Heroes have gone out, quacks have come in; the reign of quacks has not ended with the nineteenth century. The sceptre is held with a firmer grasp; the empire has a wider boundary. We are all the slaves of quackery in one shape or another. One portion of our being is always playing the successful quack to the other.
Pettifoggers in law and quacks in medicine have held from time immemorial the fee simple of a vast estate, subject to no alienation, diminution, revolution, nor tax—the folly and ignorance of mankind.
From powerful causes spring the empiric's gains.—Man's love of life, his weakness and his pains—these first induce him the vile trash to try, then lend his name that others too may buy.
We affect to laugh at the folly of those who put faith in nostrums, but are willing to try ourselves whether there is any truth in them.
He who attempts to make others believe in means which he himself despises, is a puffer; he who makes use of more means than he knows to be necessary, is a quack; and he who ascribes to those means a greater efficacy than his own experience warrants, is an imposter.
Out, you impostors; quack-salving, cheating mountebanks; your skill is to make sound men sick, and sick men to kill.
Quackery has no such friend as credulity.
That science is worse than useless which does not point to the great end of our being.—Therefore literary, scientific, and theological quacks have done immense mischief in human society.
Nothing more strikingly betrays the credulity of mankind than medicine. Quackery is a thing universal, and universally successful. In this case it is literally true that no imposition is too great for the credulity of men.