston has three
hundred and twenty "allopathics," about fifty homeopathists, a dozen
"eclectics," one hundred and twenty of miscellaneous, and eighty-four
female doctors.

Surely some of them must needs "scratch for a living;" yet there is always
room for a first-class practitioner anywhere.


As we are speaking of "scratching" we will mention the itch mite, which we
propose to give particular--sulphur--in this chapter.

[Illustration: THE ITCH MITE.]

The animal which makes one love to scratch is from one sixteenth to one
seventeenth of an inch in length, and may be seen with the naked eye if
the eye is sharp enough to "see it."

The luxury of scratching is said to greatly compensate for the filthy
disease known as the "itch."

Dr. Ellitson says "a Scotch king--viz., James I.--is alleged to have said
that no subject deserved to have the itch--none but Royalty--on account of
the great pleasure derived from scratching." The king was said to have
spoken from experience.

In these days of filthy horse-cars (we are speaking of New York), this
fact may be interesting to passengers.


  Never full; pack 'em in;
  Move up, fat men, squeeze in, thin;
  Trunks, valises, boxes, bundles,
  Fill up gaps as on she tumbles.
  Market baskets without number;
  Owners easy nod in slumber;
  Thirty seated, forty standing,
  A dozen more on either landing.
  Old man lifts his signal finger,
  Car slacks up, but not a linger;
  He's jerked aboard by sleeve or shoulder,
  Shoved inside to sweat and moulder.
  Toes are trod on, hats are smashed,
  Dresses soiled, hoop skirts crashed,
  Thieves are busy, bent on plunder;
  Still we rattle on like thunder.
  Packed together, unwashed bodies
  Bathed in fumes of whiskey toddies;
  Tobacco, garlic, cheese, and lager beer
  Perfume the heated atmosphere;
  Old boots, pipes, leather, and tan,
  And, if in luck, a "soap-fat man;"
  Ar'n't we jolly? What a blessing!
  A horse-car hash, with such a dressing!


1. _Don't fan yourself._ Those persons who are continually using a fan are
ever telling you "how awful hot it is." Look at their faces! Red hot!
Human nature is a contrary jade. The more you blow with a fan that warm
air on your face, the more blood it calls to that part, and the more blood
the more heat. So don't fan.

2. _Don't drink ice-water._ Cold, iced water is excellent for a fever,
perhaps (_similia similibus curantur_); but if you drink it down when you
are merely warm from outward heat, you get up an internal fever, which is
increased in proportion as you take that unnatural beverage into the
stomach. I drink tea, chocolate, coffee. Some persons cannot drink the
latter. _Then don't_; but take black tea; not too strong, nor scalding
hot. If very thirsty after, take small quantities of cold (not iced)
water. Don't take ice-cream. It increases heat and thirst. Soda-water is
less objectionable. Sprinkling the carpet with water several times a day
keeps the room cooler. If there are small children or invalids, this may
be objectionable.

3. _With the hand_ apply cool or tepid water to the entire person every
six to twenty-four hours. The electricity from the hand _equalizes_ the
circulation. Rub dry with a soft towel. A coarse scrubbing-cloth (even a
hemlock board) does nicely for a hog, but do not apply such to human
beings. It is quite unnatural.

4. Do not sleep in any garment at night worn during the day. Have your
windows open as wide as you will, and bars to keep out flies and
mosquitos. Keep a sheet over the limbs, to exclude the hot air from the

5. Eat fruits, and but little meats. You will find, as a general rule, all
ripe fruit healthy in its season. I have lived in the South several years,
and know whereof I affirm.

6. And above all--_keep cool_!


_More Truth than Poetry._--The following conversation between a colored
prisoner and a temperance lecturer who was in search of facts to fortify
his positions and illustrate his subject, explains itself:--

"What brought you to prison, my colored friend?"

"Two constables, sah."

"Yes; but I mean, had intemperance anything to do with it?"

