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a Quack who can cure, but cannot explain a disease, rather than the scientific physician, who can explain, but cannot cure it. The isolated fact is true, but the principle is not susceptible of general application, and is therefore unsound.
Quack doctors need no encouragement of this sorttheir self conceit and impudence often enable them to outstrip the man of science. And they do sometimes perform wonderful cures—for many diseases are seated in the imagination, instead of the physical organs, and yield to quackery, more readily than to science. I once knew a very celebrated country physician, who always carried rye dough pills, which, aided by water gruel, strongly sweetened with West India molasses, effected astonishing cures. He was master of pathology.
We have two classes of literary Quacks, with a prolific generic organization of species, that swarm our country like locusts. The one has erudition but no genius; the other, volubility, but no depth. The first presents us with secondary sense, the other, with foaming nonsense. The one deserves respect for honest intention the other, pity for weakness, and contempt,
— for impudence. The former may effect some good—the latter, little harm, but great annoyance.
All preachers are Quacks, who add to, or diminish from that infallible book—the Bible, or go out of the record.
We have mechanical Quacks, who consist of three classes. The first has genius not matured by experience and discretion, but ready to take charge of steam engines, and all machinery. The second has experience, but no genius, and is a mere machine to be ope
The third has genius, unconcentrated
men who are jack at all trades and master of none, like Handy Andy, they always get hold of the wrong tool, and use it the wrong way. Many lives, and vast amounts of property have been sacrificed by these Quacks.
We also have Quack humbugs, yet too desultory to be classed, who endeavor to follow in the wake of the Simon Pure, and effect a grand failure. A successful humbug has three advantagesmit puts money in the pocket of the humbugger, exhilarates the humbugged for the time being, and puts them on their guard against future imposition. The Quack humbug effects neither, and is sometimes honored with a dress of tar and feathers—I say honored, because real humbugs, much less Quacks, are too low for the waste of time and material, and should be kicked out of community by cripples on crutches.
Finally, this is a free, as well as a great country, and those who have Quack minds, will live and die under the potent influence of quackery, in spite of truth and science.
Dissension, like small streams, at first begun,
Scarce seen, they rise and gather as they run.-Garth. The little eddies of wind that set the dust in commotion, are precursors of a thunder storm in hot weather, and of a strong wind always; so Quarrels often precede a thundering time where two high-tempered persons are concerned, and, as the Hoosiers say, a right smart sprinkle of wind, in minds of calmer temperament. What renders the matter mure disastrous, they uniformly occur between those who are on terms of intimacy, perhaps lovers, and not unfrequently, the married pair. To the disgrace of human nature, they are generally based on trifles, not worthy of a passing notice.
In the second chapter of the Apocryphal Book of Tobit, is a case to the point. Anna, the wife of Tobit, during his absence, obtained a kid. When he came home, instead of kindly inquiring how she came by it, he threw out some uncourteous hints concerning its acquisition, which drew from her the retort, that he was no better than he should be. The two eddies of anger met, and quite a storm ensued. As is usual in Quarrels, the old man first committed a wrong, the old woman put another wrong to it—and two wrongs never made a right. If the wife had remained cool and met the fire of the husband's anger with kindness and affection, he would have flashed in the pan, and no explosion would have occurred.
To preserve the current of connubial felicity placid and serene, great caution is necessary. A harsh word, a sour look, a trifling neglect, an unkind hint, an unjust suspicion; often raise a tornado, that makes the whole house shake, and often repeated, will shake the strongest love. But one should get angry at a time—both is two too many.
Among neighbors, mere trifling differences sometimes amount to tedious and expensive lawsuits. The intrusion of a pig, the killing of a chicken, the picking of a little fruit, often engender a lasting hate. The dispositions of such people are like Locofoco matches, chey are liable to take fire from their own friction.
Much may be done to remedy these evils, if all would resolve, and put the resolve into execution, to curb their tempers, bear and forbear, soar above trifles; be kind, courteous, and act the human-not the brute. The most efficient remedy, above all others, to cure the evil, is, to live in the full and constant enjoyment of religion. A profession, merely, only makes the matter worse, for human nature and religion are both disgraced. Cold and lukewarm professors, who happen to differ, are the bitterest quarrellers to be found, especially if they belong to the same church. Hypocrites are still worse, for they cover themselves with a cloven infallibility, that is as dangerous of approach, as spirit gas with a lighted candle, or gunpowder with a firebrand. Pure, active, and every-day religion, transforms our nature more and more, and gives us an increasing power over the infirmities flesh is heir to. To profess religion, and not adorn that profession by living up to it, is a dangerous experiment.
LACON divides Readers into three classes—those who read to think ; those who read to write ; and those who read to talk. The first is rare, the second more common, the third, the great majority, but most superficial-treating books, as some do great men—if they are so fortunate as to see their faces once, without even hearing them speak, they immediately boast an intimate acquaintance. A book of paragraphs, or short essays, is the only one likely to benefit such persons, and it is for them that I particularly write. The great quantity now afloat, like a great variety of dishes
on a table, bewilders all but the discerning and systematic; hence, books of an argumentative and logical character, are purchased by such persons, if at all, for show and not for use, that wise men may suppose them wise, from viewing their library. For the last twenty years, more than before, the taste of a large portion of the reading community has been vitiated by the influx of highly-spiced books of fiction, feeding the imagination, without informing the judgment, exciting the sympathies, without mending the heart. So far has this taste affected community, that some have deemed it necessary, and have actually supplied sabbath schools
, with books of fiction. Let the responsibility be theirs, not mine. The judgment day will tell the result.
To read with profit, the books must be of a kind calculated to inform the mind, correct the head, and better the heart. These books should be read with attention, understood, remembered, and their precepts put in practice. It depends less on number, than quality. One good book, well understood and remem bered, is of more use than to have a superficial knowledge of fifty, equally sound. Books of the right character produce reflection, and induce investigation. They are a mirror of mind, for mind to look in.
Of all the books ever written, no one contains so instructive, so sublime, and so great a variety, as the Bible. Read the essay under that head, and then resolve to read three chapters each day, for one year, and you will find realities there, more wonderful than any pictures of fiction, that have been drawn by the finest pencillings of the master hand of the most practised novel writer, who has shone in the dazzling galaxy of ancient or modern literature.