Punch, 37 (1859), 172.
Off with His Head!—So Much for Quacking 'Em!
Quackery, Medical Treatment
After describing cases of people who apparently lived after they had been beheaded, introduces a similar example on 'such authority as is conceded to a quack'. The example derives from an advertisement in the Morning Chronicle for Thomas Holloway's pills (here thinly disguised as 'Gullaway's Pills'). The advertisement claims that the pills have cured a man suffering from 'giddiness in the head, off and on, for the last twenty years'. Thinks that it is more surprising that somebody 'should have existed with his head "off and on"' for such a long period, than that he should be cured by quack remedies. Compares this to Holloway's claim that he has cured a bad leg of 'more than thirty-five years' standing'; a 'preposterous' claim given that even healthy legs cannot stand up for 'longer than a day'. The writer concludes by placing as much faith in the tales of Gulliver (which included that of people with detachable heads) as the 'assertions of the story-telling quack, whom, as we don't wish to be personal, we choose to nickname Mr. Gullaway'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005-07
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