"Yes, sah; dey wuz bofe uv 'em drunk, sah."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Humble Pie._--The humble pie of former times was a pie made out of the
"umbles" or entrails of the deer; a dish of the second table, inferior, of
course, to the venison pastry which smoked upon the dais, and therefore
not inexpressive of that humiliation which the term "eating humble pie"
now painfully describes. The "umbles" of the deer are usually the
perquisites of the gamekeeper.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Increase of Insanity._--Insanity in England is rapidly increasing. In
1861, when the population was 19,860,701, there were 36,702 lunatics,
being nineteen in every ten thousand persons. In 1871, with a population
of 22,704,108, there were 56,735 lunatics, or twenty-five out of every ten
thousand persons. Of these lunatics 6,110 were private patients.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Error of Diagnosis._--"Doctor," said a hard-looking, brandy-faced
customer a few days ago to a physician! "Doctor, I'm troubled with an
oppression and uneasiness about the breast. What do you suppose the matter

"All very easily accounted for," said the physician; "you have water on
the chest."

"Water! Come, that'll do very well for a joke; but how could I get water
on my chest when I haven't touched a drop in twenty years? If you had said
brandy, you might have hit it."

       *       *       *       *       *

_Ferocity of a Wasp._--A lady at Grantham observed a wasp tearing a common
fly to pieces on the breakfast table. When first noticed the wasp grasped
the fly firmly, and had cut off a leg and a wing, so that its rescue would
have been no kindness. The wasp was covered with a basin until it should
receive a murderer's doom; and when the basin was removed for its
execution, nothing was seen of the fly but the wings and a number of
little black pieces.

       *       *       *       *       *

Madame Regina Dal Cin, a famous surgeon of Austria, having performed one
hundred and fifty successful operations in the city hospital at Trieste,
was rewarded by the municipal authorities with a letter of thanks and a
purse of gold.

       *       *       *       *       *

_A Cool Student._--In the Quartier Latin, Paris, a student was lying in
bed, to which he had gone supperless, trying to devise some means to raise
the wind; suddenly, in the dead of night, his reveries were disturbed by a
"click." Stealthily raising himself in bed, he saw a burglar endeavoring
to open his desk with skeleton keys. The student burst into fits of
laughter; the frightened thief, astounded, inquired the cause of his glee.
"Why, I am laughing to see you take so much trouble to force open my desk
and pick the lock to find the money which I cannot find though I have the
key." The thief picked up his implements, politely expressed his regret
for having uselessly disturbed him, and transferred his talents and
implements to some more Californian quarter.


       *       *       *       *       *

_How to get rid of a Mother-in-Law._--During the recent small-pox
excitement in Indianapolis, an excited individual rushed into a telegraph
office, hurriedly wrote a despatch, and handed the same to the able and
talented clerk. The message bore the startling intelligence that the
sender's wife was down with the small-pox, and closed with the request
that his mother-in-law come "immediately." While making change, the
telegraph man said, "My friend, are you not afraid your mother-in-law will
take the small-pox?" Without vouchsafing an immediate reply to the query,
the dutiful son-in-law remarked, "Sir, are you a married man?" "No, sir, I
am not." "Then, sir, take my word for it, it's all right. Just bring the
old woman along."

       *       *       *       *       *

_A Dying Request._--A kind physician living near Boston, wishing to smooth
the last hours of a poor woman whom he was attending, asked her if there
was anything he could do for her before she died. The poor soul, looking
up, replied, "Doctor, I have always thought I should like to have a glass
butter-dish before I died."




    "Three special months, September, April, May,
      There are in which 'tis good to ope a vein:
    In these three months the moon bears greatest sway;
      Then old or young that store of blood contain.
    September, April, May, have daies apiece
      That bleeding do forbid, _and eating geese_."


When, in the year of our Lord 1872, a full half dozen educated physicians
meet around the dying bed of a _Rich_ man in this city to quarrel over
him, and in the absence of one branch of the faction, the other assume
charge of the patient, whom they _bleed_ and leave _in articulo mortis_,
it is not too late to take up the subject of venesection.

