Page:English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the nineteenth century.djvu/303

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217
ST. JOHN LONG.

a plentiful crop of guineas had been extracted, nature was allowed to heal: the patient was then pronounced out of danger. With some persons the liniment was perfectly innocuous, and when this was the case the patient was informed that no disease need be feared. The secret of course lay in the fact that the quack used two liniments, apparently identical, one of which only contained the irritating medium. Many actually consumptive persons of course consulted him; but when this was the case he refused his assistance, on the ground that it had been invoked too late.

He carried the imposition, as might have been anticipated, once too far, and, in the case of the beautiful and unfortunate Miss Cushin (a lady of highly nervous temperament), maintained the inflammation for so long a time that nature for once refused to assist him, and when Sir Benjamin Brodie was summoned, mortification had already set in. The trial resulted in a verdict of guilty, but the judge (Baron Parke), who summed up scandalously in his favour, instead of sending the fellow to hard labour, imposed a fine of £250, which was immediately paid.

Seymour alludes to this event in a pictorial satire, in which he shows us St. John Long, with a vulture's head and beak, kneeling on the floor of a dungeon with a bottle by his side labelled "lotion," and (beneath) the words,—"Lost, £12,000 per annum, medical practice. Whoever will restore the same to Mr. St. J. L—g, shall receive the benefit of his advice."

Miss Cushin's death was quickly followed by another fatal case, that of Mrs. Colin Campbell Lloyd, who also died from the effects of the corrosive lotion, and St. John Long the following year was again put on his trial for manslaughter; in this case the fellow was acquitted. Seymour's prediction was not destined to be verified. The soi-disant St. John Long, alias O'Driscoll, in spite of these "mistakes," which in our day would receive a harsher term, retained his large "practice" to the last, and died—still a young man—of the very disease to which he professed to be superior, thus conclusively proving better than anything else could have done the utter impotency of his preparation.