CAUSES, SYMPTOMS, AND NATURE
SCROFULA OR KING'S EVIL,
SCURVY, AND CANCER;
CASES ILLUSTRATIVE OF A PECULIAR MODE OF TREATMENT.
BY J. KENT,
BURY ST. EDMUND'S:
Printed by W. B. Frost, 34, Churchgate Street.
ON STRUMA, SCROFULA, OR KING'S EVIL.
CANCER, ITS NATURE AND SYMPTOMS.
INDEX TO THE CASES.
In consequence of the extreme prevalence of Scrofulous, Scorbutic, and Cancerous Diseases, and the ignorance which exists on the part of the public, as to their causes, symptoms, and nature, I have been induced to reprint my observations on those subjects, and to send forth an Eighth Edition for the information of the afflicted.
To these remarks, I have appended a relation of several cases, which have been cured by a peculiar mode of treatment which I have been in the habit of employing for twenty-six years; during which long period I have seen and treated an immense number of cases of the above description.
These cases I have rendered very concise, preferring the main points in each to a verbose and tiresome description of the minutiæ; and although the number might have been extended to many hundreds, I trust a sufficiency have been detailed to establish the success of my practice, and to show the afflicted the nature and modes of attack of the diseases above mentioned.
I have confined myself to a simple relation of the facts of each case, and on those facts such case must stand or fall. I have not resorted to those artificial props which some men are in the habit of employing because the cases themselves are too lame to stand alone; I allude to the practice of soliciting the attestations of the patients, and decoying the simple, the ignorant, well-intentioned, but deceived neighbours, to add their signatures to cases of which they know nothing, and of which the details are a series of bombast, falsehood, ignorance, and humbug. There are many of the cases which I have related to which I could have obtained the signatures of clergymen, Members of Parliament, magistrates, and other persons high in rank and station in life, without saying a word about overseers, churchwardens, and parishioners, the signatures of whom might be obtained at all times; but, established as my practice is, I would scorn to importune those gentlemen, and impertinently to place their names before the public in a position which every sensible man must declare to be that of extreme negligence, ignorance, or unbecoming officiousness.
It may be readily supposed, that from the long career of success which I have had in the treatment of scrofulous diseases, some impudent individuals should have attempted to imitate my mode of proceeding, and to foist themselves and their spurious remedies upon the public; of this I should have cared nothing had they not done it at my expense; because these inventions will find their proper level in the estimation of the public, notwithstanding their props and delusions. But these men are absolutely so ignorant, that they are compelled to copy my cases and observations verbatim; and I have little doubt that this edition will have issued from the press but a very few months, before one or other of them will be purloining such parts of it as their hired scribes may consider to answer their purpose. Not that these imposters understand the observations which I have made on scrofula or cancer, their heads are too empty—their ignorance too profound—and their pretensions consequently too barefaced. Relying upon the credulity of the public, they make no scruple in being guilty of glaring plagiarism; they thus strut about in borrowed plumes, and their presumption keeps pace with their want of information.
As a proof of the grossest ignorance, I have seen it asserted that sixty cases of confirmed (or constitutional) cancer in the mouth or throat, have been treated with complete success; while, in reality, the cases, if they ever existed, (of which I have considerable doubt) were either of a scrofulous nature, or the remains of a certain disease. I am confident the pretender never saw a real case of cancer of the mouth and throat; and the very assertion that portions of bone have been exfoliated in these cases, gives the lie direct to the whole, for it is a fact that cancer never causes bone to exfoliate, and in this I am borne out by every medical authority. It may cause the long bones to become fragile, so that the patient may have a fractured limb from a very slight cause, or it may convert bone into a dense carcinomatous structure; but exfoliation will never take place. Then as to the occurrence of confirmed cancer in the mouth and throat, I have no hesitation in stating that it rarely if ever occurs, and that if it ever did, it was a perfectly incurable disease; and I could cite a host of authorities to prove my assertion. And who is to oppose these great authorities? What man with experience so extensive—with knowledge so profound—with sagacity so searching—with learning so deep—shall declare that he himself has seen and treated sixty cases of true carcinomatous disease of the mouth and throat? Who is this Goliah of Surgery? Who is the judge in this matter to whose opinion he commands us to bow? Reader! the fact is, that the assertion is so glaringly false, that if only a particle of shame enter into his composition, it must betray its existence.
This, however, is only one part of the fabricated statements which have been delusively put forth to deceive and misguide the public; but I presume it would be a waste of time to attempt to prove the abominable practices of these empirics; not that it would be a difficult matter to do so, for were I so disposed I could adduce such a body of evidence as would demolish their empty pretensions with as much ease as the sun dispels the morning vapours. But I think my readers will agree with me that I have displayed enough of their charlatanry to