Podalirius is supposed to have been the first man who employed
blood-letting, since whose time the lancet is said to have slain more than
the sword; and, notwithstanding the many lives that have been sacrificed
to this bloody absurdity, it is still practised by those who claim to have
all science and wisdom for its sanction.

It is useless to bring one learned man's opinion against it, because
another's can be found equally wise to offset him: the great public has
condemned the practice. It early fell into disrepute with the more
refined, notwithstanding some kings took to bleeding as naturally as


A gentleman who was about retiring, after having dined with a friend at
St. James's, fell down a flight of stairs, which fall completely stunned
him. On his recovery he found himself sitting on the floor, while a little
old gentleman was busily attending to his wants, washing the blood from
his head, and sticking a piece of plaster on to some variegated cuts for
which he could not account. His surprise kept him silent till the kind and
very convenient surgeon was through with the operation, when the patient
arose from the floor, limped forward with extended hand, to offer his
profound thanks, if not fees, to his benefactor, when an attendant
instantly checked him with such intimation as to further astonish the
gentleman by the knowledge that for his kind assistance he was indebted to
George II., King of England.--_Percy's Anecdotes._



Several kings and great lords are made mention of as being particularly
fond of using the lancet. Peter the Great of Russia was remarkably fond of
witnessing dissections and surgical operations. He even used to carry a
case of instruments in his pocket. He often visited the hospitals to
witness capital operations, at times assisting in person, and was able to
dissect properly, to bleed a patient, and extract a tooth as well as one
of the faculty.


The pretty wife of one of the czar's valets had the following unpleasant
experience of his skill. The husband of the "maid" accused her of
flirting, and vowed revenge. The czar noticed the valet seated in the
ante-room, looking forlorn, and asked the cause of his dejection. The
wicked valet replied that his wife had a tooth which gave her great pain,
keeping them both awake day and night, but would not have it drawn.

"Send her to me," said the czar.

The woman was brought, but persisted in affirming that her teeth were
sound, and never ached. The valet alleged that this was always the way she
did when the physician was called; therefore, in spite of her cries and
remonstrances, the king ordered her husband to hold her head between his
knees, when the czar drew out his instruments and instantly extracted the
tooth designated by the husband, disregarding the cries of the unfortunate

In a few days the czar was informed that the thing was a put-up job by the
jealous husband, in order to punish, if not mar the beauty of, his gallant
wife, whereupon the instruments were again brought into requisition; and
this time the naughty valet was the sufferer, to the extent of losing a
sound and valuable tooth.


During a long period, and in several countries, the barbers were the only
acknowledged blood-letters. Some of them were educated to the trade of
bleeding. Dr. Meade was once lecturer to the barber-surgeons, and, if I
mistake not, Dr. Abernethy; but the majority of them were as ignorant as
the tinkers, who also went about the country bleeding the people at both
vein and pocket.

In 1592 one Nicolas Gyer published a work entitled "The English
Phlebotomy, or Method of Healing by Letting of Blood." Its motto was, "The
horse-leech hath two daughters, which crye, '_Give, give_.'" The author
thus complains: "Phlebotomy is greatly abused by vagabond horse-leeches
and travelling tinkers, who find work in almost every village, who have,
in truth, neither knowledge, wit, or honesty; hence the sober practitioner
and cunning chirurgeon liveth basely, is despised, and counted a very
abject amongst the vulgar sort."

Many of the abbeys of Europe and Asia had a "phlebotomaria," or
bleeding-room, connected, in which the sacred (?) inmates underwent
bleeding at certain seasons. The monks of the order of St. Victor, and
others, underwent five venesections per year; for the "Salerne Schoole,"
1601, says,--

  "To bleed doth cheare the pensive, and remove
  _The raging furies fed by burning love_."

