Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 67.djvu/460

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454 POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

phasize the prosecutions, and so their effect is lost. Similarly, the postal department could, quite legally, I believe, stamp out the evil alone, if it dared exclude from the mails every periodical containing a single fraudulent quack advertisement; hut how prove its case, and where is the administration which could survive the ensuing clatter about ' usurpation of authority ' and ' freedom of the press ' ?

Legislation, therefore, can only be secondary to ventilation and the education of public opinion. But how educate public opinion, when its educator, the press, is itself irretrievably allied with the forces of evil?

First, obviously, such papers as have not prostituted themselves must agitate ; they should expose their brothers' shame and the people's consequent losses. Editor Bolt's recent appeal (in The Ladies' Home Journal) to the women of the land not to let their babies suck in with their milk the alcohol or opium of ' motherhood ' nostrums, and to tear down from fence and barn the quack's advertisement, is the kind of measure that counts. Here, too, is a chance for those wealthy yel- low journals, forever bruiting their own altruism, to whom a ' scoop ' is more necessary than the quack's gold, to expose typical quacks; they make easier handling than the gas and the beef trust, and the attack, no doubt, would yield even richer sensations than the divorce court. Then, public-spirited men of all professions should everywhere organize— as has just been done in Germany — a systematic campaign against quackery. The recent example of an English workingman's society should be followed, and illuminating tracts be circulated by unions and employers. Perhaps the school boards may be free also to level a blow. I know the tendency is to overcram the curriculum, to attempt to arm the child with a petty smatter against every need in life; but if we are going to teach Ivygiene at all, if the possible conse- quences of alcohol and tobacco are to be pointed out, why not lay some stress on a curse just as extensive and no less harmful, one which rests on no natural appetite, but on ignorance and absence of forewarning? At any rate, superintendents of board of education free lectures can include in their admirable courses a few talks on quackery by such qualified experts as Champe S. Andrews, Esq.

Against measures of this sort the press hardly dares raise its voice, and effective legislation will soon follow as the expression of the pop- ular will.

Such procedure, it is hoped, may limit the future annals of quack- ery, and hasten that golden age when even the doctors can almost agree with Mrs. Eddy that there is no such matter as disease.

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