Punch,  38 (1860), 21.

The Black Quack and His White Brother





Quackery, Charlatanry, Crime, Disease, Medical Treatment, Race

People mentioned:

Hippocrates of Cos

Institutions mentioned:

University of Leiden

    Discusses the trial of M Vries, an individual calling himself 'the Black Doctor', accused of murdering several French cancer sufferers. Emphasises how the 'Tribunal of Correctional Police' 'mercilessly dissected' Vries, accepting the claim of two medical practitioners that Vries's remedies contained 'nothing peculiar' and noting that most of his patients had died under his care. Points out that Vries will be sentenced to 'a heavy fine and a long imprisonment'. Goes on to speculate what would have happened had Vries been practising (and on trial) in England, had been a 'Hebrew' called Hosea Habbakuk, had advertised widely, and lived by 'terrifying and plundering any timid fool'. Proceeds to a fictional extract from the trial of Habbakuk, in which the 'Jew quack' tries to defend the charge that he pretends to cure diseases that he does not understand or which do not exist. Insists that Habbakuk would be acquitted 'on a technical point' owing to his barrister's rhetorical skills, bullying of witnesses for the prosecution, and other legal wrangling. Concludes by advising Vries that he should have been an English quack.

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