The priests seem to have overlooked Paul's advice, for such to marry, as
it was "better to marry than to burn." If the writer could unfold the
secrets of his "prison-house,"--as doubtless is the experience of most
physicians,--he could tell of worse habits of some modern priests than
this quinarial venesection.

"To bleed in May is still the custom with ignorant people in a few remote
districts" of England. In Marchland a woman used to bleed patients for a
few pence per arm.

Steele tells of a bleeder of his time who advertised to bleed, at certain
hours, "all who came, for three pence a head"--he meant arm, doubtless!

Mention is made of the Drs. Taylor (horse doctors), who drew blood from
the rabble as they would claret from a pipe. "Every Sunday morning they
bled _gratis_ all who liked a prick from their lancets. On such occasions
a hundred poor wretches could be seen seated on the long benches of the
surgery, waiting venesection. When ready, the two brothers would pass
rapidly along the lines of bared arms, one applying the white strip of
cloth above the elbow, the other following and immediately opening the
vein. The crimson stream was directed into a wooden trough that ran along
in front of the seats where the operation was performed."

It scarcely seems possible that such wholesale butchery could have been
openly performed but a hundred years ago! Yet it is still practised, but
with a little more decency.

In South America venesection is still performed by the barbers, who are
nearly all natives.

"A surgeon in Ecuador would consider it an injury to his dignity to bleed
a patient; so he deputes that duty to the Indian phlebotomist, who does
the work in a most barbarous manner, with a blunt and jagged instrument,
after causing considerable pain, and even danger, to the patient.

"These barbers and bleeders are considered to be the leaders of their
_caste_, as from their ranks are drawn the native _alcaldes_, or
magistrates; and so proud are they of their position, that they would not
exchange their badge of office (a silver-headed cane) for the cross of a

"The most prominent figures at the Easter celebration are the barbers, who
are almost always Indians. They dress in a kind of plaited cape, and wear
collars of a ridiculous height, and starched to an extreme degree of
stiffness. In this class are also to be found the _sangradores_, or
bleeders, who, as of old, unite the two professions."

A curious scene is presented during each successive day of the "Holy
Week," when the effigies of the titular saints are brought out, and with
the priests, music, and banners, and the barbers to bear burning incense,
they are paraded before the superstitious, gaping, and priest-ridden


Dr. Fuller, the first physician amongst the colonists of New England,
wrote to Governor Bradford, June, 1630, saying,--

"I have been to Matapan (now Dorchester), and let some twenty of those
people's blood."

What disease demanded, in the estimation of the good and wise doctor, this
seemingly bloody visit, we are not informed.

"The _Mercure de France_, April, 1728, and December, 1729, gives an
account of a French woman, the wife of a hussar named Gignoult, whom,
under the direction of Monsieur Theveneau, Dr. Palmery bled _three
thousand nine hundred and four times_, and that within the space of nine
months. Again the bleeding was renewed, and in the course of a few years,
from 1726 to the end of 1729, she had been bled twenty-six thousand two
hundred and thirty times."

No wonder our informant asks, "Did this really occur? Or was the editor of
the _Mercure_ the original Baron Munchausen?"

"Once, in the Duchy of Wurtemberg, the public executioner, after having
sent a certain number of his fellow-creatures out of this troublesome
world, was dignified by the title of 'Doctor.' Would it not be well to
reverse the thing, and make such murderous physicians as Theveneau and M.
Palmery rank as hangmen-extraordinary?"


But, then, some of those French surgeons are worse than hangmen.

Dr. Mott, when once in Paris, was invited by M. ---- to witness a private
operation, which was simply the removal of a tumor from the neck of an
elderly gentleman.

"Dr. Mott informed me," says Dr. S. Francis, "that never in his life had
he seen anybody but a _butcher_ cut and slash as did this French surgeon.
He cut the jugular vein. Dr. Mott instantly compressed it. In a moment
more he severed it again. By this time, the patient being feeble, and
having, by these two successive accidents, lost much blood, a portion of
the tumor was cut off, the hole plugged up by lint, and the patient left."

