Punch,  38 (1860), 98.

Parliamentary Patent Medicine



Announcement, Spoof


Government, Politics, Medical Treatment, Quakery, Disease, Health

    A response to the new Reform Bill which Lord John Russell had introduced into Parliament on 1 March. The spoof advertisement is from Dr John Russell, 'Graduate of the University of Edinburgh, original co-patentee of that celebrated remedy Grey and Co.'s Specific'. It puffs 'the new PURIFYING REFORM PILL', offering 'A MILD CONSTITUTIONAL ALTERNATIVE', which repairs, invigorates and exonerates without causing the 'dreadful shocks of the constitution' following the 'desperate measures' used by 'inexperienced Practitioners'. Denies claims made by 'interested Parties' that it is inert, pointing to the 'innocuous nature of its components' which do not mean 'confinement, or change of diet of regimen'. The advertiser warns against 'Unprincipled Quacks and Pretenders' whose 'Nostrums', if taken by the public, 'would undermine and destroy' the constitution. Adds that the label of the medicine, 'Palmerston, Russell and Co.', has a government stamp which cannot be forged.

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