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grees) to be as universally used and approved of in that distemper, as the Jesuits' bark is for agues, if not more; for none that shall drink it in time will ever be confined a day with the gout, nor others continue in pain an hour after drinking it, though they have lain for weeks together upon the wreck. the wreck. Any may be further satisfied, and have all objections answered, by word of mouth, or by consulting the book I lately published, intituled, "The Attila of the Gout," being a peculiar account of that distemper, in which the vanity of all that has hitherto been writ and practised to remove it, and an infallible method to cure it, are demonstrated; with ample testimonies of patients cured by John Marten, Surgeon, in Hatton-garden."
I have before observed, that every profession has its Quacks, or persons who deviate from established rules. Such was the Quack writer who inserted the ensuing advertisement in the Evening Post of January 22, 1717. "Whereas a certain pretender to Penmanship has, in an illeterate manner, fell upon my late performance, let him know I look down upon him, yet thus give him his answer: if I did keep monsters for my diversion, that does not affect me in my art; and it is well known that I have not now a deformed creature in my house, which is more than he can say while he is withint doors. I pass by the unworthy reflections on my N and O, which I could return
upon his R and T; but his own ink will blacken him enough, while it appears in his own irregular scrawls.
While Cross of Paul's shines in the middle sky, Thy name shall stink, but mine shall never die." The above elegant production has a parallel in the following modest notice of August 1717. "This is to give notice, that Dr. Benjamin Thornhill, sworn servant to his Majesty King George, seventh son of the seventh son, who has kept a stage in the Rounds of West-Smithfield for several months past, will continue to be advised with every day in the week, from eight in the morning till eight at night, at his lodgings at the Swan Tavern, in West-Smithfield, till Michaelmas, for the good of all people that lie languishing under distempers, he knowing that Talenta in agro non est abscondita, that a talent ought not to be hid in the Earth; therefore he exposes himself in public for the good of the poor. The many cures he had performed has given the world great satisfaction, having cured 1500 people of the King's evil, and several hundreds that have been blind, lame, deaf, and diseased. God Almighty having been pleased to bestow upon him so great a talent, he thinks himself bound in duty to be helpful to all sorts of persons that are afflicted with any distemper. He will tell you in a minute what distemper you are troubled with, and whether you are curable or not; if not curable,
curable, he will not take any one in hand, if he might have 500l. for a reward.
"N. B. The Doctor has an infallible cure for the Gout, which in a few hours gives ease, and in a short time makes a perfect cure; likewise a never-failing remedy for the wind colic in the stomach and bowels."
The Original Weekly Journal of December 28, 1723, contains a set of queries, which seem better suited to the ideas of a person despising Quacks than to have been written by one. "An appeal to the judicious part of mankind, if it is not the grossest imposition imaginable to cram the publie prints in so fulsome a manner with infallible specificks, arcana's, Italian boluses, and innumerable Quack-medicines put to sale at Toy-shops and other places, only to hide the shame, and screen from the resentment of injured people, the preparers of such notorious cheats. Are the best physicians or most eminent surgeons ashamed of their prescriptions? Can men of sense be gulled out of their money by the severe affliction of another's pocket (though, in his own words, of their body), because his pretended charity to their deplorable circumstances has induced him to publish what he does not own? Are not the degrees of distempers and the constitutions of men various? Was ever any one thing infallible? Can all people eat the most innocent food with equal advantage? Have we not ingenious Physicians
and Surgeons, who act in public, not only to their own honour, but that of their country, and are, by their transcendant skill, become inimitable in all the world? Are not some disappointed in the success of a prescription from the most judicious hand? and will they depend upon what has no known author, and who refers them to the advice of some able Surgeon after cheating them himself? Shall any man's misery prevail upon his credulity to make him more miserable? or will any Surgeon expose his patient? For your own sake, apply to some man of ingenuity and probity, who appears to justify his practice by his success; one of which invites you to his house, at the Golden-heart and Square-lamp, in Crane-court, near Fetter-lane. Ask for the Surgeon, who is to be advised with every morning till 11 o'clock, and from two till nine at night, in any distemper."
After the above interrogatories, it would be absurd to attempt the application of any argument against Quackery. The queries of this extraordinary Quack are absolutely unanswerable; but it will be necessary to add, for the information of posterity, that the daily papers are still filled with false advertisements and false testimonies of cures performed; and that the angles of the streets, walls, and fences of London, are covered with bills issued by Quacks, while, perhaps, upwards of an hundred persons obtain a livelihood
livelihood by handing them to passengers in every
This method of proceeding may be pronounced one of the customs which distinguish London; and, as I purpose tracing those, the reader will forgive my entering upon the subject without any other preliminary observation, than that I am afraid he will find some of the number trench very closely upon the rights of the articles under the head of Depravity.