A week after, Dr. M. met the surgeon, and inquired after the patient.

"O, _oui_," said the butcher, shrugging his shoulders. "Poor old fellow!
He grew pious, and suddenly died."

And this was by one of the first surgeons of France, on the authority of
Dr. Valentine Mott.

Cases are cited in Paget's "Surgical Pathology," of tumors being removed
by the knife from four to nine times, and returning, proving fatal, in
every instance.


Yes, "Why?" A man's strength is in his blood, Samson notwithstanding. Then
if you take away his blood, you lessen his chances of recovery, because
you have lessened his strength.

"_Cum sanguinem detrahere oportet, deliberatione indiget_," said Aretæus,
a Greek physician of the first century. ("When bleeding is required, there
is need of deliberation.")

"_Cur?_" (why) was a favorite inquiry of Dr. Abernethy's.

"We recollect a surgeon being called to a gentleman who was taken suddenly
ill. The medical attendant, being present, asked the surgeon,--

"'Shall I bleed him at once, sir?'

"'_Why_ should you desire to bleed him?'

"'O, exactly. You prefer cupping?'

"'Why should he be cupped?'

"'Then shall I apply some leeches?'

"This, too, was declined. In short, it never seemed to have occurred to
the physician that neither might be necessary; still less that either
might therefore prove mischievous."


Three Scenes from a Story by Douglas Jerrold--rewritten.

_Scene 1._--Job Pippins, a handsome Barber, is discharged from Sir Scipio
Manikin's, for kissing that gentleman's young and pretty wife. He meets a
Scotch wagoner.


"I say, I ha' got a dead mun in the wagon."

"A dead man?" cried Job.

"Ay; picked him up i' the muddle o' the road. The bay cob wor standin'
loike a lamb beside um. I shall take um to the 'Barley Mow' yonder." (An

[Illustration: "BLEED HIM."]

"But stop, for God's sake," exclaimed Job, jumping upon the wagon.
Instantly he recognized the features of Sir Scipio. Struck by apoplexy, he
had fallen from his horse. Instantly Job tore off Sir Scipio's coat,
rolled up his sleeves, bound the arm, and produced a razor.

"Ha! what wilt ye do, mun?" cried the wagoner, seeing the razor.

"Bleed him," replied Job, with exquisite composure; "I fear his heart is

"Loikely. I do think it be Grinders, the lawyer. Cut um deep, deep;" and
the fellow opened wide his eyes to see if the lawyer had red blood or
Japan ink in his veins. "Cut um deep; though if it be old Grinders, by
what I hear, it be a shame to disturb him, ony way," said the wagoner.

"Grinders! Pshaw! It's Sir Scipio Manikin."

"Wounds!" roared the scared wagoner. "No, man, no! Don't meddle wi' such
gentry folks in my wagon." So saying, he sought to stay the hand of the
bleeder at the moment he was applying the sharp blade of the razor to the
bared arm, but only succeeded in driving the instrument deep into the
limb. Job turned pale. The wagoner groaned and trembled.

"We shall be hanged for this job--hanged, hanged!"

"Providentially," as the knight afterwards affirmed, the landlord of the
"Barley Mow," in chastising his wife, had broken his leg, and had called
in Dr. Saffron, who, now returning, came upon the wagon containing the
bulky body of Sir Scipio, mangled and bleeding.

The apoplectic squire began to return to dim consciousness, and beholding
Job, with a razor between his teeth, standing over him, timing his pulse,
he gave an involuntary shudder, particularly as he now recalled the late
scene, which had terminated in his kicking Job penniless into the highway.

Dr. Saffron took the wounded arm, looked at Job, and said,--

"Is this your doings?"

Job looked, "Yes," but spoke not.

"Bleeding!" repeated the doctor, fiercely; "I call it capital carving."
Then turning to the wagoner, he said, "And you found Sir Scipio lying in
the road?"

"Ay, sir; rolled up like a hedge pig," replied the wagoner.

Job wiped his razor, and slipped silently away.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Scene 2._--Job, half starved and half dead from the fatigues of his long
walk, finds his way into an old woman's hut, which unfortunately is the
rendezvous of three highwaymen.

"Moll, the stool," said one of the men.

The stool ordered was thrown towards Job, who sank resignedly upon it.

"What's o'clock?" asked Bats, one of the robbers.

[Illustration: A BORROWED WATCH.]

Job leaped from the stool in amazement, clapped his hand to his waistcoat
pocket, and drew forth a splendid gold watch, the late property of Sir
Scipio. Job had merely borrowed it to time the pulse of the apoplectic
knight, and forgot to return it. The eyes of the highwayman were fixed
leeringly upon the chronometer. They gave no heed to the embarrassment of
the possessor.

"I say, friend, time must be worth something to you to score it by such a

"It isn't mine," cried Job, the perspiration starting from every pore of
his body.

"Ha, ha, ha!" laughed the three at this unnecessary information.

"A mistake; I got it in the oddest way."

"Ha, ha, ha!" again roared his hearers in chorus.

"O Lord! I shall be hanged for this," cried Job.

"In course you will," said Mortlake, comfortingly.

Job now hastily felt in his other pockets to see if he unwittingly
possessed any other property not his own, when he pulled out a large
handkerchief well saturated with Sir Scipio's blood.

Mortlake gave an expressive cluck. Bats uttered a low, accusing whistle.

"What! he was game--was he? Well, it is all over now; tell us how it
happened, and what you did with the body," said the third.

In vain Job persisted in the truth. He was only laughed at....

"Moll, the gin." Such a gamy highwayman as Job presented evidence of being
deserves to be treated! Let us see in the next scene _how_ he was treated.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Scene 3._--Job was drank dead drunk. Stripped of not only Sir Manikin's
watch and chain, but of everything save one brief garment, and under cover
of night deposited in an adjoining meadow.

"Job Pippins slept."

"Job Pippins awoke."

An insect ticked its little note in Job's ear.

"The watch!" cried the bewildered Job, springing to his feet and gaspingly
applying his hands to his flesh.

Who can depict his utter amazement when he had become convinced of his own
identity, and found himself standing out in the broad world, reduced to
the brief wardrobe, which is summed up in the one single word--"SHIRT"?

Hatless, shoeless, hoseless, he stood upon the grass, the bold zephyrs
playing with his garment--a bloody, tattered flag of terrible distress.
Job looked timidly about. He resolved, and he re-resolved. Should he turn
back to the house from whence he had been so ruthlessly ejected? Should he
hide behind the hedge and solicit the help of some male passer? Who would
put faith in a man with no recommendation, and possessing such a small
wardrobe? O, indecision! how many better men have gone to ruin because of

[Illustration: JOB'S DECISION.]

Decision came to Job's help--at least help out of that field. At this very
moment of need for some one to help him decide what course to pursue, a
ferocious bull, feeding in the next meadow, annoyed or scandalized by the
appearance of Job, scaled the low fence, and with one bellow, ran full
tilt after Job, who hesitated no longer, but leaped the rail fence just as
the animal made a lunge at him. Job reached the highway in safety of
person, though the bull retreated with a full square yard of the false
flag of truce upon his horns.

Job's destitution seemed perfect without this last affliction. The sound
of carriage wheels startled him, but to where should he flee? He was at
the zero of his fortunes. He was naked, hungry, penniless. Where should he
find one friend.

"Ah! the river!" That would hide him forever from the uncharitable

Job crawled across the field, and was already near the stream.

What! Had some pitying angel, softened by Job's utter destitution and
despair, alighted amongst the bushes! Or was it a temptation of the devil?

Reader, "put yourself in"--No! But imagine Job reduced to the moiety of a
shirt, about to take the fatal plunge, when lo! he discovers just before
him, lying,--a golden waif,--a very handsome suit of clothes,--hat,
breeches, hose, shoes, gloves, cane, cravat! and no visible second person

Job's perplexity was brief. He seated himself on the grass. He changed his
equivocal shirt for the ample piece of ruffled "aired-snow" in the
twinkling of an eye; donned the stockings and breeches,--"just a
fit,"--waistcoat, and coat, seized the hat, gloves, cravat, and cane, and
in three minutes he was back on the main road. The swimmer must have been
just Job's size, so admirably did the whole wardrobe fit and become him.

Again Job passed the five-barred gate, where stood the bull, with glaring
eyes, waving in vain the flag of truce upon his horns.

Job journeyed onward, waving his cane, and smiling in supreme contempt at
the bit of rag which so recently proclaimed his crime and wretchedness. He
put his hand into _his_ pocket, and pulled out a _purse_! It contained
eight guineas! This was too much. Job fell upon his knees in the
highway, overcome with gratitude, and holding up the purse in his left
hand, placing the other over his stomach, he "blessed his lucky stars" for
his propitious change of fortunes.

Here we bid adieu to the barber-bleeders. Those who wish to know how the
swimmer came out, must consult "Men of Character," by Jerrold.


Mr. G. H. Lewes tells a story of a gentleman who, under the scissors, said
something about his thinning locks being caused by the development of his
brains. "Excuse me, sir," remarked the barber, "but you are laboring under
a mistake. The brains permeate the skull, and encourage the growth of the
hair--_that's what they're for, sir_."






  The morning sun was shining bright,
  As lone upon old Georgetown's height,
  A Bliss-ful doctor, clad in brown,
  Desiring wealth and great renown,
  Displayed aloft to wondering eyes
  A shrub which bore this strange device,

  A maiden fair, with pallid cheek,
  With ardent haste his aid did seek
  To stay the progress and the pain
  Of carcinoma of the brain;
  While still aloft the shrub he bore,
  The answer came, with windy roar,
                              To Cundurango!

  A matron old, with long unrest
  From carcinoma of the breast,
  This Bliss-ful doctor rushed to see,
  And begged his aid on bended knee.
  The magic shrub waved still on high,
  And rushed through air the well-known cry,
                              Try Cundurango!

  The evening sun went down in red--
  The maid and matron both were dead;
  And yet, through all the realms around,
  This worthless shrub, of mighty sound,
  Will serve to fill the purse forlorn,
  And the cancer succumb "in a horn"
                              To Cundurango.


A doctor was called in to see a patient whose native land was Ireland, and
whose native drink was whiskey. Water was prescribed as the only cure. Pat
said it was out of the question; he could never drink it. Then milk was
proposed, and Pat agreed to get well on milk. The doctor was soon summoned
again. Near the bed on which the sick man lay was a table, and on the
table a large bowl, and in the bowl was milk, but strongly flavored with

"What have you here?" said the doctor.

"Milk, doctor; just what you orthered."

"But there's whiskey in it; I smell it."

"Well, doctor," sighed the patient, "there may be whiskey in it, but milk
is my object."


An old lady reduced in circumstances applied to a physician to know if she
might conscientiously sell some quack pills. The physician rather
recommended that she should sell some pills made of bread, observing that,
if they did no good, they would certainly do no harm. The old lady
commenced business, and performed many cures with her pills, till at
last she had great confidence in them. At length the physician, whom she
called her benefactor, became ill by a bone sticking in his throat, which
he could not pass up or down. In this situation the old lady visited him,
and recommended her pills in his own language. The physician, upon this
expression, burst out laughing, and in the act of laughing brought up the


  WASHINGTON, January 10, 1872.

From an account of the "Women's National Suffrage Association," reported
to the Press, I cut the following description of a noted female doctress
who dresses in a garb as near to a man's as the cramped laws of the land
will admit.

    "Ten minutes after the opening ... a curly, crinkly feminine, in very
    large walking boots, came to the front, being followed, after a brief
    pause, by the rest of the sisters. This lady was new, even to the
    reporters, and one of them, handing up a pencilled inquiry to Mrs. Dr.
    Walker, was informed that she was 'Mrs. Ricker, a beautiful, charming,
    and good widow, fair, forty, and rich.' This bit of interesting news
    started on its travels.

           *       *       *       *       *

    "The doctor, who has the usual manly proclivity for hugging the girls,
    threw her arms around a pretty and modest-looking girl standing by,
    and enthusiastically shouted, "You are a dear, sweet little creature."
    The frightened young woman drew hastily back, and faltered out that
    she was not in the habit of being hugged by men. This turned the laugh
    on the doctor; but she gained her lost ground by quickly replying to
    the inquiry of the secretary as to what place he should put her down
    from as a delegate, to put her down "from all the world;" but he
    objected, anxious for the completeness of his roster.

    "You must have a local habitation, you know."

    "Put me down from Washington, then, for that is the home of everybody
    who has none other."

    Unmindful of the eloquent protest of her coat and pantaloons against
    feminine distinctions, he wrote her down as "Mrs. Mary Walker;" but
    seizing the pencil from his fingers, she spitefully erased the "Mrs."
    and wrote "Doctor."

    "I never was Mrs.; I never will be."


The San Francisco Examiner says a gentleman of that city, about
twenty-five years of age, ruddy complexion, curly red hair, who had an
intractable and painful ulcer on the left arm, resisting all previous
modes of treatment, yielded to the request of trying the effect of
transplanting a piece of skin to the ulcer from another person. The ulcer
was prepared in the usual manner by his physician, and a bit of skin,
about an inch square, was taken from the arm of a fine healthy negro man
and immediately spread over the ugly ulcer, and then carefully dressed and
bandaged. The skin transplantation had the desired effect. Healthy
granulation sprang up, and the unsightly ulcer soon healed. A few months
afterwards he went to his physician and told him that ever since the sore
healed the black skin commenced to spread, and it was increasing. About
one third of his arm was completely negroed. The doctor himself was
alarmed. The high probability is, that the whole skin of this white man
will become negro.

       *       *       *       *       *

An officer had a wooden leg so exceedingly well made that it could
scarcely be distinguished from a real one. A cannon ball carried it off. A
soldier who saw him fall called out, "Quick, run for the surgeon." "No,"
replied the officer, coolly; "it is the joiner I want."


Squashy was a contraband. He came from North Carolina. He was looking
about Washington for "a new masser," when Dr. ----, of ---- regiment C.
V., took him for a body servant.


The doctor was out on horseback at parade that very day, and the most that
Squashy had as yet learned of his master was, that he was handsome.

"Dat's him! Dar's my new masser! see um! see um! ridin' on hoss-back,
dar!" exclaimed the contraband to a host of other negroes watching the

That night, when the doctor returned to his quarters, Squashy came to
assist in removing some of the superfluous and dirt-covered garments of
his new master, amongst which were his heavy and mud-splashed boots.

The doctor was a joker. "Now, what's your name, boy?"

"Squashy, sar; dat's what dey called me, sar," replied the contraband,
showing a gorgeous row of ivories, and the whites of two great, globular

"Well, Squashy,--that's a very appropriate name,--just pull off these
boots. Left one first. There--pull! hard! harder!--There she comes! Now
the other; now pull; it always comes the hardest; pull
strong--stronger--now it's coming--O, murder! you've pulled my whole leg

Sure enough, the boot, leg and all, came off at the thigh, and slap!
crash! bang! over backwards, over a camp-stool, on to the floor, went
Squashy, with the boot and wooden leg of the doctor grasped tightly in his
brawny hands.

"O, de Lord!" cried Squashy, rising. "I didn't go for to do it! O, Lord,
see um bleed!" he continued, as in the uncertain light he saw a bit of red
flannel round the stump; and, dropping the leg, he turned, and with a look
of the ut